Just a minor footnote to the story of the former guy. If you watch the footage of his July 4th celebration in the Black Hills, you may notice a catchy little tune that accompanies the first few moments of the fireworks (they begin at @around 4:52:45 on this video).
Wondering where you might have heard it before?
It’s not a coincidence.
The tune is called Gary Owen. It was the marching tune for Custer’s 7th cavalry. His band really did play this song as he attacked Black Kettle’s village on the Washita River.
I guess someone in the Trump camp must have thought to include that as a little extra message for the Native American community, and most especially for the protesters who thought Trump never should have brought his celebration there out to the Black Hills.
It’s actually kind of an apt metaphor for the Trump administration An invitation for all of us to wave flags and celebrate our national heritage.
…Even as they stick it to someone in that very same message.
Because, nothing at all is really any fun someone gets hurt
But I sure do like the song. I recall the original from my childhood. We lived in a small redneck town in Colorado back then, and the music was the perfect soundtrack for a part of my childhood spent on the back of a horse rather than a bicycle.
Of course, the rock&roll chased almost everything else out of my musical tastes for a time, and I have to admit I was slow to put anything by Hank Williams back in my personal playlists (kicking myself there), but I don’t think there has ever been a moment I heard him on the radio, or in a movie, or on some friend’s stereo that I didn’t smile a little and enjoy the music. Hank Williams was full of amazing tunes.
But Lonesome is in a class all by itself.
Puts a lump in my throat every damned time!
I actually think what brought me back to the original was the cover by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes back in the oughts. That song did more damage to my truck speakers driving back and forth from Flagstaff to the middle of the Navajo Nation. Their version was made to be loud, very loud! They probably took a small portion of my hearing down along with the speakers, not that Black Sabbath hadn’t already vandalized my hearing well before they added their two cents of post-punk goodness.
All is forgiven though. They led me back to Hank.
A few years back, I added one more version of this wonderful tune to my playlist, a cover by Hurray for the RiffRaff. Moni always says this version is a little too slow for her taste, which is odd, because she loves the RiffRaff even more than I do, but their version of Lonesome is just a bit too slow for her.
I love Moni anyway.
I know this tune has been covered and re-covered by many great artists, but these are the versions I know and love.
So, I’m scrolling up and down my playlist during a short flight when it dawns on my that I have three separate tunes on my favorites going under the title of ‘Evil’. Okay, so one of them is cover tune, but still, 3 is a lot of evil to carry on one cell phone. Some might regard this as a bad sign, but I do love them so. And now I just have to share!
Share a little evil; that is.
I swear Howlin’ Wolf always sounds like it must hurt him to say a damned thing, but he belts out those vocals with amazing power and the result is amazing.
Course, by amazing in this instance, I do mean ‘evil’.
Like most any white kid in the suburbs of the 70s and 80s, I listened to hard rock. As I got older, I came to understand there was some kind of relationship between the blaring guitars and thundering drums making their way into my ears and the old blues artists of what then seemed to me like ancient times. In college, I learned a bit more about it from a History of Rock&Roll class, and from a friend with a good stash of old blues albums, but it wasn’t until I started buying those albums myself that I realized just how much my favorite bands owed to the old blues artists. In time, I came to see just how much of what I loved about Rock&Roll was already there in blues.
Needless to say, this meant I had a whole new range of music to explore.
One of my favorite songs, then and now, would have to be Zeppelin’s When the Levee Breaks.
I’m sorry, I meant to say that one of my favorite songs has always been the Led Zeppelin version of When the Levee Breaks.
Zeppelin absolutely nailed this recording, but listening to four British guys play the song, I always had the sense that the lyrics didn’t quite fit. Sure, it was Robert Plant’s vocals on the albums, but it wasn’t his voice (in the literary sense) that animated the story. No. The voice that shaped the lyrics belonged to Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe, the original artists to record the song. Realizing this, puts the tune in a whole new perspective. Minnie and Joe were singing about the great Mississippi flood of 1927, an event far closer to their own lives than those of the Mighty Zep. Zeppelin may have carried their story forward a bit, but not without taking a few ghosts along with it.
I still love the Zeppelin version, but I feel just a little better knowing where it came from. No. I don’t always need that to enjoy a song, but in this case, the story itself keeps pointing back to its beginnings. The song keeps alluding to an origin that doesn’t sit well in the mega-hit from the early seventies. For me at least, the song is a little more interesting when you can grasp the traces of dialogue within it, when you can hear at least a trace of Minnie’s voice in that of Robert Plant.
Lately, my favorite version of the song comes from Buckwheat Zydeco. I didn’t expect that. Really, When I first hit play on this version, I fully expected to mumble ‘that’s interesting’ and switch half-way through the tune to something else (something louder and meaner). But no! He frickin kills it! Zydeco seems to keep a lot of the Zeppelin version in his own approach to the song, but of course he adds something new to the mix, something rather cool. Hearing Zydeco’s own vocals onto the blaring guitars and thundering drums makes for an interesting twist in the story. Without erasing the classic rock influence, Zydeco manages to bring the song back closer to its original home. It all gets a little more interesting when this version of the song turns out to be a nod to the hardships brought on by Hurricane Katrina. You can hear a lot of history in this recording, both in the lyrics and the in layers of musical style.
Not believing in souls myself, perhaps I am a bit naive about the subject. I tend to assume that ensoulment is a pretty sweeping kind of project. Everyone either has one, or they don’t. That’s my usual sense of the issue anyhow.
Lately, though, I’ve been reading up on this thing, exploring the works of an obscure theologian (Theodore Nuge) who has a great deal to contribute to our understanding of the matter. You see, it turns out that although people in general may be thought to carry something along the lines of a soul, it turns out that many people are actually without a soul. Seriously! Soullessness, would seem to be a big thing. It’s actually rather common. Just who laks a soul and how they came to lose it, now that is indeed a very interesting question. I’m still learning this subject, though, and the Nuge seems to understand it much better than I do. So, let me share with you just a few of his insights into the nature of souls and soullessness.
On the subject of soullessness, Nuge’s most accessible work would seem to have been about a musical exposition once scheduled at a Native American business venture. When the exposition was called off, Nuge is said to have remarked that those responsible lacked proper hygiene, and that they were in fact people without souls. Just how to account for their lack of souls remains a matter of some dispute. Nuge was thought originally to have ascribed this status to them on account of their indigenous nature, though he later suggested the individuals in question had become soullessness on account of political activities. It is possible that Mr. Nuge’s later comments reflected something of a shift in his thinking, however, as the intent of his first comments on the subject would seem to be less than clear. Not everyone agrees with Nuge;s self-exegesis. Subsequent attempts to clarify Nuge’s relationship to the Native American community has been preserved in obscure digital source material.
Some scholars find Nuge’s proclamations of affinity for indigenous peoples a bit hollow, given the ease with which he dismissed Native American activists, but we must consider the intersection of indigineity and disensoulment carefully before moving on to the rest of his work. Far from a flippant comment, it would appear that Nuge’s appropriation of indigeneity is actually part of a much larger theme in his works. Even Theodore’s musical performances are said to have incorporated native, or at least faux-native themes. Nuge’s interest in Native American themes would seem to contain a number of clues into his thoughts about disensoulment. Let us consider one of the most interesting features of Nuge’s work, his ideas about spiritual hygiene!
It is not simply the case that can souls be lost, according to Nuge, they can also become quite dirty. Indeed, a soul according to Nuge is in constant need of a bath, except that a literal bath doesn’t seem to do much to cleanse a soul. No, to cleanse one’s soul, a person must go into nature, preferably with the intent of killing something. Consider the following texts:
Having established that souls can indeed be cleansed by nature, we should perhaps add that they can be be healed by nature as well. So, we might be inclined to think of Nuge’s comments as indicative of a state which is generally inimical to good spiritual well-being, one which is akin to sickness as well as lack of hygiene. Although Nuge himself never committed this notion to a single lexical item, it may be productive for us to adopt a technical term for this state. Let us call it the state of being ‘yucky’!
Now let us move on to the importance of hunting practices. Although Nuge does seem to attribute soul-cleansing and healing power to nature in general, he ascribes its full healing power to the pursuit and killing of animals. Consider the following passages:
Last but not least…
So, you can see, there is special cleansing power in the hunting and killing of animals. It’s like the super-soap of soul-cleansing wilderness spirituality. Indeed the very moment of killing an animal would seem to be the best agent for eliminating any yuckiness that has attached to the soul.
With all this attention to hunting, it should be said that there is at least one other soul-cleansing agent in life, at least according to Nuge. He also finds the power to cleanse a soul in one other thing, music.
Near as I can tell, these two sources constitute an exhaustive list of soul-cleansing/healing agents in the work of Nuge. If he acknowledges this power in any other activities, I have yet to find a discussion of it in Nuge’s work.
So, what does all this have to do with Native Americans? Well, to answer this we must consider some of the Nuge’s experiments with Native American dress and neo-primitivism! Nuge seems to credit Native Americans (along with sundry friends) with guiding him through the soul-cleansing process. Often, he suggests, they are there with him when the Nuge cleanses his soul by killing animals and/or playing music.
All of this would seem to add up to a kind of neo-primitive shamanism. Whether hunting or playing his music, the Nuge is connecting with the spiritual power of primitive people, and with the souls of loved ones lost. It is this connection to primitivity which cleanses the soul, either by releasing an arrow in the direction of Bambi, or by whaling away on a guitar. In each case, the sould-cleansing power stems from the return to primitive nature, the escape from civilization into a more basic form of existence.
All of this is quite fascinating, to me anyway, but of course it is merely one half of the coin in Nuge’s work on souls. You could think of it as the heads side of having a soul. The tails side is that you can lose it.
Who doesn’t have a soul? Well,Pimps, whores, and wellfare brats, for one.
Now that might seem like kind of a random list, but it would seem the Nuge assumes these people share a common political agenda.
Indeed, Nuge would seem to suggest the success of that political agenda, namely the campaign to elect Barack Obama as President of the U.S. had dire implications for the soul of America itself.
…and of course, this trend only got worse in more recent elections!
Journalists, it would seem, have no souls.
During the last election, even Fox News seems to have suffered a loss of its soul.
Some might find it odd to think of a news station as something that could possess a soul in the first place, but this should really come as no surprise. Corporations are people, according to SCOTUS. It shouldn’t really be all that interesting to find out that one of them has a soul.
…or that it lost it.
Other candidates for soullessness?
The Southern Poverty Law Center.
Those who oppose voter identification.
People who disarm citizens and cops.
Critics of the Nuge.
And of course, animal rights activists.
In one of his more ideosyncratic passages, the Nuge even suggests that anyone who doesn’t think Theodore supports ‘allthings LGBT‘. Some might consider this an odd basis for disensoulment as it’s tough to imagine how the very existence of one’s soul could be contingent upon recognition of another person’s, but the more difficult theological questions here probably have to do with the unusual construction of LGBT rights. It way well be that Theodore’s rather ideosyncratic construction of G in particular is the key to the addition of creepery to the status those disensouled on account of their agnosticism regarding Nuge’s political stance on LGBT issues. It’s a very difficult thing. Some say God works in mysteries ways. Nuge talks in them.
So, as you can see the list of people lacking a soul is rather long, according to Theodore Nuge. The list may seem rather haphazard, but a few common themes can certainly be found in his work. Democrats and liberals are two overlapping-but-not-quite-synonymous groups that lack souls, according to Nuge. Also, Media. Given the importance of hunting for spiritual hygiene, it probably makes sense to find that those opposed to hunting lack a soul.
Also, those who don’t Like the Nuge’s music.
So, what to make of it? As I mentioned before, I am new to the subject of soulology, but on a more serious note, I do think talk of souls can be very meaningful. The question I would ask is what are the metaphors? What does all this talk of souls really mean to those producing it? maybe, we can’t get far if we expect a literal answer, but we get a lot further if we ask what personal values are expressed in such talk.
Nugent’s talk of the soul-cleansing power of nature would make sense to a lot of people. Hell, it makes sense to me. While some might object to the role of hunting in this approach to life, it does express something found in few modern means of interacting with the natural environment. It provides someone with a definite role in nature. A tourist hiking a nature trail is, at best, someone who will take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. He doesn’t belong in nature and he knows it. A hunter, on the other hand, is part of it. He is, for that purpose anyway, as much a part of nature as the game he tracks. More to the point, he knows it. So, Nugent’s comments on the cleansing of the soul during a hunt may not square with some people’s thoughts about animals, but they certainly do strike me as an authentic description of his personal experience.
What seems most objectionable in all this is the growing sense of personal pettiness in all this talk of souls. How quickly the profundity of nature turns into a spiteful outburst against those who could interfere with it! How easily, Nugent’s personal associations with Native Americans turns to license taken against other Native Americans. Nugent’s talk of soullessness enables him to dismiss an awful lot of people. I don’t believe in a soul myself, but I have to wonder at the soul of someone who does believe in such a thing but seems so ready to say that others don’t have one. It’s a metaphor, of course, but a rather double-edged one at that. Can someone who so often finds no meaningful life in others really find much meaning in his own?
I’m old enough to remember when Ted Nugent was mostly a guitar sound coming through my speakers. Tastes vary, of course, and some of his lyrics are more than a little questionable, but I really did like the sound of that guitar. Listening to it now, I can almost sense that soul-cleansing power Nugent locates in nature and in his music. (Many will disagree, I know) The thing is, after listening to him talk about the soullessness of others, I usually feel like I need some of that power. I just wish he’s produce less of the one and more of the other.
My friend, Lorien Crow, recently shared some thoughts with me on last tour of the The Tragically Hip. As I enjoyed reading them, I asked if I could also share them here. She has graciously agreed to let me do so.
“Scott’s gone,” Kristin said.
“What do you mean?” I didn’t understand.
“He’s gone…he passed away.”
Kristin was my best friend. Scott was her older brother. We were nineteen years old, and she was a sophomore at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.
She left for school in the fall of 1995. I’d gotten in, but decided not to go to college yet. It was the first time we’d been apart since we were five years old. I started visiting her almost immediately, once every couple of months, crashing on her dorm room floor, going to parties, inserting myself into her new life.
It was at one of those parties, probably the spring of ’96, when I started hearing people talking about “The Hip” and “The Hip Show.” These Canadian guys Kristin knew had an apartment off campus, with this giant boa constrictor they kept as a pet—total party attraction. I had the snake wrapped around my neck when I asked “what are you guys talking about? What’s ‘The Hip?’”
Their reaction was so incredulous, it startled the snake, which attempted to suffocate me.
“How can you never have heard of The Tragically Hip?”
I was used to being the resident music junkie and mix-tape aficionado among my friends, so being teased for not knowing a band was a novel experience. Someone put on a record. Someone invited me to the show.
That week, I promptly went to my local record shop and special ordered Fully Completely and Road Apples on CD. A die-hard SNL fan, I realized I’d seen TTH perform on the show the previous year. I pulled out the VHS tape and re-watched. I played the CD’s trying to figure out an appropriate comparison to the music I knew: sort of grunge, in certain moments; Gord Downie’s vocals occasionally reminiscent of Michael Stipe; poetry like Bob Dylan, but with an eclectic edge; a little twang, like the classic country I grew up on. My knowledge base just didn’t compute. This was something totally new.
Sadly, I don’t remember many details about The Hip show, the only one I ever attended. I couldn’t tell you where it was, just that it was someplace small. I don’t remember exactly which songs they performed; I was probably high, drunk, or both. I know there was some crazy dancing (on stage and off), and that we had a blast. That we hugged, smiled, cried, and didn’t know how young we felt. That some of the lyrics were really strange (“did he just say ‘sled dogs and Kurt Cobain?’”), and that that night, Gord Downie was unlike any other performer I’d seen. Some sort of alien Warhol from another dimension, who’d never quite landed among us, but knew what we were thinking and feeling.
Or maybe that was just the pot. The Canadian guys always had the best pot.
What I do remember is the long car ride home from Vermont to Connecticut, a year later, bringing Kristin home for Scott’s funeral. Today, thanks to the internet, I know what “Wheat Kings” is really about, but back then, it was just the soundtrack to the saddest event I’d ever experienced. Beautiful and heart-wrenching, wafting out the car windows with our cigarette smoke, over the fields and ramshackle farmhouses of northern Vermont and upstate New York.
Kristin and I drifted apart pretty quickly after that. Somewhere along the way, I lost those battered Hip CD’s, and mostly lost track of the band. The advent of streaming brought me back to TTH over the last few years, and I delighted in catching up on what I’d missed. The deluxe reissue of Fully Completely in 2014 is a masterpiece, and Man Machine Poem is TTH at their finest (if you can’t relate to the song “Tired as Fuck,” we probably can’t be friends).
Then in May came the awful news of Gord Downie’s cancer diagnosis, and shortly thereafter, the announcement of a 20-city Canadian tour rumored to be the band’s farewell. Families went together—brothers, sisters, parents. Articles and conversations began popping up about what TTH means to Canada’s national identity. A piece in The Guardian referred to their music as “the antidote to American imports” and the headlines kept proclaiming them “the most Canadian band in the world.”
In all my years as a TTH fan, I never really contemplated their Canadian-ness. Why would I? Like almost every band I discovered and fell in love with, they inherently became part of the soundtrack of my life, attached to emotional memories, rites of passage, good times and heartbreak. Now, all of a sudden, people were talking about why I couldn’t fully understand them; why they could never mean as much to me because I’m not Canadian. It didn’t seem fair, at first. I loved them too. I was grieving, too.
Then, on Saturday, August 20th, the CBC aired the band’s final show of the tour, in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Live. For more than three hours, uninterrupted by commercials, an entire nation watched and cried together. The Prime Minister attended. Twitter exploded with #Canadaisclosed. Canadian Olympic athletes watched together on a big screen from Rio.
I went out that night, figuring the footage would be online later; it wasn’t.
Ask yourself this: can you think of one band or artist that could unite America that way for five minutes? One hour? One band that warrants so much respect, our networks would eschew billions of dollars just to let them perform for a few hours? One artist that means so much to all of us, Americans would put aside their political agendas and prejudices and just sing along, together, as a nation of fans?
Cases can certainly be made for some artists. Johnny Cash comes to mind…maybe he could have done it. Springsteen? In the eighties, perhaps. Elvis, way back when, well…probably. Michael Jackson in his heyday, perhaps. (I promise, I really tried to think of more than one artist who wasn’t an adult white male, which is obviously part of the problem). But what about now?
Listen, I’m not hating on America. I’m just saying, like almost everything else in our culture, we tie music and movies and television to individual identities, not a national one. Diversity is a wonderful, necessary, and inevitable thing, but too many artists and genres are politicized, classified into categories befitting specific subsets of the population. Think of the stereotypical country music fan, rap fan, alternative music fan, EDM fan: a picture came to mind, I bet. Most of us, in the age of streaming, cross genres sometimes, but those stereotypes go deep, and they’re incredibly divisive. They turn fans into opponents, words into weapons. Where is the picture of someone who truly bridges this divide? Why isn’t there one?
There’s something to be said for having one band that would be able to transcend all of the noise and social media chatter and political bickering, the road rage and the racial tension. Maybe it never existed here; maybe it never will. But if music is one of the only things that can truly unite people…we might be in some trouble.
So, Canada, I realized: you’re right. I can’t ever totally understand what The Tragically Hip means to you as a nation, because there is no American equivalent. That’s a rare and beautiful thing. Hold on to them tightly. Keep the footage and the memories. Know that for all our noise and bluster, we envy you this. We, the United States, are incapable of uniting this way. You are so fortunate. You are an example of what should be possible.
I hope you won’t mind if I borrow Gord & the boys, though, from time to time. TTH grieved with me and my sweet friend on that car ride so long ago, and we’ll grieve with you, when the time comes. Maybe we’ll drive up north into farm country with the windows down, listening to “Wheat Kings,” remembering what it was to be young and free and open…and high on some killer Canadian weed and music.
I’ve been thinking about what Stacy Dash said about black history month, and I think I agree with her. We shouldn’t have black history month. Let’s put getting rid of it on the agenda. We’ll do that immediately after we get black history a secure and solid place in the rest of the curriculum.
In the interim, here is Leyla McCalla putting an old Langston Hughes poem to music.
Think I’ll listen to it while I put together a lesson on the Harlem Renaissance.
Me with less fat and more hair. (Apparently, someone had gotten a karaoke machine for Christmas that year.)
In an earlier post, I mentioned that the most famous person ever to speak to me was Lemmy from Motorhead. I didn’t explain the situation, cause I’m a bad man, but a few of you have asked. So, here it is.
The story takes place at an Alice Cooper concert in Vegas. This was my 3rd time seeing Cooper in concert, but this time it was from the 3rd row very near the center. Motorhead was one of two warm-up bands. I think the other was Faster Pussycat, but I can’t remember exactly. I do remember Motorhead. I wasn’t really a fan at the time, but I remember they came out and Lemmy says; “Good evening!”
…and the audience roars a bit. Lemmy wasn’t happy with this, so he says; “I said fucking good evening!”
…which kinda scared me.
This time the audience gave a respectable cheer. I always thought it was at least partially out of fear, cause that raspy voice and Lemmy’s demeanor suggested we all better say ‘good evening’ or he’d come out into the audience and teach us good manners one at a time. Anyway, he got his response and the band commenced rockitation.
…which was the first time I began to think I might like their music.
The other band was meh.
Along comes Cooper, and I love Alice Cooper. It had been a long time since Cooper had done an album I liked, but no matter! I love his early stuff enough to sit through a dozen Teenage Frankensteins if it means I get to hear just one Generation Landslide. So, I’m diggin’ it, and I’m especially diggin’ the good seats.
The thing is, I’m not real physically demonstrative, so I just stood there. I was loving it, but I just stood there, as did a friend of mine, also a big fan of Cooper. Now this is a problem because Alice likes to rally the fans and get them pumping their fists. He would come along with his cane and get everyone in the front seats cheering and pumping away. Then he’d move down a bit and do the same to the nearby seats. I’m pretty sure that he noticed my friend and I just standing there, and I could swear he spent a few extra moments in our area trying to get us to join the action. Nuthin doin’. We were enjoying the show. We just didn’t do the fist pumping thing.
No, I don’t dance either.
So anyway, as the Cooper show is ending he brings out two great big black balloons and floats them out over the audience. The audience grabs them and rips them apart. Confetti spills out all over everyone. I’m thinking I’ve seen him do this before, and sure enough, he does a second round of black balloons. These produce a kind of smoke effect when people tear them apart. Now, I know there is a third round of balloons coming, but I can’t remember what’s in the balloons this time. I’m still trying to remember it when Alice comes right to the edge of the stage just in front of my section. He shouts something; “who wants…” I couldn’t hear the last word, but no matter. I was quite surprised to find my stick-in-the-mud self shouting ‘yeah’ at the top of my lungs and lunging my fists forward with enthusiasm. I swear Cooper looked at me and I could practically hear him thinking; “I finally got that lazy fucker in the 3rd row to do something.” He looks right at me and floats the balloon straight to me. I grab it. People on every side of me grab it. And I’m still trying to remember what it was that was in the third round of balloons as everyone rips the damn thing apart.
As soon as the warm liquid splattered all over my face I remembered that it was blood, fake blood to be sure, but close enough to make me look good and frightful. I was thoroughly drenched in the stuff.
…and loved it!
I was still hanging out after the show when Lemmy walks by with a couple guys, looks at me and says; “covered in fucking blood eh?”
The hardest part of the whole evening was sneaking into the house without giving my mother a heart attack.
See kids, this is how you scare the old folks. …at least it worked for awhile.
Kids these days are so Goddamn normal. Their music doesn’t even bother me.
Back in my day we used to walk six miles, barefoot through rain sleet, or snow, just to piss our parents off. Granted, long hair was getting a little old by the time I met my inner rebellion, but we had Satan in our games and all over our music. Apparently, the horned one couldn’t fiddle, but he sure helped Dio lay down some Heavy Metal word salad worthy of an eternity in the always-lit-coal mine. So what the Hell was a Holy Diver anyway? I didn’t know, my Mom didn’t know, and frankly, I doubt Dio knew. If you played it backwards, the guy probably just toweled off or something.
…but in a bad way.
So, what do you kids do to piss my generation off?
Bieberositide is not even worth being mad at. Oh sure, the boy causes trouble, and Miley Cyrus almost did something racy once or thrice. Some folks enjoyed being mad at her for awhile. I recall Britney spears kissed Madonna once, and a few people may even have humored them by pretending to be offended, but seriously? That’s all ya got? It’s a tired script boys and girls, and it has about as much kick as well-watered American beer. Plus, these antics have fuck-all to do with music, or performance, or really anything but marketing strategies.
I for one am neither shocked, nor offended by much in contemporary music, and I haven’t been for sometime. I’m old, I’m cranky, and I’m white. I’m exactly the sort of person pop music is supposed to piss off, and I can’t think of anything recent that’s worth a bug-eyed angry moment.
We bought a better brand of rebellion than you can find in the stores now. It almost seemed authentic at times, or at least it had pedigree. Hell, even Ozzy loved the Beatles, and they were into love and revolution or something. One could even find the traces of war protest songs in the nooks and crannies of the world of hard rock. Eighties-era politics might have lacked the earnestness of folk music protest or the urgency of The Vietnam Era tunes, but hints and allusions could be found. That may not be much, but it’s better than the brats can manage today, that’s for damned sure.
And then of course there was the actual music! Would you believe some musicians actually discussed music during interviews? It’s almost as if the music itself was an important part of being a musician!
The professionally cool today only seem to talk about their lust lives, or maybe that’s all some people ask them about. It’s all so very underwhelming.
As a young kid, I used to wonder what future generations would do to carry the musical torch into the faces of older generations. between Punk Rock and Heavy Metal, I didn’t see how volume and raunch could go much further without putting people in the hospital. Rap was a curve ball in my world, and I never have quite wrapped my lily-white mind around it, but even that’s calmed down lately, so it seems. So, what are the youth doing to piss off old people now?
Listening to pop radio these days, I think I finally have my answer. Today’s youth are going to bore us to death.
Fricking kids. Your music is boring.
Also, get off my lawn!
(I don’t have a lawn, but get off it anyway. Damned kids!)