A Playlist for the Apocalypse May 20, 2011Posted by Matt in music, top ten.
Tags: AC/DC, Apocalypse music, Beck, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, end of the world, Hayes Carll, John Prine, Johnny Cash, May 21, Nirvana, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, playlist, Prince, Radiohead, Soundgarden
My friend Susan gave me an idea today when she posted R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” on my Facebook wall in celebration of the global apocalypse scheduled for tomorrow (Check your local listings). I think we need a good playlist to celebrate our last day on earth. Here are some choices from my iPod.
10. Hayes Carll – She Left Me For JesusIt’s time for those last minute conversions and this is the perfect song for it.
9. Beck – Earthquake WeatherAccording to the apocalyptic prognosticators, we can expect a global earthquake tomorrow that should reach us around 6:00 pm. I think we should dance to Beck.
8. Prince – Sign O’ the TimesYes, we should have been looking for the signs, I know, I know…
7. Radiohead – How to Disappear CompletelyWell, that is what happens in the rapture, right? Cars will veer off the road unattended and suddenly unpiloted planes will crash and burn. Well, either that or it will just get a little more pleasant for the rest of us.
6. Pearl Jam – Given to FlyThen again, maybe we’ll actually see people ascend bodily into heaven. That would be much cooler.
5. Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around / Metallica – The Four HorsemenYeah, worldwide destruction is what’s in store for those of us left behind. At least we have some diverse music choices dealing with it.
4. Soundgarden – Black Hole SunThe sun will turn into a black hole? I think they’re reading of Revelation may be a little off.
2. John Prine – Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven AnymoreMaybe extreme patriotism isn’t the best way after all…
Most likely, though, I think this song will be appropriate for those actually expecting the world the end tomorrow.
Bob Marley – Waiting in Vain
What songs would you put on the End of the World Playlist?
The Day the Music Died April 5, 2011Posted by Matt in music.
Tags: 17th anniversary, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, suicide, voice of a generation
I didn’t realize that today was that day until I saw an article online while surfing around at work today. It’s one of those days that lives in infamy for us gen-xers. A day when, some 17 years ago, time seemed to stand still in some crazy, mirrored alternate universe where icons die by their own hand, leaving legions of followers behind as they dissipate into the nether. It’s a place where genius snuffs itself at the height of artistry and everyone can only wonder why.
As a 16 year old it was devastating when I arrived home from school that fateful day and learned that the person dubbed the “spokesman of our generation” was gone, that we would never again hear his strangled voice crying in the wilderness. It was over. Kurt Cobain was dead.
Today I listened to their masterful Unplugged album and marveled again at the pain that was so evident in his voice, at the mournful guitar ringing out in their cover of Bowie’s “Man Who Sold the World,” at that final song, Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” and that last breath he takes during the final line, as if he knows this is it and that we would never see him again.
I wonder sometimes what it would have been like if he had lived. What would he be doing today, at age 44? Was it truly better to follow the words of Neil Young that Cobain quoted in his suicide note, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away?’
I don’t think so, but instead of dwelling on what might have been, let’s remember the greatness that was.
19 Years? Really!? September 10, 2010Posted by Matt in music.
Tags: 19 year annivesary, Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit, video
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According to this article on Yahoo, today marks the 19 year anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit single/video. Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long ago, but I remember being a young teenager when this song first hit the airwaves and it just completely changed everything. I’m sure I’ll write more about it next year on the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest years in the history of rock music, but for now, here’s the video.
Sound of a Generation – pt.1 June 27, 2008Posted by Matt in Sound of a Generation.
Tags: angst, Generation X, music, Nirvana
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There are various descriptors tossed about to describe generational differences – whether they be akin to values or judgments or worldviews or any other number of characteristics that set one group apart from another. There may be no arena in which these differences are more pronounced than in that of the music we listen to.
It is through the arts, and, at least for this entry, music in particular, that this overarching worldview is proclaimed – sometimes in an almost inaudible whisper, sometimes with a tone of reasonableness, and sometimes with a violent, challenging cry to masses for change, a veritable call to arms in the battle for supremacy.
The music of the 1960’s and early 70’s was especially important in this way as it aided the civil rights struggle and strongly fomented the anti-war movement. It was music of hope, and spoke of an unbridled idealism that people could make a difference in the world. Entire movements were formed around the sounds of the time as young people tirelessly worked for change.
But something happened along the way.
By the 1980’s, popular music had moved from being a rallying cry, to something empty and vacuous. Superficiality and rabid materialism infected the masses, suburbs grew, fences went up, and the idealistic dream of the 1960’s died a painful death.
By the turn of decade, the nation was at war, the economy was in recession, the plague of AIDS was spreading and the youth of America were feeling more disaffected than ever. They were angry and disappointed and coming to the realization that our generation, Generation X, would be the first one that was not better off than our parents.
But then, something arose from the fog-shrouded city of Seattle that changed everything and gave us, the disaffected youth of Generation X, a new type of music displaying our angst and anger and rocking the proverbial boat as few had before. It was empowering, revolutionary, and announced our generation, not with a megaphone, but with a ragged, disquieting scream. And, so, to end part one of our series – the song that defined a generation:
And the Band Played On… May 6, 2006Posted by Matt in Reminiscence.
Tags: band, Bush, Everclear, high school, May Day, Nirvana
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Originally posted 5/6/06
Given the time of year it is, the other day I was doing a bit of reminiscing about May Day at Beebe High School – particularly about a certain band that performed there ten years ago.
Being a lover of all kinds of music, one of the things I most wanted to accomplish in my young life was to play in a band – and possibly even play in front of people. Well, during the spring of ’96 – my senior year – that dream was finally realized. A good month or so before that special day four of us – Michael, Andy, Dustin, and I – decided that we were finally going to do it – we were going to perform in front of the entire high school.
We ran into a few problems at first, namely Dustin was the only one of the four of us with much musical talent at all. Andy, who had played drums in the school band through about 9th grade or so, borrowed a drum set from someone, I did a crash course in bass guitar, and Michael bravely took on the singing duties, despite his obvious lack of ability. The weeks leading up to our big performance was one of the most fun times I had during all of my high school years. We tons of practice hours during that time, rehearsing the few songs we could actually play well enough that we wouldn’t feel to embarassed to do in front of a few hundred of our peers, until we finally felt confident enough to step out on that gym floor…
As people filed into the gym that day, we opened with a little instrumental section of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today,” which amounted to Dustin noodling around on his guitar while the rest of us tried to make it look like we knew what we were doing. Once everyone got seated, the grand show began…
We played three songs that day – the only three we really felt comfortable enough to play in public – Everclear’s “Santa Monica”, Nirvana’s “About a Girl”, and ended with Bush’s “Little Things.” At the time everything seemed great, it’s really not until we watched the video later that we realized just how bad we sounded. But that really didn’t matter because we had finally done something that we had talked about for years – we started a little band and got to play in front of people.
To this day, when I’m around Andy we still joke about this and talk about how much fun we had during those weeks leading up to the “concert.” It’s one of those things I won’t forget…