Remember when I got all nostalgic about music? This is another one of those. You’re welcome.
Today while my reflective ride home from work, my iPod decided to play a song Fall Out Boy’s From Under the Cork Tree circa 2005. I turned the music up to an obscene level and shouted the lyrics to “Dance, Dance”. If I were a teenager in 2005, this angsty music would have been everything I was about. But I was in my quarter-life crisis then and poetry was the thing to go sit and listen to and if you wanted to pretend to be deep, you had a good line or two. Fall Out Boy had a whole CD worth. “This is the way they’d love if they knew how misery loved me”. “We’re the therapist pumping through your speakers, delivering just what you need.” “I’ll keep singing this lie if you’ll keep believing it”. Even the song titles were angsty. “Get Busy Living, Or Get Busy Dying.” Damn yeah!
Let me give you a brief history on my tumultuous love affair with Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z. In the mid 90’s when Rap City The Basement on BET was a 3 hour block of East Coast hip hop videos (which included like 15 minutes of West Coast music) Joe Clare introduced my brain and ears to the sounds of Jay-Z. Hard Knock Life was a great CD. But Life and Times of Shawn Carter, Vol 3.?! And he’s like “I know you ripping the packaging off your CD right now. If you like me you’re probably reading the credits?!” he had my heart. Because that’s exactly what I was doing when that line played. (I still buy CDs to read the liner notes). I mean he had UGK on a song. The only thing better to me than Jay-Z was UGK. Don’t be surprised. This is real life. So of course I got The Blueprint the day it was relased. And I listened to it and when I heard the line “nigga repspect the game, that should be it. What you eat don’t make me shit.” I couldn’t wait until I could say that to someone. Anyone. ANYONE?! How perfect of a line is that? What can top that? Nothing could. Then I kinda was meh on Blueprint 2 (don’t question me) and after that I just don’t even know what was released and after the Notorious B.I.G.’s super underground mixtapes were released and I really realized how much Jay-Z just totally lifted about everything in his life? I felt betrayed. Like “I thought The Takeover was better than Ether, Shawn! ETHER! It wasn’t you lying bastard!” Then American Gangster was jammin and now this Kanye shit that I can’t really get with. I mean we’re cool but clearly there are still hurt feelings. I’m sure Shawn won’t talk to y’all about it too much.
My favorite singer in the world is Nikka Costa. A tiny, tiny, white woman with a giant shock of flaming red hair. She is phenomenal. I fell in love with her in 2001 watching MTV2. When it was first invented and they only played music videos. “We only try to remember what we chose to forget” “So I stand before you now/Faulty but not broken/Fragile like the break of day/And sometimes sad like the words unspoken”. “Somebody waits for you with a crown. Somebody else wants to take you down.” I could go on. I have written these lyrics thousands of times. I love them all. Still.
And since I’ll never get rid of my teen angst or my 20’s stick-it-to-the-man-eosis I will always love my rock music. I’ll leave you with these perfectly written lines from some of my favoite bands. “I’m sacking the man, cause the man is a thief. I’m kicking the plan before the plan kicks me.” – Jet.
“I wanna forget how convention fits, but could not get out from under it.” – Spoon
“You got no fear of the underdog, that’s why you will not survive.” – Spoon (again)
“Evil hides/In dark places/But now I see it/In familiar faces.” – The Black Keys
“One thing I can tell you is you’ve got to be free.” – The Beatles
“RIP we just kilt the club!” – Young Jeezy.
Ok I just wanted to see if y’all were still paying attention. That new Jeezy is my shit.
Favorite lyrics anyone? Anyone?