Rise Above!

From the archives…


Musically speaking I’ve been in a bit of an aggressive mood lately. I’m attempting, for the umpteenth time, to quit the cancer sticks and I always lose a little of my mind during these times, and good old fashioned angst ridden rock and roll is the perfect companion to my celery sticks and Nicorette patches.
I crafted a play list on my ipod, chronologically of course, of the most aggressive balls-out (thanks for the term, Thom!) music in my collection starting in the late 60’s with the MC5 and the Stooges. “Kick Out The Jams” (Motherf*&ckers!!) by the Motor City 5 (quite revolutionary for 1969) starts my day off with a bang followed by “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “Raw Power” (wonderfully under produced by David Bowie) by Iggy and The Stooges.
Then it’s on to the 1970’s with The Ramones, the Clash and The Sex Pistols. Yes, I have forgiven the Pistols for their excursion into self-parody. “Submission” and “God Save The Queen” still sound wonderfully subversive cranked to 11, as does any Clash song from their first three albums. I even included two Queen tracks from this decade, the proto thrash ditty “Sheer Heart Attack” (written for the album of the same name, released three years later on News Of The World) and “”Stone Cold Crazy”.
Of course I had to include some Bon Scott era AC/DC with “Let There Be Rock” and “Sin City”.  Sleazy, rocket fueled blues-metal-punk, long before the soundtrack to Maximum Overdrive killed their charm.
The 80’s hardcore scene is represented by the DK’s (“California Uber Alles”, “Terminal Preppie” and “Winnebago Warrior”), Black Flag (“My War”, “Rise Above”) and D.O.A.’s version of “Eve Of Destruction”. To end the 80’s I chose “Not Now James” by Pop Will Eat Itself, a wonderful description of James Brown’s infamous run in with the law. It involved James Brown, a rooftop and a shotgun, if you remember…
The 1990’s contained some great agro-techno numbers like the Prodigy’s “Firestarter” and the Chemical Brothers “Leave Home”. Just as aggressive and adrenaline fueled as the punk of the 70’s, but you could dance to it.
Still sounds great in the car.

Nirvana had to have an entry, and I chose “Lithium” and “In Bloom” from Nevermind to round out the decade.
To end the play list I chose Queens Of The Stone Age’s new album in it’s entirety, Era Vulgaris. Josh Homme is unparalleled in his ability to write monster riffs with a melody, and his new album is fantastic, his best since Lullabies To Paralyze. A sample lyric from “Misfit Love:

Ain’t born to lose baby,
I’m born to win,
I’m so goddamn sick baby, it’s a sin,
It’s a Sin.
Just a dead man, walking through the dead of night,
And if you are going anywhere tonight? Just a dead end,
Walking through the dead of night and if you are going,
Can I get a ride?
Just a dead man walking through the dead of night,
Its impossible to wait until the light,
Cause, I’m already gone,
If you bet on me, you’ve won.”

I suspect it will take a few weeks for the nicotine to exit my body and my nerve endings to return to some sort of normalcy, and even longer for the 20+ year routine of having a cig after my morning coffee/ in the car/ after meals/ etc to dissipate. Until then, though, listening to the above music and taking my withdrawal-fueled anger out on the steering wheel of my Mazda Protégé will have to suffice.

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