Sad-Ass Music #3
Dec 7 2012
Hey everyone, your favorite bitch-ass mixmaster is back.
So, I bet you've started asking yourself, How did this gentleman end up losing his mind over all this depressing, head slasher shit? Well, I figured I'd take you back... We'll go on a little stroll down memory lane, and I'll play you some of the hits that helped guide my voyage of musical sadness.
Just like any kid, I was a radio jammer; in the car, on the schoolbus, in the bedroom, wherever, I had a radio going. So, most of my early interaction with music came from that, and a mighty unhealthy diet of afterschool MTV. I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, just a wee lad, going fucking bananas over music. Didn't matter what it was, if it had a decent beat and a nice melody I could saturate myself with, I was all about it. If it was agitated, emotional, and whiney; fuck it, even better. If it sounded like it could've been on the soundtrack to Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, or The Crow, I was probably doubled over somewhere, taking it straight to the psyche. I always got hooked by the unrestrained and despodent. It was like a drug; some hellish downer that I couldn't get enough of.
Let me roll you through a few stand out tracks from my childhood up through early adolescence that really set the tone for where I was headed. Let's see how you feel afterwards, my dear, wonderful, beautiful peers and friends.
Alright, yeah, this jam dropped the year after I was born, so it wasn't like I had it cranked in the crib. But, I did hear it a lot on the radio growing up, and guess what? It sucked me in... So I lived there, in the abysmal wasteland of broken wings. I remember when I was, like, 18 I put this on a mixtape alongside some jams from the Smiths and Pavement or whatever, and I gotta say, it totally held its own, because it's just so fucking on. Big and bold, perfect execution, and I imagine this song is the exact sound that comes out of a feathery-haired Don Johnson's penis when he ejaculates.
Imagine this: a pudgy six-year-old boy in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt, neon green shorts, red Chuck Taylors, and dopey sunglasses singing this into a hairbrush. Fuuuuuuuck me.
Again, this is something birthed just slightly after myself, so I had to find it crusing radio stations as a youth. I don't think there's a single human being on this planet that won't sing along with this when it hits their ears, unless their deaf or a deadbeat. Crowded House told me not to dream, because it's over. So I was like, “OK, thanks.” Sadness wins. Always.
No number of goof-ass Ozzman faces can take away the misery this song inflicted upon my poor, juvenile mental state. A child should never be this steeped in pitiful baggage-y bullshit. You should never cry in front of television set shitting out Headbanger's Ball, but I mean, I feel lucky... I am who I am because of it.
I saw this video when I was probably seven and simultaneously popped a boner and knew that one day, every woman would break my motherfucking heart.
You can still find me singing this song in cars at the top of my lungs if you're looking in the right direction at the right time of day. Kiedis' ode to LA and heroin or whatever was serious business that got an eight-year old me all pensive in the backseat. I fondly remember this being the first song I ever dubbed from the radio to a cassette deck, like a true audiophile champion. TOGETHER WE CRY, ANTHONY, TOGETHER WE CRY. Grow your fucking hair back out, already.
Simon Le Bon wrote the lyrics to this song as a gift to his wife or some shit, but apparently he also gifted her a young boy's sense of happiness and jovial adventure. Yeah, that sounds pretty fucked up.
As I've gotten older, I've actually come to enjoy the music of R.E.M. as like real stuff I'll put on and savor, like a man pushing 30 should. But back when I was, like, nine I heard this and didn't know how to handle the ridiculous amount of strain it put on my feeble, impressionable mind/emotions/sense of being. So yeah, thanks Michael Stipe for this chunk of pure, unforgettable bleakness. I mean, was it supposed to be uplifting in a way? Because it just fucked me up, and made me dread becoming an adult even more.
UPDATE: I watched the video while I was writing this and sobbed quietly to myself, and hoped my roommates wouldn't hear me through my bedroom door. Jesus. The only escape route from the sadness is to imagine yourself nestled inside Bill Berry's billowy eyebrows.
Two words: Jerry Maguire. YOU COMPLETE ME, MUFUCKA. At 12 years old I was already so fascinated by, and fixated on, the entire retarded-ass world that was fantasy romance, that norepinephrine was practically oozing down my brain stems out my ears and mouth and weiner. So yeah, Cameron Crowe's movie about Tom Cruise mashing down on Zellwegger tugged at my youthful heart strings and Bruce kicked my soul out of my body. Shit clings to you like a snug sweater. That's how it should be.
OK, so Weezer's first album, the blue one, was the first CD I ever actually went out and purchased myself. I, like everyone else, saw that “Buddy Holly” video and bought into their act, and was all about it. Flash forward to me discovering this album closer, and understand that junior high was on the horizon and I was a ball of pubescent awkwardness and boners and craving and lust and fuuuuuuck man, YOU CAN'T RESIST HER, SHE'S IN YOUR BONES. My head falls off my neck, leaving a gross stump spurting blood into the night sky while girls behind bedroom windows brush their hair.
Just to dive deeper into my swimming pool of pre-teen tears, here's some further listening into early favorites...
Just real quick, I'll mention this: after sixth grade graduation, I went to a dance and tried to tell my crush that I liked her, but before I had the chance, she informed me some dude had just asked her out, and I was crushed. So, I went home and cried to this song on repeat for like four hours—it really weirded my mom the fuck out.
Which I could never explain my eternal love and gratitude and sexual longing for Sade in one column. That's some heavy shit, right there.
So maybe now you're at least a little closer to understanding the line my brain and heart and soul walked towards the coma-cave of sonic hopelessness. I just always seemed lay down near the saddest song the radio had to offer and I would nuzzle it, feel it up, get all involved with it. I liked the way these songs made me feel and I still do. It's a beautiful feeling, to get ripped open by a melody, and a texture, or a tone. You feel open and alive and inspired. You want to melt into the fucking floor. At least, that's how this bewitching thing called music affects me, and I always want to feel that. Fucking Forever.
Because of these types of songs, I would further explore the more desolate musical landscapes; discovering people like Mark Kozelek, Robert Smith, Morrissey, Sunny Day Real Estate, Hum, Cocteau Twins, Blonde Redhead, Godspeed You Black Emperor, or even something like Deftones; onwards to weirder landscapes, Brian Eno's Ambient records, Tim Hecker, Fennesz, and William Basinski. Y'see, that's the way shit worked for me, always nesting in weird terrain, finding a thread that felt really good, and falling down rabbit holes of Similar Artists & Recommended If You Like's. I found my way to the promise land, and now I'm offering you my hand to come and join...
You know I love you, truly, I adore you... I want to hold you before the world ends.
I'm eternally yours. I don't care if you think I'm a pussy, it don't bother me none. Until next time: XO.
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