Junk Jackson, May 28, 2006
This band sits at the foundation of the liveliest "how does success affect coolness?" discussions happening between 2001 and 2005. Definitely a cool band, but definitely overexposed, which isn't cool. Put in another pretentious way, this band is cool to listen to, but not so cool if you wear their T-shirt. If the Greek philosophers had lived in a time when "retro cool" was an option (I suppose Plato could have been retro cool by dressing like a caveman) they would have used this band in some cautionary tale. The Strokes' first two albums are great, but the third, from which this song comes, is a rock rolling back down a hill or a young lad flying too close to the sun or a dude getting his liver ripped out every day.
2. The Fall - Couldn't Get Ahead
Hmmm. Seeing that this song follows the Strokes, I'm forced to ask if it's better to be cool, but overexposed and rich because of it, or be like the Fall, who are infinitely cool but probably forced to clip coupons because they aren't overexposed enough. Of course, they definitely get their cred, but it'd probably be nice to enjoy that cred while sipping $10 cocktails poolside at your summer place in Costa Del Sol.
3. Betty Harris - Break in the Road
HOT! Old New Orleans soul from the late sixties. Good enough to transcend the completely snotty comments of numbers 1 and 2.
4. Baxter Dury - Bachelor
From 'Len Parrot's Memorial Lift,' one of my favorite albums. Don't let the word Parrot lead you to believe this has anything to do with Jimmy Buffet. Really, don't. I need to get the word out on this guy, like a missionary...I need to walk the Earth carrying a ghetto blaster playing this guy...like Jesus did. Also, Phillipians 2:23 states that Jesus wasn't a Jimmy Buffet fan, either. Actually, a little investigation shows me that this verse reads "Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me," but this current age of relativism allows me to interpret it as "Jimmy Buffet sucks." All good reasons to listen to Baxter Dury.
5. Wynonie Harris - I like my Baby's Puddin'
An old soul-y juke joint kind of guy. His lyrics are sooo thinly veiled. The song is all about his "baby's puddin'," and how that "puddin'" tastes, and how this person "churns butter" in order to make said "puddin'." And so on and so forth. I mean, even a second grader could figure out that he's not talking about food, and that he's referencing much more sophisticated issues.
6. Kid Koala - Stompin' at Le Savoi
This is one of those 12 second interludes between songs. It's kind of like a skit. I can't think of anything more played out than skits on hip hop albums. A revolution is in order. We need a hip-hop Martin Luther to get that "old man stink" out of the church and lay the skit fossil to rest. Martin Luther's first video could feature lots of scantily clad nuns dancing in front of a fish-eye lens. Some hip-hop staples will never die. Nor should they.
7. Malcolm Clarke - Bath Time
Ah yes, Malcolm Clarke. Who could forget this guy? Well, clearly everybody. Another one of those BBC Radiophonic workshop guys who pioneered electronic music in the sixties and ended up doing soundtracking for the Dr. Who series. See last week's entry about Delia Derbyshire. This song uses water drops to lay down a beat...much like the song 'Waterworld' featuring Encore from the first Handsome Boy Modeling School record. Know your history, people. It will always repeat itself.
8. Brian Eno - Driving Me Backwards
From 'Here Come the Warm Jets.' A lot of academics trace the best traits of Western political thought to the Magna Carta. I trace the best traits of supremely cool music of the late twentieth century to this album. Thomas Jefferson got a lot of ideas from this as well. Like the idea of a dumbwaiter just for wine (visit Monticello if you don't believe me), and liberal democracy.
9. Serge Gainsbourg - Docteur Jekyll Et Monsieur Hyde
Serge Gainsbourg was about 4 ft. tall but he bedded Brigitte Bardot. So, that story pretty much cements his ability as a pop icon, because he was obviously overcoming a lot of barriers.
10. Spacemen 3 - Ecstacy Symphony
Never heard this song before...I think another one of their songs made an earlier list. Both were boring. I need to so some spring cleaning on the old iPod.