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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Dramarama, Cream, Jay-Z + More!
Ah, yes, summer -- are you coming, leaving, hanging around or what? Why is it still cold at the end of May? (Yes, we know, global climate change.) Despite it all, we think this week's Heavy Rotation is especially hot; find it on the top right corner of our homepage.
Dramarama, "Anything, Anything"
I feel like I've been waiting forever for an excuse to put this one in the nogoodforme.com jukebox, and here it is: The other night I had my first Rodney Bingenheimer sighting, apart from the time I saw him do a Q & A after a special screening of Mayor of the Sunset Strip. It was at Canter's, of course, where I ate matzo ball soup and the most heaven-sent piece of chocolate rugelach and tried not to gaze adoringly at Rodney as he sat in his special booth in the corner. Anyway, Rodney loves Dramarama, and Rodney's basically the reason I love Dramarama too. Also, "Anything, Anything" is the most romantic song ever written; it makes my heart grow three sizes every time. (Liz)
The Kills, "Cheap and Cheerful"
Like so many things in life, I had such conflicting feelings about the Kills. Of course, a band inspired by equal parts Polly Harvey and Royal Trux could be nothing but somewhat awesome, but half the time I've wondered if they weren't digging themselves into kind of a schtick. It's taken their latest record, the fast-and-loose Midnight Boom, for me to come back around. The whole album is kind of a party rave-up for the narcotically-inclined, and some songs -- like this one -- actually kick up some dust with some serious dancing shoes. I really like to bop around to this one. I mean, really -- bopping around to a song by the Kills? Did hell freeze over or something? Who would've thought? (Kat)
The Fifth Dimension, "Sunshine of Your Love"
This week's Heavy Rotation is my little tribute to Cream, the band from the sixties I care least about. The only Cream songs I ever listen to are "Scrapyard," this 5D cover (5D is a new nickname I just made up for the Fifth Dimension; tell everybody!!!), and occasionally "Badge," but only because it's Beatles-affiliated. Summer songs are the best songs. Who wants to listen to a winter song; they're really depressing. In particular, I'm thinking of "River" by Joni Mitchell, which makes me want to cry just remembering that it exists. Anyway, this is the third-sweatiest song of all time, after Martha & the Vandellas' "Heat Wave," and "Dancing in the Street," also by Martha & the Vans, oddly enough (Martha sure loves the summertime!). I wish I was DJing this song to a room full of Leos on August 5th. I wish it was a hundred and ten degrees out and I was wearing almost no clothes but still dripping sweat. I love days when you are absolutely disgusting from sweating so hard, but so is everybody else in the world, and it all balances out. Reeky perspiration is the great unifier. I wish I was drunk. (Laura)
Cream, "Doing that Scrapyard Thing"
The downside of constantly speaking in hyperbole is that you end up accidentally lying a lot. For instance, I have claimed about seventeen billion times (literally!!!!) on this blog that a given pop song is the "theme song to my life," but I was fibbing all along, because this song is actually the theme song to my life. For one thing, the word "scrapyard" is in the title. For another couple things, this song is both jaunty and asinine, just like me. The best thing about this song is that it proves what a totally irrelevant and mind-blowingly anti-innovative band cruddy Cream were: it's from nineteen sixty-frickin'-nine! The rest of the pop music landscape was totally over portemanteau lyrics and bold-faced psych, already moving on into boring roots-rock Leon Russell territory, yet Cream were only just discovering the possibilities of sonic trippiness. The most embarrassing part of all is that this song actually employs the word "walrus," as if nobody could possibly remember the time two years ago when that word was used in like the most famous song ever. Oh, Cream! Your redundancy is too charming for its own damn good. (Laura)
The Young Rascals, "You Better Run"
If'n you ever become irksomely smitten with some uncooperative dude, one really hot thing would be to put this song on the bar jukebox, give him about 1.5 seconds of steely eye contact, swig your beer, then ignore him for a little while. I tried that once with "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin; it was effective but "Chain of Fools" is a little too defeatist. "You Better Run," on the other hand, is just the right amount of tough and mean. And I only recently discovered that Pat Benatar is not the song's author, though her rendition is still my favorite in all her catalogue - I have no idea why radio DJs don't spin it more often instead of "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and that annoyingly karaoked-to-death "Love is a Battlefield." Muh. (Liz)
Jay-Z, "Coming of Age"
Do I really need to explain Jay-Z? He's become such an institution that sometimes I forget: before he was an exemplary capitalist, he was a straight-up hustler whose first record, Reasonable Doubt, has a certain hungry "now or never" quality, not to mention a dark reflectiveness that bestows a kind of elegance you don't usually hear in his later works. I thought about putting "Can't Knock the Hustle" because this blog needs more Mary J. Blige, but this has always been my favorite song off Reasonable Doubt -- it kind of bridges early and later Jay-Z to my little ears. (Kat)
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