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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Neil Young, Satisfact, Bob Dylan, Count Five, Hole
I've been thinking a bit about something I wrote in my portion of our Style Icon entry on Neil Young, which is one of the truest and bestest things I ever wrote 'cause it's like a veiled love letter to a Real-Life Dude -- not to mention a useful piece of theory on love relations that I've forgotten about till recently. It's been kicking up dust in my mind because I'd forgotten about the Neil-type dude vs. Bob Dylan-type dude classification system I used in that lil' essay, but then I remembered -- and then suddenly I realized that I've been kicking it these past few years with Dylan-types. And I'm wondering: is that such a good thing? It's like Dylan-types keep flocking to me, and because they're smart and elusive and clever, I like them so much! So hot! So mysterious! They talk a good game and they're great fun, but do you ever have their hearts? And will they take good care of yours if you give it to them? These questions flutter about in my mind, darting in and out against the big questions of "How do I avoid destitution and starvation after graduation?" and "Where the hell am I going to live?" But I don't care about those things! Where are the Neiler-dudes?! Neil-dudes are so good for you and your soul. Real life has proven this true, so what the heck happened to me that all these Dylan-types keep floating around? Mortal, existential pain! So the real dilemma in my life is either 1. "How do I get more Neiler-dudes in my life?" and/or 2. "Is it possible to bring out a dude's inner Neiler, even if he is a Dylan at heart?" As I like to say: CRAZY LIFE THROWS YOU THE BIG QUESTIONS, I'M JUST TRYING TO LIVE THEM. (Kat)
Liz and LJ have their Beatles book, which I wish I could be a part of in some way, but that would involve me writing about a subject that I have no gift for. But I can write about dudes like no one's business, and that's what my own book will be about. Not a squicky, boring personal memoir thing, but "dudes as a cultural concept." Meaning it's really a secret history of masculinity, but from my own loopy, quasi-Valley "I took cultural studies in the late 90s" perspective. Because being a dude is like alternate masculinity, especially in a culture that conceptualizes Real Men as providers and protectors. Kind of like anti-Drapers, dudes admit to no responsibility nor pretend they are capable of it. They embrace both perpetual adolescence and almost-bohemian nonchalance, and they live by their own code--kind of like samurai or ninjas or Scientologists. Of course there'll be chapters about Proto-Dudes, Jeff Spicoli, cowboys, Keanu Reeves, The Big Lebowski and the like--that's so obvious, duh! But I've got a whole deconstruction of modern metrosexuality planned, beginning with the whole "spock rock" phenomenon that seemed to swoop down upon certain strata of punk subculture in the late 90s. This is where Satisfact comes in, because it was like all these dudes I knew who were into crazy post-hardcore bands and gas station attendant jackets suddenly got Vidal Sassoon-like Romulan/bowl haircuts, wore white belts with black Sta-Prest and started listening to robotcore like Satisfact. Later on, nearly all these dudes developed a strange obsession with hair product and designer jeans. Is this Dude or just self-obsession? Are these one and the same? Read the book in about a year and find out. (P.S. I might make this a documentary. I am a Master of Fine Arts in Film, I should make use of this, no?) (Kat)
While I think it's perfectly acceptable to listen to music made my dudes I wouldn't want to date, I really struggle with listening to music made by dudes I wouldn't let my friends date. If one of my friends were dating Bob Dylan, I would be upset, and I would shit-talk so-and-so's boyfriend Bobby to just about anyone I could get my hands on. But, at the end of the day, you can't really stop your friends from dating Bob Dylan if they want to date Bob Dylan- you just have to accept that so-and-so's boyfriend Bobby is a mean-spirited asshole who looks like a dead rat, and make the best out of the situation. If you love "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," you may as well just love "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," and listen to it a lot this week, and listen to it for real, take it seriously as a real great song that exists, that means (I just said the word "means" in a Bob Dylan accent) something to you.
Because, in life, sometimes you're just going to have to get high with you best friend's boyfriend Bob Dylan, and he's going to annoy the fuck out of you, and you'll just have to say, "Pontificate this, Pontius Pilate," and he'll probably fall in love with you, because he's probably a masochist. The last verse of this song is definitely some of my favourite words ever. Bob Dylan is a late-May Gemini, though it really drives me crazy when people say he's a prophet. Tell me one thing that Bob Dylan ever prophecized, besides that the times would change, which doesn't count, because it's so cripplingly obvious even a baby could guess it. Prophecize that, Mr Zimmerman. (LJ)
This song is sexy and perfect and bad. I'm not really sure if I'd let my friends date Count Five or not. (LJ)
"PCH" by COURTNEY LOVE vs. "PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY" by HOLE
Sixteen years ago, in Spin's review of Live Through This, there was this line about how the record's like if the Go-Gos' Beauty and the Beat were produced by Kim Gordon and Don Fleming, and how "it's not hard to imagine Love dancing around in that public fountain from the 'Our Lips Are Sealed' video, menstrual blood running down her leg." I thought that was gross, when I was 16. Now I think it's sorta cool and sorta dumb, but mostly it just makes me sad. 'Cause, see, the other day I bought the new Hole record, and it's got no blood at all. No blood of any kind! It's entirely bloodless. Why's it so bloodless? America's Sweetheart was a mess, but it was a big bad bloody mess, and beautiful too, sometimes. Why did the whole world write that one off right away, while Nobody's Daughter's getting kinda-okay reviews? What's wrong with all you people???
And the saddest part, for me - or the second-saddest part, I suppose - is how the new record's totally ruined this really pretty song called "PCH." Here's how it sounded, three years ago:
And here's how it sounds on Nobody's Daughter:
I hate it. I hate this whole record so much. (Liz)
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