Tag Archives: AC/DC

It’s in the Lyrics, Man

Another rock musician of depressing, self-absorbed, snowflake melancholy lyrics has offed himself. Not to comment on the person because I don’t want to speak ill of the dead let alone one that flung a No at existence, or rejected God’s gift (interpret at your leisure). I was not a fan of their music and know nothing about them except what I have heard at work.

But I have to ask. Is this a surprise? I still remember how shocked and saddened people were when Kurt Cobain ate that shotgun. Really? Talk about a walking billboard of self destruction.

Now, if Katrina from Katrina and the Waves (I’m Walking on Sunshine – well – and don’t you feel good!) wraps a cord around her neck, then we can be surprised. A person can show in their product and general “public” persona upbeat happiness, even joy. To you. To the perceiver. And they can be one step from offing themselves at any moment.

But you don’t usually see the opposite. The person who shows utter despair and depression in product and persona but whistling Dixie and skipping down their sidewalk in private time.

Music in general and rock in particular has been in a depressing downward, angst driven spiral of suicidal death worship for about a generation now. And I think it started with grunge.

Of course depression starting in Seattle makes perfect sense if you have ever suffered their 9 to 10 month rain/drizzle/grey sky/drizzle/rain/grey/grey/rope around neck/rain season. It is enough to make Matthieu Ricard take a back flip off the Space Needle and create his own brain omelet on the sidewalk below.

Hey, I’m creating a little depression right here! Hoo Ha!

I don’t listen to any modern music especially youth music. For one I am no longer a youth and a lot of it simply doesn’t speak to me. Second I didn’t grow up at a time when youth thought like that. The depressing kids when I was growing up listened to REM or The Cure, but it was mostly a fad thing for them. A lot of them wore their despondency with the same shallowness that their mall bought goth accessories were attained.

Going further back generation-wise. My brother once called my mother on the telephone, my mother is 75, to talk about how depressed he was feeling. Her response – “Get over it.”

And that is about the crux of it right there.

But I like evidence so let’s take a look at a couple of representative lyrics here. The first is Numb by Linkin Park. This song is almost an archetype of the modern lyric. Note the focus (and the projection) on the expectations, perceived or real, of the other and the victim status of the focal person. This is pure victim music. It is almost a complete lack of self in these lyrics, the person’s existence is really just an extension of the oppressor’s domination which is achieved by the Victim’s supposed lack.

And it is depressing as shit. It is a song of failure. [In fact in looking over this band’s lyrics, I encountered the word failure at least a dozen times in different songs.]

I’m tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
I don’t know what you’re expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow

I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
By becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Can’t you see that you’re smothering me?
Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control
‘Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow
And every second I waste is more than I can take!

I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
By becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

And I know I may end up failing too
But I know you were just like me with someone disappointed in you

I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
By becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be
I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be

Now, let’s take a look at 1980’s Back in Black which not only ushered in a decade but is pretty representative for the decade that followed. Note the complete lack of victimhood here. In fact one would have to wonder if the person here possesses victims himself, so over the top is the bravado. There is no depression to be found here, this is spit out a nail and get to work. Yes, I have a preference – I choose anything to despair. This song is the winning throw in the Super Bowl, the grand slam at Fenway Park – it is a maniacal boastful resurrection and winning. [I would have put the lyrics to Walking on Sunshine to contrast but I was trying to keep the genres similar.]

Back in black
I hit the sack
I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back
Yes, I’m let loose
From the noose
That’s kept me hanging about
I’ve been looking at the sky
‘Cause it’s gettin’ me high
Forget the hearse ’cause I never die
I got nine lives
Cat’s eyes
Abusin’ every one of them and running wild

‘Cause I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
Well, I’m back in black
Yes, I’m back in black

Back in the back
Of a Cadillac
Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack
Yes, I’m in a bang
With a gang
They’ve got to catch me if they want me to hang
‘Cause I’m back on the track
And I’m beatin’ the flack
Nobody’s gonna get me on another rap
So look at me now
I’m just makin’ my play
Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way

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A Little Catch Up

Still slowly drilling away at school. Somewhere between the last time I was officially in school (98-99 for electrical engineering) and now I have grown dumber, or, more dumberer…er. Eh? I literally [edit: I hate this use of the word literally, but I already hit the send button, so it will have to stay] kicked the shit out of the material in electronics. Perhaps it is not age, perhaps it is the material.

The electronics had immediate application. This, what I am taking now, is over a year, so far, of memorization of mountains and mountains of terms. And I have seemed to have lost my knack for concentration and study.

But, enough of that.

Looking forward to this – IF  I can manage to get to it. It is a little ways away. Correction, a long way away.

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Went to The Book of Mormon last month. It was freaking hilarious. The Spooky Mormon Hell Dream song was the tops for me. When, in the middle of the song one of the Mormons tossed Satan the electric guitar and he started jamming out an 80’s style solo, I almost messed me shorts. Turn it Off (a happy Mormon song about turning off and saying no to your gay thoughts) was also worth the price of admission.

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I also got to see my favorite rock band of all time one more time (and I’m pretty sure with the singer a little over a year away from 70, it is the last time). Age means almost nothing when seeing them, they shredded us. Age meant something to me though. I got so into it I headbanged a tad which I haven’t done since the 80’s. A week later, I can still feel it in my neck and shoulders.

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It was a great time.

Song of Kali, the Dan Simmons horror book, was great. I really enjoyed it, and recommend it. Right now I am on a few different books. I had planned to start Lafferty’s Arrive at Easterwine, but saw Larry Niven’s Ringworld still sitting on my shelf. I decided I was really stretching it calling myself a science fiction fan but never reading it. I am now, its a little weird.

Being in school and working the last had really sapped my reading time. Now that I am just doing school I can get to some of that reading that has been piling up. I finally finished the first Lafferty short story collection from Centipede. Yes, the first. I still have all of the second and my copy of the third may be here even this day! I was going to read Lafferty very slow so I didn’t get to the end and have no more left, since the man has passed on. But as soon as I am done with school and back on a solid work schedule, I am going to rage through his work. The material invites many a reading.

I’m still keeping the China Mieville on the back burner. I have a feeling if I don’t meet this guy in the right mood, the relationship will be short, but it could be good so I shall wait until it pulls me to the shelf, not the other way around.

 

 


Cool Video/Song, Music Stuff, Misc, Etc – Post of Personal Opinions

Been on a music thing of late.

I have always been an avid, though picky, music lover. With the exception of non-Western (mostly, it depends), reggae, and rap/hip-hop (and 99.9999% of all current popular music) I have pretty wide tastes. From classical to opera, blues, rock, jazz, country (old country not that modern crap that is light rock sung with a southern twang) bluegrass, show tunes, (some) metal, funk, soul, R&B (the real R&B, not the modern bastardization) and probably some stuff I can’t think of right now. I can listen to Louie Armstrong and Gordon Lightfoot in the same hour and be happy for days after!

As for Gordon Lightfoot: how many times can I listen to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or If You Could Read My Mind before I get sick of it? Going on almost 40 years now, I’ll let you know.

Thing is, within each genre I probably like 5% of its output. The exception would be classical and blues. Of rock, my appreciation goes down as we approach current time to where I have taken my toys and gone home now.

Years ago there was this good bluegrass band, Hayseed Dixie, that came out with an album of AC/DC covers. I remember remarking jokingly to a friend of mine that it was a little embarrassing as a DC fan how easily their songs lent to a bluegrass interpretation. Check out their cover of You Shook Me All Night Long here for a sample. Although the singer is being almost mockingly hillbilly with the verse, the harmonies in the chorus are very good; the original song lends itself nicely to country anyway given its major chords and progression. Also you would think the lyrics to Back in Black were written by a hillbilly if you have only heard their rendition. That also has a good alternate chorus, and the ending mantra on the outro is hilarious.

Found today one of their songs, (Thunderstruck – if you’ve seen any sports over the last 20+ years, you’ve heard this song) lends itself to cello here. The cover is not recognizable till around the 1:20 mark.

I like that kind of cover. Never liked covers that sound like they are just attempting to duplicate the song. Live it’s alright, that’s expected (although there is no absolute reason to do it then either). And I detest the “metalization” of songs where they take a perfectly good song and gnash over-distorted guitars over it and scream bloody murder – ach, what ache.

Probably the best cover I have ever heard was the song, originally done by the Everly Brothers, Love Hurts, and Continue reading