I’m back again with the songs that i’ve had on repeat or stuck in my head recently. This can essentially be considered a soundtrack of my daily jog or my attempts to read Lord of the Rings for the first time in a decade. I’ll level with you dear readers – I’ve listened to a lot Modern Baseball this past week. Playlist.
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
“Scheming on a thing, that’s a mirage. I’m trying to tell you now, it’s sabotage”
I decided to kick things off with a bonafide classic. There’s no other band quite like Beastie Boys. A hardcore punk band that went hip-hop; the two genres shouldn’t fuse, but it just works. They’re up there with Nirvana as one of the most influential bands of the ’90s. This is a brilliant song to get pumped up to. The guitars and beat just makes you want to move! Try and sit still to this song, I dare you.
The Kids Aren’t Alright – The Offspring
“Jamie had a chance, well she really did, instead she dropped out and had a couple of kids”
Another song from a classic ’90s album. Americana was primarily defined by the cross over success of “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)”. But in many ways this song is the sleeper hit on the album: it is by far The Offspring’s most played song on Spotify, and is apparently one of the single most popular 90s songs on the entire service.
This song stands out for different reasons to “Sabotage”. It buys into the postmodern, dour outlook of Generation Y. It is a blistering attack on a society destroyed by previous generations. A lament for the lost potential of an entire youth. It is far from an apathetic song, but the society it describes certainly is.
The Greatest – Raleigh Ritchie
“We’ll be dancing forever, we don’t know any better, we’re lazy, whatever, at least we stick together”
This album is infectious and I cannot escape it. It’s become the “Always Sunny…” of albums in that I recommend it so much to every single person I know that people have begun to associate it with me.
Last week on a sunny day on Southampton Common, I was given the aux cord and I played the album in full. This song stood out as a perfect microcosm of that day as well as my mood. We were all drinking heavily, eating take-away and playing stupid games, and the next day I was going to move away – leaving the city and my friends behind. This terrified me. But I guess it’s not too bad, time can’t be stopped by that doesn’t mean I have to leave behind irresponsible days drinking in the sun. I’ll be dancing forever, and will never learn any better.
Cooke – Modern Baseball
“‘Cause God knows I’d rather die than be dying, that’s not a cliché no sir it is a logical preference, because the way things were this year”
I’ve been obsessed with Modern Baseball recently. They’ve always been on my radar, but they never broke into the quarter of bands I constantly listen to (La Dispute, The Front Bottoms, Childish Gambino, Gaslight Anthem) but I guess they’re finally cracking their way into the top spots.
This seems to be another song on this playlist about mental health. I’ve previously discussed how I like songs (and art in general to be honest) that deal with these topics genuinely. I’m not normally one for artifice in music, I prefer honesty and introspection. I’m interpreting this song about an impending episode (relapse?) into mental health episode. An almost Fear and Loathing style feeling where you know a collapse is oncoming, and perhaps imminent, due to recent events and perhaps how you should respond to it.
I don’t know, I guess for an American alternative-indie-rock song this is quite open to interpretation. I’d love to know what other people think in the comments below.
Notes – Modern Baseball
“She was my trophy shelf of slip-ups, my untamed hormonal Loch Ness shit show”
I warned you I’d listened to a lot of this band recently right? This song is about trying to reconnect with a girl that the narrator has previously fucked up, and perhaps burned bridges with. But I am appropriating the second verse for my own personal reasons.
Sometimes it’s healthy to realise that a lost or failed relationship was the fault of both parties. I found it very easy to get embroiled in the whole “she was the one!!!!” narrative recently, and it’s nice to remember that the relationship was perhaps a series of mistakes. I particularly love the use of “Loch Ness”; you could take this as a description of the love as “mythic”, or alternatively you could view it as a fraud. Nessie doesn’t exist and all sightings of her are fabricated images that mask her absence and her lack of meaning. The Loch Ness monster is a simulacra of sorts. Perhaps that’s what the relationship was too – an image, an idea that took the place of any real feeling or meaning.
So whilst this song could certainly be used to accompany an one of those lonely moods, where you sit around reflecting on failed relationship, don’t let it just be that! Let it be a song that empowers you to move on, notice the mistakes and then cut your losses.