What I Believe

This shuffler exercise, as with lots of stuff on this website, is another underhanded, backdoor attempt to prove who has the most diverse musical taste, the widest appreciation of music, etc.

“Look at me, I like country and reggae and punk and jazz.”

“No, look at me, I like folk and ska and rockabilly and punk and migrant workers playing wooden flutes.”

“No, look at me. . .blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.”

Well, good for you. You win the friggin’ Dave Marsh Award.

I’m going to lose these contests every single time. And you know why? Let me use a drug analogy. I don’t know a lot about drugs personally, but I read a lot. Let me give you Handsome Dick Manitoba’s number one from “Richard Manitoba’s 9 Best Drugs Ever (In Descending Order), from “The Official Book Of Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll Lists,” first paragraph only:

1. Heroin

“Best drug ever. No matter what drug they invent, what I might have missed – because there are a plethora of new intoxicants all the time – I went out with a World Championship ring on my finger. I went out winning the World Series and I retired in 1983. Heroin was the granddaddy of them all.”

I’m not quite as old as most of the authors of this site, but I’m plenty old. And I’ve dabbled in all those genres at one time or another. But I think I’ve found the heroin of rock ‘n’ roll.

So, I’ll continue to dabble occasionally, but I know what I really need. And there’s plenty of variety within the “heroin” genre. (This will surely surprise the hell out of all of you, but I think if the only music I had left was the fairly big Hellacopters catalogue, I could get by.)

Kick Out The Jams.

14 thoughts on “What I Believe

  1. I will BUY you a copy of LAMF. Actually I will mail you a CD tomorrow. There are no liner notes anyway so you’ll have to get your treasured experience from the music. Try it in the car.

    “Migrant workers playing wooden flutes” belongs in a song. Call it “You Wanted A Misfit.”

  2. Please Gene, don’t send me a homemade CD with magic marker on it. I just can’t listen to them. I plan to order it from Amazon before the week’s over. There’s also another band I’m interested in called Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats. One of their albums seems to send people over the edge and the one song I’ve been listening to is damn good, in a very Sabbath way. (Hey, why don’t I just include it at the end of this post?) One problem with LAMF is there doesn’t seem to be a simple CD to buy anymore. Everything available is a complicated, semi-expensive package. Do you have a suggestion? If not, I’ll order some form of LAMF by the end of the week. Promise. Here’s that song:


  3. Just as heroin forces one to be patient (Waiting for the man), rock ‘n’ roll appears to make at least some acolytes a little paranoid.

    I will admit totally to liking the 15 Shuffle Songs idea, found on Facebook a couple of years ago, because it is a funny, somewhat random distillation of one’s tastes. But I really didn’t see this as me pimping my tastes over anyone elses, or championing broad tastes over narrow ones. I thought it was what it was and might be of interest.

    But Steve hits on something that does interest me, and which I consciously tried to incorporate in my Essentials list. That’s the idea that rock ‘n’ roll can take many forms. Marketers call these forms genres, and give them labels like hardcore, ska, grime, fuzzgrind, purgarock and the like, but I really like to ignore that stuff as much as I can.

    For me, rock ‘n’ roll is an attitude, a stance, that defies genre. It has a beat, for sure, but it isn’t limited to guys banging on their guitars and drums. My broad agenda is to try to convince Steve that Joni rocks just as hard (or harder) than any guy named Handsome Dick.

  4. Two things:

    1) Whenever my 16-year-old daughter and I wish each other good luck it’s always in that voice.
    2) In the movie, Liam’s daughter’s friend is also “Taken.” It has always amused me that Liam mentions nothing about the friend in this phone call. In other words, if the abductor had agreed to release Liam’s daughter at this point in the film, I guess the friend just would’ve been SOL.

  5. I dunno Steve. I understand what you are saying. And, as I have said many times, maybe the issue is defining those genres that Peter notes.

    And, well, Jethro Tull won a fucking Grammy as a heavy metal band (which just adds to how bogus the Grammys are) showing that even folks in the industry don’t have a clue how to differentiate between Joni Mitchell and Queens of the Stoneage.

    Anyway, I try to ignore the same genre crap that Peter does.

    And, though I loved Rock and Roll from the moment I first heard it, my parents–upper class European holocaust refugees–dragged me to the symphony starting when I was five.

    As a result, I love classical music (Ralph Vaughn Williams “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” is as beautiful as the second movement of Beethoven’s 7th just as the “Montagues and the Capulets” excerpt from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” ballet just sends me) as much as Joni Mitchell, the Who or the Replacements.

    It is pretty clear that my 15 shuffle tunes are heavily Brit Pop influenced–and, it is my favorite “genre” if you will–not that classical, or jazz (does Frisell count as jazz?) and blue grass and a bunch of other shit don’t hit my shuffle fan.

    You can say I am being snotty, or want to be esoteric or whatever, but the bottom line is my shuffle is my own private juke box. If I put it on and I don’t like it, it gets purged.

    But, part of the joy for me is Prokofiev, followed by Mitchell, followed by Alice Cooper, followed by Billie Holliday, followed by Split Lip Rayfield, followed by Dylan. That totally jazzes me because it is all good shit to me.

    I think the apocryphal story–which I may have noted here before–is someone asked Duke Ellington how you know if music is good. “If it is good to you,” he replied, “it is good.”

    To counter, I get what you like. In fact I buy a lot of it as I respect your knowledge and love. And, I love that you try to embrace that Sex Pistol rock and roll burn and flame out path.

    But, maybe there is a lot of really good shit outside of your sand box that you might actually like if you gave it a chance. Stuff that is as soulful and even musically challenging as anything. Cos the bottom line is it is all about attitude. And most great artists have it, one way or another.

    As to whether it is rock and roll or not, I guess that is an article for another day.

  6. Lol. What is the bottom line?

    Napoleon the XIV is ok, but Billy Joel not? Royal Guardsmen? Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler?

    Not that I am lobbying for Joel. But, is he the next generation of Neil Diamond?

  7. I agree so much with Peter. Dylan is the perfect example. Who has ever been more punk and rock and roll in attitude than him? So then everything he does is rock and roll. Joni Mitchell, too. She said, “Fuck You,” I don’t know how many times to commercial interests in favor of her vision of her art. And it was always honest and raw and so real.

  8. There’s plenty of rebellious music that’s not rock ‘n’ roll. I’ll use the old porn adage and say, “I can’t define rock ‘n’ roll, but I know it when I see it.” I don’t see it when I watch Joni Mitchell.

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