Cracking the Vault

July 24, 2010

Never read the ingredients list on a mass-produced granola bar.  It will only bring you heartache, and massive confusion.  Like finding an underground lake and peering into its icy depths, sometimes you really don’t want to know what creature lurks.  Subterranean beasties are big and they tend to have fangs.  I hate fangs.

Sometimes, though, a little bit of digging is a good thing.  You might find some awesome dinosaur bones, instead of the ravenous thing that goes “Grawk!” to which they once belonged.  That is exactly what has happened lately as I wander through the less-visited parts of my music collection.  There are songs and entire albums I had forgotten about that are now blasting happily from my stereo.  How they sat gathering dust in the first place I’m not sure, but that is the beauty of it.  Here are some of my rediscoveries:

  • New America ~ Bad Religion

I’ve always thought “The Hopeless Housewife” was a great song, but I hadn’t listened to the whole album in about a year.  Since fixing that last week I’ve probably played it four times.  “I Love My Computer” makes me laugh and cringe a little bit, which is exactly what satire should do.  “Believe It” is another one of those songs that feels like the story of my life.  This is why I love Bad Religion so much.  They always give me something to think about, even when they’re helping me not go crazy.

  • “On the Wagon” ~ Green Day

There are people who won’t listen to anything before Nimrod, and there are people who can’t be bothered beyond Kerplunk! They are wrong.  This song, which is from Green Day’s b-side album Shenanigans, is amazing.  My favorite part is the introduction, “Sometimes it gets real hard/ and I need some kind of output/ for input twice the size of my one inch mind”.  B sides are great stuff.

  • “Going to Pasalacqua” ~ Green Day

It’s just amazing, and they wrote it in high school.  Some people are born ready to kick ass and take over the world.

  • “The Long and Winding Road” ~ The Beatles

This must have been hiding right under my nose because I have no idea how else I could forget that I love it.  Those lines, “Many times I’ve been alone/ and many times I’ve cried/ anyway, you’ll never know/ the many ways I’ve tried” stop my heart every time.

  • “I am a Revenant” ~ The Distillers

The Distillers should have stuck around a lot longer than they did.  They were such a good band.  This song is as solid a case for that as any.  It’s the right kind of girl punk; raw, intelligent, unafraid.

  • “Song of My Returning” ~ Pinhead Gunpowder

The melody is perfect for the words, which isn’t easy.  I could listen to this for ages and not get tired.

  • “Straight to Hell” ~ The Clash

I love the way this song spins itself around you, telling its story.  The Clash made people sit up and take notice, and rightfully so.

  • “See the Sun” ~ Dido

The wild card.  I still have a penchant for dreamy British pop music, especially Dido.  This is the prettiest song about love and its devastating but ultimately survivable loss that I’ve ever heard.  It should be played a week or so after every funeral.

Tell me some of your favorite un-forgotten songs.


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