Posts tagged: Punk Rock

My Wallet

By , June 8, 2004

Stelladoro’s Unfortunate Tale was the inspiration for today’s entry, at least in part. The topic of losing one’s wallet has been bandied about of late, and the discussion turned to the contents of said wallets. As such, I began to wonder: If I were to lose my wallet, how much of a hassle would it really be? After a quick analysis of my wallet’s contents, it turns out the answer is “not a terribly big one.”

My wallet’s contents at the moment:

$148
ATM card for my personal bank account
ATM card for my business bank account
Driver’s License
U.C. Berkeley Student ID
AMC Moviewatcher card
Blue Shield health insurance card
Membership Card for 924 Gilman
BART ticket with a value of $1.10

The only other thing in there is Hello Kitty’s advice to me from many years ago, printed on a little card she spat at me from her perch in a machine at FAO Schwarz in New York. “Remember to keep the promises you make to others and to yourself,” admonished the cat. To this day, I always do; I’m not sure if it is because Hello Kitty tells me to do so that I do.

It turns out I do not have a hell of a lot in my wallet, and were I to lose it, my world would not crash down around me. I would have to call my bank and say “send new cards,” wait for a few hours at the DMV, and then I’d be set. I don’t carry any photographs or memorabilia around, so there would be no sentimental loss. I suppose that Gilman membership card is the one irreplaceable item, only because it is one of the older “lifetime membership” cards, and I’d be sorry to see that go. Otherwise, I think losing my wallet would not be a major inconvenience.

Today’s Question: So then, what is in YOUR wallet?

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Le Tigre – Deceptacon

By , August 16, 2003

The mid-to-late ’90s was a vibrant period for popular music. More amazing music was produced between 1993 and 1998 than in any other time, at least by my reckoning. So many subcultures, scenes, and genres that had been percolating for a decade or more erupted onto an unprepared mainstream, and for a solid six years, pop music bore the brunt, and didn’t suck. It all came crashing down with the advent of Britney Spears, harbinger of the manufactured teenybopper band craze that derailed all that was finally right with pop music, but until she arrived, there was an all-too-brief window of time when the popular and the good intersected.

Among the musical movements that came into the spotlight was the riot grrrl sound, and few bands, if any, exemplified that sound as well as Kathleen Hanna’s band Bikini Kill. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and Bikini Kill is no more. Sometimes, however, the end of one project is really just a chance to move in a new direction, and Hanna’s current band, Le Tigre, fast became a favorite of mine.

Currently Playing: Le Tigre – Deceptacon

Le Tigre’s sound is cute on the surface, but subversive underneath. Elements of punk, new wave, and even hip hop, merge into an almost unclassifiable sound. The lyrics are bouncy, catchy, at times oxymoronic, and deceptively deep.

Every day and night
Every day and night
I can see your disco disco dick is sucking my heart out of my mind
I’m outta’ time
I’m outta’ fucking time
I’m a gasoline gut with a vaseline mind, but
Wanna’ disco?
Wanna’ see me disco?
Let me hear you depoliticize my rhyme!
One! Two! Three! Four!
You got what you been asking for
You’re so policy free and you’re fantasy wheels
And everything you think
And everything you feel is
Alright, alright, alright, alright, alright!

Female empowerment, sex, and politics, are jumbled up over a beat that is half modern electro/rock hybrid and half ’80s-era new wave.

Le Tigre - Le Tigre

“Deceptacon” scores additional points for having such a catchy, upbeat tempo. It sends nearly any dance floor into a frenzy, even if the lyrics sail over the heads of the dancers.

Who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp?
Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong?
Who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp?
Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong?

As far as the unsuspecting partygoers know, it’s just fluffy nonsense, but maybe a teensy, tiny bit of the message sneaks through? One can hope.

See you later
See you later
See you later
See you later

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The Libertines – Radio America

By , May 8, 2003

Here comes another blog about a song I like. As before, you can click the song’s title in order to hear it.

Currently Playing: The Libertines – Radio America

This is but one of twelve songs on an album that came out late last year– an album I already number among my favorite records ever, as evidenced by its place on the list of my favorite albums in a recent blog.

The Libertines - Radio America

The entire record is, as the title suggests, a punk rock punch to the throat. (“Up the bracket” is slang for just that, a throat punch.) How could it not be? Mick Jones was involved in the production for goodness sake, so naturally it rocks hard. The one real exception is the song I’m listening to right now, “Radio America.”

When Up the Bracket came out, I played this song on repeat for like days on end. This drove Fizzy crazy, but I couldn’t get enough of it. I am playing it again today; on repeat, of course. It’s one of a handful of songs, albeit a large handful, that I seem to need to hear at least five times in a row lest I feel unsatisfied.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy the rest of the record. “The Boys in the Band” and “Time for Heroes” are other favorites, and if anything “Time for Heroes” is my favorite of the bunch, but “Radio America” is this great moment of calm on an otherwise frenetic record. I’m a big fan of love songs that avoid the cheesiness to which most fall prey. There’s something beautiful about subtle, veiled lyrics and recurring themes that run through an entire album. This is why I dislike modern-day R&B music so much: it’s too damned literal. One can say “I love you” without spelling it out; one can also imply a desire to sleep with the object of one’s affection without saying “I wanna’ get with you.” It takes a much more clever poet to convey said sentiments without beating the reader/ listener over the head with them. And while subtle and poet are not words one typically uses when discussing Pete Doherty, in this case I find them to be very appropriate.

Granted, Up the Bracket is so much more than an indie punk rock record. In between the drunken fights and heroin injections are the scars of class warfare and the awkward uncertainties of someone posturing as much more than he inwardly believes himself to be. And right in the midst of it all is a heartfelt song of love.

And they watched old films flicker
Across the old palace movie screen
Crying, “What a shame as she slipped in the rain
The poor dancing girl, well she won’t dance again.”

And they tell me this was a transmission
To take my love, my love to you
And only to you.

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