Archive for the ‘Billy Idol’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: SLOAN-“Cars” (2011).

When Sloan went to the A.V. Club to record their cover, they were disappointed by the selection.  Of course, that’s the game, so suck it up Sloan.  But they decided to do Gary Numan’s “Cars.”

Now, I feel compelled  to say that Gary Numan’s “Cars” may be my least favorite song of all time (it’s very close to Billy Idol’s “Eyes without a Face”).  I understand that “Cars” was “groundbreaking” or whatever.  But gah, it is boring and monotonous and just awful (and I say that while admitting that I like Phillip Glass, so i know from monotonous).  While I will admit that the riff is pretty great, everything about the song, from the performance to its endlessness (it’s like 8 minutes long, right?) drives me nuts.

And that may be why I love this cover so much.  It keeps the riff but it adds music to it.  All of that horrible “one guy with a cheap keyboard” sound is taken away.  It’s replaced by a great full-sounding band bringing live joy to the song.  I love that the whiny keyboard is replaced by a guitar and that the drummer rocks the hell out of the ending.  I mean really rocks the hell out of it.  Well done, Sloan.  You’ve been a favorite for years, and you’ve now redeemed my most hated song.  I think Billy Idol just peaked on my list.

You can watch it here.

[READ: July 20, 2011] “The Money”

Junot Díaz’ story in the New Yorker’s Fiction Issue is also a Starting Out piece.  This story is about how his mother always sent money home to her family.  No matter how little money they had, she would always scrimp and save and stash away until she had a few hundred dollars to send every six moths or so.

From Diaz’ other work, we assume that he was not a model citizen as a youth, but even he knew not to tamper with his mother’s money.  (Stealing from her purse was one thing, but the wrath of stealing from the “to be sent money” was unfathomable).

Then one week when they go on vacation they return to see that their house has been robbed!  Some of Junot’s things were taken as well as the money.  The Money!   (more…)

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spikeBilly Idol plagues my existence.  Ever since he popped up on the scene (my first exposure was “White Wedding”) I thought he was kind of goofy. He has some kind of claim to cred and fame from being in Generation X, and yet I have never heard a song by Generation X and I never hear them mentioned anywhere except as being the band that spawned Billy Idol.

And yet, through the 80s he proliferated with a series of increasingly stupid singles: “White Wedding” (Everyone mocked the lip thing.  And that scream at the end–come on!).  Then came “Dancing with Myself” (This guy is a punk legend? And that “sweat sweat sweat sweat” chant–come on!).  Then we get “Eyes Without a Face,” (A ballad that is apparently be profound, but really?  “Eyes without a face got no human grace”–come on!).

So, basically I can’t stand Billy Idol.  Which would be fine.  I don’t have to hear him right?  I mean it’s been 27 years since these songs came out.  But no!  I was working in the garden, which means listening to the radio.  Between 101.9 WRXP (my new favorite station) and Radio 104.5 WRFF (my even newer favorite station) I heard TWO Billy Idol songs in three hours.  And this was in the midst of an otherwise awesome collection of tunes.  And then, just to add insult to injury, TiVo had recorded a VH1 morning music block, and as I was fast forwarding through it “Eyes Without a Face” came on.

Three Billy Idols in the span of a day.  Good grief.

I can only hope that by writing this, I can purge my Idol dismay and break the curse.  And I had to include a picture of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer just to take away the stigma of a Billy Idol photo on one of my posts.

[READ: March 25, 2009] “The Quarrel in the Strong-Box”

I’m surprised at how much Mark Twain has been coming up lately. This piece is a fable, (written in 1897), about two pages long, and is very Twain-ian.

The basic gist is that all of the money in a strongbox is vying for most important coin or bill. It begins with a simple argument between a nickle and a penny. The nickle argues (in a not-so-subtly racist manner) that the copper coin is second class, since the nickle is worth so much more. Then various denominations chime in, all arguing that they are more valuable.

It is taken to a court, where the penny argues that all coins are created equal. The judge determines that all of the coins get the same amount of interest (at the time 5%) regardless of their actual value. And in that regard they are all created equal. What happens after that is up to them to determine.

A good and pertinent fable, even if it is 112 years old.

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