Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Columbus Day? What a farce...

Columbus Day 2006

So, this week we celebrate another supposed “holiday” in America. Another Columbus Day has come & gone and what do we have to show for it? The usual crap associated with any other contrived special occasion…banks were closed, post offices were closed, too. Most kids had the day off, after they “learned” a watered-down and sugar-coated version of how this great brave glorious explorer discovered America. The malls and car dealers will hold mock sales where they supposedly slash their over-inflated prices so that you don’t actually save anything and instead are left with the false perception that you got a great deal.

So let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? What exactly did Columbus do? I’ll tell you: HE GOT LOST. We’re honoring a guy who got lost. We’re celebrating a holiday that’s all about a broke-ass Italian who got run out of Genoa for lack of financial backers, conned the Queen of Spain into pawning her own jewels to buy 3 raggedy-assed sailboats, and set off to find a shortcut to India.

After several weeks the ships are falling apart, mutiny is in the air, and Columbus is pretty close to getting fed to the crabs. However…LAND HO! He discovers land and calls the locals INDIANS. What balls. Dude, those natives aren’t Indians. We still erringly call the natives of America Indians, and that’s utter bollocks. At least the Canadians call their natives First Nation Peoples. Very few Americans ever call our own tribal nations “Native Americans”. We just call them Indians, and only think about them when we need to go to a casino & Vegas is too far away. Once proud & vibrant cultures, reduced to penny slots and blackjack. God Bless America, but I digress….

Back to Columbus: Did he actually discover anything? No. Here’s a clue—If there’s already people there, then there’s a realllly fucking good chance that you didn’t discover it. But I guess the mind-set is that unless a white European doesn’t discover it, then it never existed, right? All these “explorers” discovered was that Hey, there’s an assload of other cultures we can rape, pillage, exploit, and forcibly convert to Christianity before we kill or enslave the ones who survive our diseases & plagues.

The Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs, Sioux, Iroquois, Navajo, Cherokee, Australian Aborigines, and dozens of others…all great civilizations already in place but “discovered” by broke white Eurotrash and subsequently killed off for profit and religious zealotry. I bet your kids won’t learn THAT in class this week, will they?

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Soundtrack To My Life

The Lightning Man’s MojoSteve Soundtrack:

It’s no secret to anyone who’s known me for more than 17 seconds that music is one of my absolute true loves. I can associate so many songs with pivotal moments in my life, and for so many songs I can tell you exactly where I was & even in some cases what I was wearing when I first heard it.

Truth be told, I agonized over this list. Some of the songs came easily, the first 8 or 9. Then I started to think of more songs that were important to me. I wanted a list of 10 songs, then it became 20, 25, and then I thought 37 songs, one for each year of my life…I ended up with a list over 50 songs long.

So, here’s a list of my defining tunes; a soundtrack to my life, per se, if you will.

1.Enjoy The Silence- Depeche Mode
It’s an obvious choice. My most favorite song ever. I never get sick of it. It’s the one song in the known universe that my friends can hear & instantly think of me. If ever I had a signature song, this is it. It brings back so many great memories, in addition to being a great track.

And the rest of the songs are in no particular order. Not all the songs will receive lengthy comments.

2. Just Like Heaven—The Cure
How can people say the Cure’s music is always doom & gloom? Not hardly. This song has a timeless beauty to it, and always makes me smile.
3. Dreamlike State---Erasure
Simple, beautiful, and yet layered in a complex cascade of yumminess. Erasure is one of the best synth-pop acts ever, and have been so overlooked that it's nigh-on criminal.
4. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out---The Smiths
Sure, you don’t think of Morrissey as a romantic guy, but the song is so plaintive.It yanks at your heart-strings.
5. Vanishing Point---New Order
Awesome beats & complex layers of tracks, but the chorus is the killer. “I’ve seen what a man can do; I’ve seen all the hate of a woman too.”
6. One—U2
It’s achingly beautiful and emotional. Probably the best U2 track ever.
7. Red Letter Day---Pet Shop Boys
It was hard to think of just one PSB track, but this is bouncy and happy yet carries a great message of love & hope.
8. Fall On Me---REM
One of my first REM songs. Along with South Central Rain, this song got me into REM. There was this douchebag in high school who said REM was *his* band and that I wasn’t cool enough to listen to them because I liked Depeche Mode. What a fucking tool. Last I heard he was getting beat up by the U-Maine rugby team on a regular basis.
9. The Scientist/Fix You---Coldplay
Okay, so it’s really two songs from 2 different cd’s. But these songs are so sad and mournful and brilliantly gorgeous. Listening to them back to back, if you have a dry eye by the end, you’re a cold, cold creature.
10. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?---Soft Cell
Hell, how can anyone not dig this song? It was one of the first synthpop songs, and it was critical in forging my love of synth music. Catchy keyboard riffs and it guarantees to get you dancing. Get me some eyeliner!
11. Wishing (If I Had a Photograph Of You)---A Flock of Seagulls
The Flock were never appreciated in their time. They also helped get me into the alternative music scene.
12. Only You---Yazoo
This was supposed to be a Depeche Mode song but it turned out even better with Alison Moyet’s vocals. Another great synthpop song of love lost.
13. Forever Young---Alphaville
Whether the original ballad or the club version, this song is just incredible. It was the only reason I thought Napoleon Dynamite was worth watching.
14. I Melt With You---Modern English
Granted, this song is overplayed now. I hear it every day it seems., thanks to those wretched 80’s Lunches on every top 40 station. Back in 1983, only the coolest of cool people knew the song and had the album it came from, in addition to the soundtrack to Valley Girl, which made the song famous. The song itself was my measuring point for what a cool date was…if the date was so awesome it made me think of this song, it was a memorable date.
15. Love My Way/The Ghost In You---Psychedelic Furs
Again, you have to play them together to fully appreciate the magic of these songs. Forget "Pretty In Pink"; these are the true great Furs’ songs.
16. Cuts You Up---Peter Murphy
You have to listen to this at 3AM, driving under a full moon, letting the violin and Peter’s rich voice meld together to suck you under…
17. The Killing Moon---Echo & The Bunnymen
Also a good one to listen to at night, but preferably with the lights out, laying on the bed, staring at glow-in-the-dark stars. It also will suck you under. Play this and Cuts You Up back to back....wow.
18. Let Me Go!---Heaven 17
One of the quintessential dance tracks of my time in Germany.
19. Bittersweet---Big Head Todd & The Monsters
A great song about being miserable in a relationship and neither of you know quite what to do to fix it. "We work our way around each other..."
20. Never Tear Us Apart---INXS
Achingly beautiful. The last song to make the saxophone cool.
21. Possession---Sarah McLachlan
Almost sinister, yet mesmerizing.
22. Love Will Tear Us Apart---Joy Division
So what if it’s on every essential list of the 80’s? It’s there for a reason.
23. 88 Lines About 44 Women---The Nails
The dude is singing praises about 44 women he’s screwed. Everyone who was worth hanging out with in the 80’s knew this song by heart. It was the coolest in-joke ever.
24. Troy---Sinead O’Connor
Long before she conquered the universe with Nothing Compares 2 U, the girl with the most powerful voice in Ireland was blowing me away.
25. Under The Milky Way---The Church
Another song to listen to in the darkest hours. Any song with bagpipes has to be good, don’tcha think?
26. If I Had $1,000,000.00---Barenaked Ladies
My first BNL song. Absolute genius at its wittiest. Dijon Ketchup!
27. Adam’s Song---Blink 182
It reminds me of a friend who died.
28. Any Little Town---The Push Stars
Hard to believe I discovered this awesome song on the store Muzak in an Eddie Bauer at the mall.
29. Hum---The Shiela Divine
TSD is what Nirvana could have been if they’d had talent & wrote decent songs and Cobain could sing. Along with the Push Stars, some of the best unknown talent in Boston.
30. Headhunter---Front242
One of the greatest electronic body music songs ever. Period. This is what techno should have been if the kids on X hadn’t taken over.
31. Lightning Man---Nitzer Ebb
The song that spawned my alter ego. Baby! Come to Daddy!
32. October Love Song---Chris & Cosey
Part spoken word, part lullaby, completely gorgeous.
33. Du Hast---Rammstein
I first heard this song sitting in my car in a Boston suburb, and I was totally hooked. Of course, I actually knew what the words were too, which helped. The perfect song to play when stuck in traffic.
34. Modigliani (Lost In Your Eyes)---Book Of Love
One of the most under-rated synthpop acts ever. Another song you can’t get enough of.
35. Books on the Bonfire---The Bolshoi
An incredibly powerful song that brings the novel Fahrenheit 451 to life.
36. This Is The Day---The The
I love the opening lines: Well... you didn't wake up this morning,'cause you didn't go to bed. You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red……
37. Solsbury Hill---Peter Gabriel
A timeless classic. It always reminds me of a time when I felt I didn’t quite fit in anywhere, and in my head I was like, so what?
38. Holiday In Cambodia---Dead Kennedys
The song that gave me an outlet for teen angst & anger, and I wore the t-shirt at graduation under my cap & gown.
39. Mad World---Tears For Fears
Forget Shout. Forget Everybody Wants To Rule The World. This was their best song, long before they got huge.
40. Rock The Bells---LL Cool J
One of the greatest hip hop songs ever. I was 16, and here was this kid, also 16, tossing these unbelievable rhymes. And it made me think, if he can do it at 16, hell, I can do anything too.
41. Moments In Love---Art Of Noise
This song is epic. A trip across the mindscape in an ocean of bliss.
42. The Band Played Walzting Matilda---The Pogues
Me and my inner circle in Germany, walking across the base on a Friday night, a bit intoxicated, all of us singing this song together. And then we run into the base chaplain, walking with the Archbishop of San Fransisco. And all we could think of was , wow, that’s a HUGE cross that dude’s wearing.
43. Love Is a Stranger---Eurythmics
While everyone else was over-playing Sweet Dreams, I was listening to a much cooler song.
44. Why?/Small Town Boy---Bronski Beat
A screaming falsetto layered over great synths. Maybe it’s an acquired taste?
45. Head Like A Hole---Nine Inch Nails
This song single-handedly kept me sane when I was sent to Fort Riley in 1990. I’m proud to say I was into NIN before it was cool & trendy.
46. Here’s Where The Story Ends---The Sundays
A gorgeous little gem by a band that should have gotten a lot bigger.
47. Paul Revere---The Beastie Boys
I was 17 and impressionable. And the Beasties ruined me.
48. This Corrosion/Lucretia My Reflection---Sisters of Mercy
Sweeping epic Goth operatic opus that makes me yearn for a leather jacket and black boots
49. Sandstorm---Darude
Perhaps the most absolute perfect techno dance club track to drive a hunnert miles an hour to.
50. Love is a Shield---Camouflage
Great dance-pop from Germany. They deserved to get bigger, but people thought they sounded too much like Depeche Mode I guess.