Friday, September 2, 2011


EXPLAIN THIS CHALLENGE TO ME: Declare your love for an uncool band

What do you mean… does my enjoyment of this particular band amuse you? Is my adoration of their music someone worthy of your scorn and taunts?? No, explain to me exactly what you mean by an ‘uncool band’?

There are some bands who were on the vanguard of a movement within music and were seen as ‘uncool’, like The B52’s and Devo. I remember wearing one of their then-ultra flimsy yellow jumpsuits TO junior high-high school a few times. And while I have had a few people recognize ‘Party Out Of Bounds’, I have yet to run into anyone who knows that the ‘bee-five-two’s’ way cool take on the standard ‘Girl From Ipanema’ by sending her to Greenland. With the kind of revisionism that your average Tea Bagger makes when asked about US history, mentioning that either of these two bands as ‘uncool’ is not far from committing a heresy.

Which brings me to this paradox about naming an ‘uncool band’ thusly because I am not the only person who bought their music and their recordings weren’t made available just for me! Either it was anticipated that more than one prepster cat was going to buy the music or they were hopeful that more than family and friends would!! Along with the talent to make music that moved me as well as others, I am too busy being envious of their talent and wished that I had learned to play a guitar or work a keyboard instrument.

Also thanks to once-nerds making in-roads into all levels of the entertainment industry, you have folks who either are ‘into’ a non-mainstream style of music or have the access to such a large body of info-taiment that they mine for cool songs that in an earlier era would have been left to the fringes but now find their way unto the soundtracks of movies and television shows.


Reading some of the top comments left on this song I smiled a thin, melancholy smile. Kids who were around the age I was when I discovered the aforementioned groups are still complaining at the lack of appreciation for the kind of music that is categorized as the stuff social misfits and weirdos listen to. Makes me a little sad because it means that the high school that I went to then is the same high school I would be going to now, and it means I would prolly have to put up with the same bullsh*t in the alternate future that I do with my contemporaries… c’est la vie..!

Now getting back to the challenge… I have a couple of the Mad Capsule Markets cd’s but right now this song is stuck on ‘repeat’ whenever I click the button for their music in my mental jukebox. The anarchy of ‘Restart’ is echoing inside of my soul and has been for at least a year now. If I had a stereo system and all my music here with me I can imagine myself putting this in-between a Raheem DeVaughan and some Godspeed You Black Emperor, giving a mixtape a little ‘crunch’ to its texture.


Another song that I think conveys what I call the ‘focused confusion’ that I am currently experiencing is the Dead Milkmen’s ‘Sri Lanka Sex Hotel’. I like all of the Milkmen’s stuff. I think that the way the songs are written, smart but not so smart that the average bloke (or blokette if you are one) should not get some of the joke. For instance, when I would go around the office saying, ‘if you love somebody better set the on fire’, I would get the funniest looks from SD, because she did not know the song but she knew what I was saying to her and the not-so-secret crush she had on me!

Anywho, the ‘Beelzebubba’ CD was prolly the most commercially successful song the Milkmen had. The video for ‘Punk Rock Girl’ got airplay on MTV so that is why I make that guess. The title song from their first album, ‘Big Lizard In My Backyard’ brings to mind Reagan-era politics and thinking that America got stupid with the rise of Sarah Palin and the Tea Bags I think is a big mistake.

Now most of their stuff is to be taken with a smile, even when it is at its most politically incorrect. Same thing goes for Ween (note, this video is an NC-17 song!!), another band of ‘smarter-than-you’ guys who use their undeniable skills as musicans to make catchy and smart music. You prolly have heard their songs in the scenes of B-movies in the late 90’s but didn’t know it!


I hope that you enjoyed at least one of the songs attached to this entry, failing that, maybe you have come to understand a little bit about ‘the man we all know and love’! Also it could be just me but I don’t think that so, but does meeting these ‘challenges’ tire anyone else out? They sound fun at first but someone gets poked and that turns into a push and before you know it, someone has gotten hurt!


Thomas Bryner said...

Cool, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And, as Huey Lewis told us many years ago, "It's hip to be square." So there's an inherent paradox.

Have Myelin? said...

I can tell you of two singers (not groups) that I thought were cool but no one else did... John Berry (Kiss me in the car) OMG that one made my toes curl and Dory Previn (Veterans Big Parade) go to youtube and listen to that one, if it doesn't make you think twice about war, I don't know what would.

Nobody knows who they are. They aren't "cool". LOL.

Tawnya said...

I totally fell in love with the B-52's my freshman year in high school and still love them to this day!On occasion I might have to explain to someone who they are.. but usually I will tell someone to go and YouTube the song, Rock Lobster or Love Shack... then they look at me as if I have lost my ever lovin mind... go figure.

Daniel said...

The B52's, yes! Loved, and I guess I still love many of their crazy songs. I once told a fried and he was like wrinkling is nose and said isn't that disco?. Maybe so.
Another even more uncool band is The Chameleons. Loooved them! I had my records totally worn out. Some of their songs are so damn brilliant it almost hurts my ears. For some weird reason they never had any major success and faded out into history. Nowadays no one has hardly even heard about them. So weird. And unfair.


V said...

lol. The B-52's video is so funny. Crazy but nice song :D Nver listened to them before. So thanks for posting.

tony said...

(dare I Say It?) ALL your Selections are VERY cool!
For Myself,Can I Nominate Pere Ubu ?

Toon said...

I think DEVO and the B52s are acceptably cool, but dressing like them to go to the Kwik-e-Mart is maybe not. My uncoolest music group fave is not a group really -- it's the kids from "Glee". I love 'em!