Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy V-Day Part 1- Salute to Mr. Wrong

Well, everyone's favorite holiday invented by the military-industrial complex to sell a few bushels of cocoa is just around the corner. No, not St. Swithin's Day, Valentine's Day! I don't have to tell anyone here that it is associated with romance, love, sex, flowers, etc. ad cupiditam. It's enough to make a person sick.

Not everyone has cause to celebrate- we're not all happily married to awesome people. I happen to be, so fuck you! In order to celebrate the unattached or unhappily attached, I have decided to bring out some great top 10 lists of songs that recognize shitty significant others.

Since- and I don't ordinarily like to make such sweeping generalizations- most rockers seem to be dudes, I thought I'd start with the gents. The next installment will be about their dark and dangerous female counterparts.


10. Sheryl Crow- "What I Can Do For You"

Get over it, okay?

Say what you want, Sheryl Crow's first two albums kicked ass. This one, off her debut, is a slinky little number that has her giving voice to a magnificent bastard who is just this side of being pretty abusive. The gender bendy aspect makes it sexy and creepy at the same, winning out over another Sheryl Crow song that might have made the list, "The Book."

9. Alice Cooper- "Only Women Bleed"

Only my mascara runs.

Many people have a conception about Alice Cooper that's based solely on his stage antics. What they don't know is that Bob Dylan considered him one of the great underrated songwriters, and Lester Bangs thought that the original Alice Cooper Band was going to be the next Rolling Stones. All their albums from "Love It To Death" on are not to be missed. On this number nine entry Alice gives a general overview of what it's like to be shackled to a complete asshole by matrimony. In some live performances, though, he changes the 'he' to 'I' and gives the song a new spin.

8. Sting- "Moon Over Bourbon Street"

"Why wasn't I cast as Lestat?"

As everyone by now should know, this song is about Lestat from "Interview With A Vampire." Wah, wah, I'm a vampire. My humanity, wah wah. Have vampire sex with your mom lately, Lestat?

7. Leonard Cohen- "I'm Your Man"

Hey, chick in red- if he puts on a mask- RUN.

Leonard Cohen is an amazing songwriter, and so many of the songs that I could have picked for this list- "Suzanne", "Chelsea Hotel #2", are pretty directly autobiographical. It's no surprise that he's capable of some serious self-examination, as the guy is an ordained Zen monastic. Instead I picked one that's more archetypal and any guy who gives you these lines is to be avoided. A friend of mine once was gushing over this song. "He's so dreamy," she said. " 'I'll wear a mask for you', what devotion."

"I think it's metaphorical," I replied. "I don't think he was talking about a leather zipperhead mask."

6. Joys Of Oil- "Bathroom Window"

I was going to scan some old band photos, but you don't want to see me in leather pants, do you?

Some may cry foul because I used to be in this band. I include it because out of all our dark and desperate protagonists this peeping tom was the most pathetic, because he truly believes that the titties he gets a glimpse of through the befogged window really connect to his heart. Ah, true love.

5. Chris Isaak- "Move Along"

Jesus, don't shoot. I like your music.

Oh, Chris, with your pompadour and sweet crooning. This song represents a highly cynical rake's regret that all hos have been fucked, to put it bluntly. Compared to the surgical tactical nuke of "Wicked Game," this is like months of carpet bombing. Pun intended. You bad bad man!

4. Luscious Jackson- "Life of Leisure"

"Hi, what'd you say your name was?" "RABABA."

Sometimes the chief offence of Mr. Wrong isn't so much that he is an abuser, stalker, or creepazoid. Maybe he's just lazy and doesn't respect the fact that not only do you work multiple jobs but also front a rockin' chick band on the Beastie Boys' label. The loser in question does seem to have made some sort of arrangement as a kept man, but it's clear from the lyrics that renegotiations are in order.

3. Guns 'n Roses- "It's So Easy"

My daughter does the same thing when she craps in her diaper.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's great novel fragment "Ethan Brand," he posits that the eponymous protagonist's great and unpardonable sin is that he fucks with people... just cuz. The jaded narrator of this kickass track from the GnR's debut album is proud of his dubious accomplishments, and his only motivation for fighting, fucking, crashing cars, and etc., are that he IS BORED. You know, personally, I have both hobbies and a television as a buffer against committing acts of violence, not to mention morals. Geez.

2. Donald Fagen- "What I Do"

"I'll take 'THINGS THAT MAKE YOU PLAY KEYTAR' for 400, Alex."

No, it's not his response to the Jeopardy answer SMOKE A LOT OF WEED, it's the title of a song off his most recent solo album. The narrator- suspiciously named 'Don'- wants to get laid, and to do so requires advice from a mentor. Who does he ask? Ray Charles' dead fucking ghost, that's who. Yes, in order to score he summoned the dead. That's necromancy, son. While it is a pretty cool song, it's treading perilously close to "Dick In A Box" territory, with the addition of black magic.

1. Johnny Cash- "Delia's Gone"


I snagged that image from another top ten list that seemed to tragically miss the mark about this song. You might think that from the description the narrator gives that Delia should be on the Ms. Wrong list- but while she may be alleged to be lowdown and trifling, his reaction, which includes binding, torture, and eventual submachine-gunning, is just plain unnecessary. The fact that he is haunted by her later in jail doesn't really make up for anything- you have a feeling that if a proton pack were available he'd give it to her again for good measure.

That's it for the dudes- coming soon, the lovely ladies!

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