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Friday Morning Rock & Roll Idol: Girl In A Coma

girlinacoma_thumbArt, in its multitudinous forms, rewards our attention every once in a while, and all too rarely, with small beautiful moments where thrill meets surprise–I find them most regularly in poems, but also in poems, paintings, and even in pop songs and punk rock.  Such was the case with the little Texas band Girl In A Coma, who I discovered looking for a particular old David Bowie song.  nina2Watching–listening to–their cover of  “As The World Falls Down,” my immediate thought was “these kids get it,” which is something, since most of them don’t.  Of note is the look of joy/bliss on the badass drummer–she doesn’t just get it, she feels it.  Nice.  In a just world, Phanie, Nina, and Jenn would be household names and none of us would have ever heard of all the insipid, generic auto-tune wonders out there. 

 

 

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Shameless Filet O’Fish/ Life Aquatic Rip-Off

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Has everyone seen the new-ish Filet O’Fish Commercial that rips off one of my all-time favorite movies, Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve maxresdefaultZissou?  Bad enough that this wonderfully quirky, subtle piece of off-beat cinematic brilliance is being draped in ugly commercialism, the Golden Arch-Villains employ a snotty, superior, hipsterish ironic tone to the commercial–this is a mockery, not a tribute, and clearly they’re expecting their audience to laugh at it, not with it.  Who would have thought a big, hungry corporation (bigger and hungrier than a Leopard Shark!) wouldn’t get the joke.

I include a link to the commercial with one important caveat: YOU MUST NOT ALLOW IT TO SEDUCE YOU INTO BUYING ONE OF THESE (allegedly) SEA-BORN GREASE PATTIES.

Of course, there’s a certain degree of humor to be had from the idea the hipster sensibilities–that whole “look for something unique in order to bathe myself in that uniqueness just long enough that I can abandon it and say, well, I remember when that was authentic, long before they sold out”–being co-opted (not co-op, Pointdexter) to market these deep fried atrocities.  There ain’t nothing authentic about Filet O’Fish, which is pretty much catfood on a mushy bun.

If you haven’t seen this great film, rent it yesterday–the soundtrack of David Bowie songs is worth the rental price alone, but the real treat is the fantastic cast, including Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Kate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum.

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My Favorite Christmas Recordings #7 The Edge of Christmas

Bitter, cynical, and borderline misanthropic for most of the year, I reform for the holiday season and from mid-November to the last minute of Epiphany I’m all about the season.  Readers of Old Road Apples will find themselves under a constant barrage of holiday fare this season–from themed essays to book reviews to a countdown of my very favorite Christmas recordings.

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This one is getting harder to find–it’s out of print and less people are seeming willing to let go of theirs, so your work is cut out for you.

I bought this for one song: the super-classic Waitresses holiday hit “Christmas Wrapping.”  I loved the Waitresses, their brilliantly hilarious lyrics, and “who the fuck cares” approach to rock and roll stardom.  They were a rock and roll band with a punk rock soul beneath their new wave spirit.  No song encapsulates their essence better than Christmas Wrapping: cynical, smart-assed, irreverent, and in the end just a little soulful.  The way Patty Donahue rips through this breezy, ultimately joyous tale of seasonal dysfunction…ah, what a band.  It broke my heart to learn of her death of lung cancer at the tender age of 40.

Early death haunts another of the super-classic Christmas anthems on this anthology.  Kirsty MacColl joined The Pogues to record my family’s favorite Christmas song, the achingly bittersweet Fairytale of New York,

a tale of immigrants’ love and aspirations gone sadly, bitterly wrong, that so perfectly captures the wistful/joyful dichotomy of the season.  Only adding to the mood is the knowledge that MacColl died on a Christmas vacation in Mexico, at the age of 41 and at the height of her career, struck down by a Mexican tycoon’s  recklessly piloted speedboat while swimming in a marine sanctuary–her killer using his power and influence to escape justice.

This album is worth the price for these songs alone, but they’re just the beginning. The third classic here in the now-iconic duet “Peace On Earth” by David Bowie and Bing Crosby.

Other high points come from Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers The Pretenders and The Ramones, as well as one of the more under-appreciated bands of my college years, The Smithereens.    Get this one before you can’t.

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