Listening to: Me, The afformentioned mix
Links for the mixmania! participant's blogs can be found *HERE* (as well as links for the slackers who have STILL not posted their song lists) so you can find out who mixed your gem - or harass one of the guilty if you still don't have your disk.
Subversive, sure, a mix meant to make the listener and lay their guns down in favor of love. To say, uh, seems like the real terrorists scored in London, these people are pretty much pissed because we wiped out their government without a decent plan, brought them chaos without any noticable benefits, and Bush can't enlist volunteers for his dirty little war but has done a damn good job enlisting new terrorists.
The best piece I've read recently on how this fiasco continues to slide southwards is the latest essay by James Wolcott in Vanity Fair.
Without further ado, my mix for opening minds:
The Clash - I Fought the Law
Because, sometimes, you realize the money's not worth it cuz' the powers that be are always against you.
The Hives - Hate to Say I Told Tou So
The Clash wouldn't wear suits. These guys do but that doesn't make them any less snotty.
The Doors, Peace Frog
Because that's what I am. Well, one that's been kissed by a princess. But that's not why the song is here, it's here because my fear is that Baghdad today is London a few days ago and LA or Chicago or New Haven in the near future.
By far the happiest, most positive song of the mix, a suggestion that anything is possible.
Wilco, Ashes of American Flags
As pessimistic as the previous song was optimistic. I've had the honor of counseling several soldiers who came back from a tour in Iraq and all of them see their country like this.
King Crimson, 21st Century Schizoid Man (including 'Mirrors')
Going out to the 101st Keyboarders, the doughy boys who refuse to serve and feed off the blood of others. May their pathology, left untreated, lead to a lifetime of psychic pain.
Jeff Buckley, Hallelujah
A song about love, betrayal, and absolutely perfect, especially the final stanza:
Well, maybe there's a god above
but all i've ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.
It's not a cry that you hear at night,
It's not somebody who's seen the light,
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.
A broken promise based on lies. And this administration expects the troops to excuse the betrayal because it was all a huge mistake, after all, utter bullshit. Paybacks are a bitch, though. Hold me to this a year from now.
Jamie Brockett, The Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic
If you're going to serve on a sinking ship, you might as well be high as a kite. A tale of karma, institutional stupidity, and how Jack Johnson missed the boat.
Bad Religion, Part II (The Numbers Game)
Utterly prescient in 1992, so on the mark it's scary.
The Vandals, Urban Struggle
Also prescient but in a funny kind of way. A trenchant poke at the pseudo-macho swagger of the neocon pansies and Preznit Codpiece.
Jon Wayne, I Got Texas
As above, but satire so black it feels disconcerting to laugh. It sounds like a dark echo from W's empty skull.
Country Joe & the Fish, Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag
I wondered if this tune would have the same bite it had 35 years ago. Alas, it does.
MC5, Kick Out the Jams
A piece of aggression from a truly revolutionary band. Then, as now, if we channel our aggression the right way (emphasis on "Right"), things could change for the better.
At the Drive-In, Hula-Hoop Wounds
Pain is relative, any ghost could tell you, and in retrospect, indulging in groupthink was not all it was cut out to be.
Archers of Loaf, What Did You Expect?
This has to be what any soldier over there would be asking any clap-three-times Neocon nitwit who maintains Iraq is marching inexorably towards democracy and stability. It's also what they'll be asking when they return home to discover that the same ozone-thinkers have cut their benefits and gutted their healthcare (or refused to even give healthcare to the Guard and Reservists) just so rich folks get a nifty tax break.
And You Will Know Us By the Trail of the Dead, Richter Scale Madness
"Okay this is a song about killing everybody, let's all sing along now..."
Probably the most relevant cut on the mix.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Our Time
Once upon a time, my country stood for peace, justice, and the American Way. Not everyone loved us but By God, almost everyone wanted to come here. Now our prestige is shit in the eyes of the world and we're almost universally loathed - all because of the idiot shitbag in the White House. "It's our time to be hated..."
The Minutemen, Little Man With a Gun in His Hand
A perfect description of our President: a child of privilege, daddy bought him his way out of a war, and yet, an utter failure, riding the bootstraps of others towards a legacy of shame. "...all the things he couldn't be, all the things he couldn't have."
John Prine, Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
Whenever I see a magnetic ribbon ("Magnetic ribbon? Not entirely convinced of your support, are you?!?!"), I think of this song. It takes a helluva' lot more than a phony display of patriotism to get into heaven, I think.
Off to Iraq with this... and hopefully, it's food for thought. Play it loud, folks, and don't let the worst get you down.