“Undone – The Sweater Song” – Weezer

There are many interpretations of what the lyrics of this song mean … some of them thoughtful, others not so much.  I’m not sure what’s going on in this song, from the barely heard Robert Altman-esque dialogue in the background, to the lyrics which sound like someone having a mental breakdown, but I’m mainly focusing on the wall of noise that surges louder and louder as the song progresses to have the entire thing crash down into a million pieces at the end.  This was the first Weezer song I remember hearing and when I found out Ric Ocasek from the Cars produced this, I thought “Of course.”   Mainly because I thought Weezer (circa 1994) sounded like a more radio-friendly version of the Pixies in much the same way the Cars were a more radio-friendly (at least in America) version of Roxy Music. This is not meant a slam to either Weezer or the Pixies (or the Cars or Roxy Music), because that first Weezer album (the self-title “blue” album) takes everything that’s great about the Pixies and adds more hooks. It’s a classic pop album and it’s the one I most frequently return to, even though I love a lot of Weezer’s later albums. “Undone” is my favorite song off the “blue” album.

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“White Cops on Dope” – N.W.H. with Ric Ocasek

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OK … this will likely only be interesting if you’re an EXTREMELY die hard music, comedy, and film geek. But this is a by-product of the rap “This is Spinal Tap” film “Fear of a Black Hat” from 1994. Director Rusty Cundieff decided to parody the collaboration between rappers and rockers (aka Run DMC/Aerosmith doing “Walk That Way”) by doing a version of the Tubes’ “White Punks on Dope” as “White Cops on Dope” … collaborating with the Cars’ Ric Ocasek. This did not make the final film, but managed to wind up as a special feature on the DVD.

Seriously, this is music / film / comedy geekiness on such an extreme level that only a very select few will appreciate this. If you don’t want to join the party, I understand. But if you can appreciate this on any one of these levels, I’ll not only buy you a drink but indulge you in more “bonus” material than you’d ever hope to enjoy in a lifetime. Embrace your inner music / film / comedy geek my little babies and drink the Kool-Aid!!!!

“Someone I Care About” – The Modern Lovers

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Jonathan Richman and his band the Modern Lovers were a real anomaly in the early 1970s. Like many singer-songwriters of the era, Richman wrote very sensitive lyrics that wore his heart on his sleeve. But those lyrics were backed with some uncommonly abrasive music for the period (supplied by future Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison and future Cars member David Robinson). In addition, Richman’s songs decried drugs and promiscuity at a time when no one had even thought of the term “straight edge,” let alone thought it was cool. When you add his unfashionably short hair and nasally vocals into the mix, he seemed like the guy who was begging for noogies and wedgies.

But despite his “uncool for the time” demeanor, Richman was as ballsy as Iggy Pop and Lou Reed (two artists Richman admired) and like Pop and Reed, seemed to invite abuse by his mere presence. “Someone I Care About” is Richman’s declaration about wanting a girl that he cares about, or he wants nothing at all. A marked contrast to many bands of the era promising to give women every inch of their love or wanting their women hot, sweet, and sticky. Richman may not be cool in the classic rock sense, but the perspective is refreshing and a lot more sane.  Produced by John Cale of the Velvet Underground.