Tag Archives: Guadalcanal Diary

Scenesters get old-school, or just get old

5 Jul

When Hot Damn was in high school, we didn’t have hipsters.  There were dweebs, jocks, nerds, hoods, mallrats, punks, new-wavers, skaters, pot-heads, juvies, rivet-heads, brown-nosers, homos, band-dorks, theater people, scenesters, campers, girls that took The Cure way too seriously and so on.  But, no hipsters.  They hadn’t been born yet.  I’m not exactly sure where I fit on the scale of labels and teenage coolness.  It’s not that I consider myself without definition; more likely it is that I kind of embraced bits and pieces of them all, floating in a social abyss.

One thing I was into was the “music scene” and so I knew a lot of scenesters.  I listened to low-dial college stations, hung out in record stores, made themed mixed tapes, read Maximum Rock n’ Roll and snuck into clubs to see bands.  A lot.  I don’t think I ever copped a beer; I just wanted to hear the music.  My parents thought that I saw Top Gun like every weekend; they were not so okay with me slinking around downtown at night.  Can’t imagine why.  Growing up in Atlanta, there was no shortage of music venues that looked the other way when it came to minor patronage.  The Metroplex, White Dot, 688, Royal Peacock, Dugout, Atlantan Hotel, Margaritaville, The Point, and Celebrity Club all had slack doormen and great music every weekend.  I saw a bunch of great shows at Georgia Tech, Emory and Piedmont Park, too.  Last Husker Du show?  Saw it.  Ditto for The Replacements.  Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ at a burrito shack?  REM at Piedmont Park?  The early version of The Black Crowes in a basement?  Sitting on stage with the Smithereens?  Check them all and then some.  It was good times.

A favorite band from that era, Guadalcanal Diary, had a pearl anniversary reunion show this past weekend.  (They played that cannibal song!)  Going to the show I expected to see a bunch of throwbacks and familiar faces from way back when.  Well, it turns out that aging scenesters…age.  They are virtually unrecognizable.  Their hair turns grey (if they still have it), their clothes get all practical and store-bought, and they have traded in pointy boots for a comfy pair of Merrells.  It’s also mainly old dudes, not old chicks, who turn out for reunion shows.  But if the music still rocks and the beer is cold, it’s all good.  And it was.  Except that it was hot, and we were sore from yard-work and had stuff to do the next morning.  As we were leaving a tad early, a guy looks at Big Daddy and says, “Hey, don’t I know you…from Cub Scouts?”  Cover blown.

You know, Big Daddy and I actually still go out and see our fair share of bands.  We are usually the older people toe-tapping in the middle, surrounded by young hipsters.  Aside from the skinny jeans, 1970s women’s sunglasses and ironic t-shirts, the hipsters aren’t all that different from the aging scenesters.  Well, except that the hipsters all have tattoos and piercings; the pearly scenesters have nicotine patches and wedding bands.

5 Songs about cannibalism that will eat at your soul

28 Apr

By and large, I think that most pop and rock songs are about love, playing in a band, being misunderstood or excitement over a day of the week.  Rap songs are predominantly about prosecution, pimping, money, drugs or some combination of all of the above.  Funk and soul are about dancing and making the sweet, sweet love with a foxy lady. Of course, the topics for songwriting are endless and can lean to the silly, autobiographical, serious or mundane.  Melanie Safka wrote and sang the absurd “Brand New Key” in 1971, about her roller skates.  Madonna, Ben Folds, Squeeze, XTC and any band with working biology have waxed about unplanned pregnancies.  Jimmy Buffett crooned about cheeseburgers of all things.  Tommy Tutone, Squeeze and Mike Jones all have lyrically tackled phone numbers.  However, there is one song topic that only a brave few have really dissected.  Without further ado, in no order, I give you five songs about cannibalism:

1.  “Timothy” by The Buoys:  I single-handedly tried to get this song going again during the Chilean miner crisis and excavation of 2010, but…wait for it…no one was biting.  Timothy chronicles the fate of three trapped and hungry miners.  Guess which one doesn’t make it out alive.  Of note is that Rupert Holmes was a member of The Buoys and is responsible for “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”.   He should fry for that.

2.  “I Eat Cannibals, Part 1” by Toto Coelo:  It’s a new wave dance song about liking someone so much that you just want to eat them up.  My favorite line is “Healthy recipe, What you got is good for me”.  Forget the creepy insinuation of cooking someone in a stew pot, I am pretty sure that a restraining order could have been issued for the bad melody alone.  There was a Part 2, but it never got the airplay of Part 1.  People were full after the first one.  Really, it’s a disorder at this point.  I can’t seem to help myself with the bad puns.

3.  “I am a Cannibal” by Ke$ha” – Oh, Ke$ha…you try so hard, yet fail so miserably.  Busting a rhyme about Jeffrey Dahmer in auto-tune just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  This song was meant to be edgy and controversial.  Instead it smacks of something that bored middle-school girls would write during study hall to kill time.  When will Ke$ha write a song that really bares her soul and shows who she is as an artist, and call it “I’m a Talentless A-hole”?

4.  “Michael” by Guadalcanal Diary:  While “Michael” never explicitly addresses eating or being eaten, it is most certainly about the idealistic Michael Rockefeller.  Yes THAT Rockefeller, who disappeared in New Guinea in 1961 and was never found.  Reports from local peoples were that he fell victim to headhunters.  I don’t really have a funny quip about that.  It’s too disturbing.  Also, both band and song are a bit obscure, so I couldn’t locate a clip.  However, if the notion of this song whets your appetite for more information (okay, there…I slid one in), check this out, then this and finally this from the In Search Of series, narrated by Mr. Spock Leonard Nimoy.

5.  “Maneater” by Hall and Oates:  I always knew that there was something dark lurking behind Oates’ mustache!  While the song may present as being about an unscrupulous hooker, I choose to believe that it isn’t about a woman hungry for attention and money at all.  The song wasn’t called “Dollar Grabber” and John Hall must have warned that “she’ll chew you up” no less that a gazillion times in the song.  I think it is what it says it is.  She’s got the hungry for men…she’s a man eater.

An honorable mention goes to…

Before there was South Park, Trey Parker’s first feature film was Cannibal! The MusicalIt’s based on the events surrounding the conviction of Alferd Packer, who allegedly had a few friends for lunch during an 1874 expedition through Colorado.  Set to campy tunes and horrific special effects.  Atlanta’s own Dad’s Garage Theatre has even staged a production based on this cult film.  Personally, I thought it was unwatchable.  I lasted about twenty minutes before I cursed Netflix and threw in the towel.