Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Worst/Best Rock Songs About Rock Part 3

The Who, "Long Live Rock"
Long ago, someone asked me which band I hated more: Pink Floyd or The Who. I think I went with Pink Floyd at the time, but I think I have to revise that estimate. There are more Pink Floyd songs I can tolerate and even enjoy, and I can respect Roger Waters for writing songs that meant something to him. When I hear The Who, I think of a quartet of Brits lining up at an ATM and inserting songs for cash*. "My Generation?" "Baba O'Rilley?" "Pinball Wizard?" They sound to me like peals of money being yanked from teenage hands. No song is a worse offender than "Long Live Rock." When the chorus extols the virtues of standing in line for a rock show, that's not being in touch with reality. That's thanking your audience for being sheep.

*To be fair, I also thing about trampled Cincinnati fans, a cocaine overdose and child pornography.

The Minutemen, "History Lesson, Part 2"
Certainly a lot less raucous than any previous best rock song about rock, "History Lesson, Part 2" is a Minutemen tribute to punk rock, only it sounds nothing like punk. It just sounds…like The Minutemen, which is to say, great. Unlike The Who pretending to connect with their fanbase, The Minutemen reached for a personal story. When singer/guitarist D. Boon says/sings "Punk rock changed our lives," there's no reason to doubt that he was entirely sincere, and when he says "Mister Narrator, this is Bob Dylan to me," is stated so plainly that it seems like the most obvious observation put to music, and you want to cry a little and kick yourself for not coming up with it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

D. Boon (of the Minutemen) was a huge fan of the Who. Thus your indie snob mind should explode right ... now.

6:06 PM  
Blogger VoteJoe said...

This indie-rock snob also listed Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock" as one of his Best Rock Songs About Rock and, like D. Boon, loves Blue Oyster Cult. But I differ with him, and apparently you, on the matter of The Who. No insult is going to make me change my mind that they are a boring band best suited to entertaining high school dances and "Long Live Rock" is an awful song tailored to dullards and half-wits who are bombed out of their minds. To pile on, it's pro-rock stance is barely coherent and its riffs are tepid. It's the kind of song that would have disappeared if not for classic rock DJs.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D. Boon had a life and clearly had pleasures in them. You don't.

6:38 PM  
Blogger VoteJoe said...

I'm very happy with my life, and I'm sure you are as well if you're spending your time trolling blogs and insulting people that disagree with you about a subject that matters very little. In any case, thanks for the feedback, anonymous commenter!

8:45 AM  

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