Part 4: Hart Songs, The Revolutionary and The Sexy

Yeah, so the next part took some time to post. But I hope it’s worth the wait. I’d like to tell you I was out on adventures and that why I didn’t just post all this, but truthfully, I was just watching  lot of sports. And subsequently being very sad about sports. Still, Thunder Up, etc., Enjoy The Social Commentary and The Sexy, the final chapter of my emo blog series.

THE SOCIAL COMMENTARY

“Romeo Had Juliette,” Lou Reed

In what is a sort of love sonnet and social criticism of New York, Lou Reed’s album – aptly named “New York” – is a snapshot of a seedy side of the city, one that gets all the glamour headlines but whose dark side is ultimately more interesting and celebrated… there are several songs on this album that reflect the pre-9/11 New York, pre-Guiliani, pre-cleanup phase. It’s gorgeous… so much dirt and grime, shots and crime, all wrapped in a hairnet and spat out by one of the coolest people on the planet, Lou Reed. This song is revolutionary to me in a lot of ways because it’s a big Fuck You to The Man, but at its roots it’s  a love song… but just one that makes you want to fight.

I can’t pick out just one verse, so here they all are:

Caught between the twisted stars
the plotted lines the faulty map
that brought Columbus to New York
Betwixt between the East and West
he calls on her wearing a leather vest
the earth squeals and shudders to a halt
A diamond crucifix in his ear
is used to help ward off the fear
that he has left his soul in someone’s rented car
Inside his pants he hides a mop
to clean the mess that he has dropped
into the life of lithesome Juliette Bell
 
And Romeo wanted Juliette
and Juliette wanted Romeo
And Romeo wanted Juliette
and Juliette wanted Romeo
 
Romeo Rodriguez squares
his shoulders and curses Jesus
runs a comb through his black pony-tail
He’s thinking of his lonely room
the sink that by his bed gives off a stink
then smells her perfume in his eyes
And her voice was like a bell
 
Outside the street were steaming the crack
dealers were dreaming
of an Uzi someone had just scored
I betcha I could hit that light
with my one good arm behind my back
says little Joey Diaz
Brother give me another tote
those downtown hoods are no damn good
those Italians need a lesson to be taught
This cop who died in Harlem
you think they’d get the warnin’
I was dancing when his brains run out on the street
 
And Romeo had Juliette
and Juliette had her Romeo
And Romeo had Juliette
and Juliette had her Romeo
 
I’ll take Manhattan in a garbage bag
with Latin written on it that says
“it’s hard to give a shit these days”
Manhattan’s sinking like a rock
into the filthy Hudson what a shock
they wrote a book about it
they said it was like ancient Rome
 
The perfume burned his eyes
holding tightly to her thighs
And something flickered for a minute
and then it vanished and was gone
 

Black Gold,” Soul Asylum

This is not one of Soul Asylum’s hits, though they did have a video for it. And believe it or not, SA had a lot of good song before that horrible “Runaway Train” song that played relentlessly throughout most of the early 90s. For Pete’s sake – Dave Pirner is mentioned in a Liz Phair song, so you know they have to have some sort of coolness about them. “Black Gold” is a song that has a lot of meanings depending on who’s listening. Pirner said it was anti-war, Black Gold in this case meaning oil, but I take it differently. I love when a song can transcend it original meaning. The lyrics remind me of Muskogee, Oklahoma, where I grew up and experienced first-hand what racial violence can do to a town. So much hatred, so many fights and riots, so much stupid fear. I left Muskogee because of that shit.

Two boys on a playground
Tryin’ to push each other down
See the crowd gather ’round
Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowdBlack gold in a white plight
Won’t you fill up the tank, let’s go for a ride
I don’t care ’bout no wheelchair
I’ve got so much left to do with my life

Moving backwards through time
Never learn, never mind
That side’s yours, this side’s mine
Brother you ain’t my kind

You’re a black soldier, white fight
Won’t you fill up the tank, let’s go for a ride
Sure like to feel some pride
But this place just makes me feel sad inside

Mother, do you know where your kids are tonight?

Keeps the kids off the streets
Gives ’em something to do, something to eat
This spot was a playground
This flat land used to be a town

Black gold in a white plight
Won’t you fill up the tank, let’s go for a ride
Sure like to feel some pride
But this place just makes me feel sad inside

Black gold in a white plight
Won’t you fill up the tank, let’s go for a ride
I don’t care ’bout no wheelchair
I’ve got so much left to do with my life.”

 

Gets me every time – sadness for my hometown, revolutionary “We can make this world better” feelings, my civil rights gene… all activated and on high alert.

THE SEXY

To remain somewhat modest, I won’t go into a lot of detail here. These are the … ummm… loin-stirrers? Now I’m embarrassed. But you get it.

“Slow and Easy,” Whitesnake

There is not a sexier sound in the world than David Coverdale saying “To the Bone.”

“Nasty Girl,” Vanity

Before she went uber-Christian, Vanity wrote a dirty lil’ ditty that is just … good n’ sexy.

“Naughty Girl,” Beyonce

… And Beyonce, uber-sexy just singing “Happy Birthday,” countered Vanity with a modern version.

Love Interruption,” Jack White

Jack White, he of the tortured sexiness, nails it (wow) in this one. He makes the list with a lot of other songs (“Ball and a Biscuit,” “Sugar Never Tasted So Good” ) but this one is just pure sexiness. And I’m not sure why I find him so attractive. I think it’s his talent.

“All Night Thing,” Temple of the Dog

I had some impure thoughts about Chris Cornell. Then someone told me I looked like him. That kinda broke my mind.

“Say Goodbye,” Dave Matthews

Listen to the lyrics of this song. And if you haven’t lived this moment, you don’t get it. If you have, you want to call up that person and demand a repeat performance. Sheesh.

“Love Trilogy,” Red Hot Chili Peppers

I loathe new RHCP. LOATHE it. But their first three-ish albums were just great, and this little sexy gem is off “Uplift Mofo Party Plan.” The meter of the song is why it’s sexy – and the lyrics, of course – but the – ahem – climax – of the song really explain its meaning.

“The Right Thing,” Simply Red

I had no idea this song was so perverse until I read the lyrics. I’ve always loved it, but wow – it’s kinda dirty. In a good way.

OK, that’s it, until I have another day of emo or crazy emotion. Thanks for reading, and share what y0ur emotional songs are with me and why. That shit fascinates me.

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