From the "I Hate the 90s" file ---
I've already proclaimed "Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche the worst song of the decade, but "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind is definitely a contender. I heard that abomination today on our local corporate alternative station (after they played "Been Caught Stealing" for the 9,781,234,582nd time) and experienced that old familiar loathing. The song's bad enough, but the frat boy posturing of lead singer Stephan Jenkins makes "3EB" truly unbearable:
I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend
You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in
And if you do not want to see me again I would understand
I would understand
Yea, so would I Steve ... you're obnoxious as hell.
Am I losing me edge? ---
The band I once flatly dismissed remains in constant I-Pod rotation. I admit it, I was dead wrong about Belle and Sebastian. Or have I just gone all gooey inside? One consolation: none of my favorite tracks on "The Life Pursuit" ("We Are the Sleepheads," "Meat and Potatoes," "Act of the Apostle, Part 1," "Funny Little Frog" and "White Collar Boy") are among that album's most popular downloads. Admittedly pathetic that I care, but you must understand: before my musical awakening, I once saw Jimmy Buffet in concert. I've come a long way, but I'm still not there yet.
And finally, why not make another list? ---
The three best live shows attended by the Malcontent:
1. Japanese thrash metal gods Melt Banana. Not that I particularly digged their music, but they had a captivating presence. It didn't hurt that I saw them play in a cramped Chinese restaurant off Western Ave. in L.A. "Surfin' USA" never sounded better.
2. Ween, seen at a record store in Venice Beach. Despite an overpowering body odor from the 200 or so non-hygienic types wedged into every corner of the store, the brothers Ween accounted for one of my more satisfying days in L.A. Near bliss. I wasn't even a fan before; now I'm a spirited acolyte. My hygiene, however, remains beyond reproach.
3. This Ain't No Picnic. There ain't no doubt, this was my favorite day of the six years I spent in Cali. And I was working (covering the show for an online music outlet. If desperate enough, you can read the somewhat overwritten story here; I had a good excuse for that, one I hesitate to go into here). Stanley Roper's company was a definite asset, as was the strange interview I conducted with Modest Mouse lead singer Isaac Brock. Not so much an interview ... more of an observation of his interaction with an overly enthused fan wearing cycling shorts:
"I just wanna pick your brain," said a self-described fanatic from Colorado, imploring the trailer-park scion to teach him everything he knows about music.
"I can show you everything I know in about five minutes," Brock said, showing true disdain for being wanted.
Modest Mouse was pretty tight, and Yo La Tengo was appropriately mellow (we watched from the photographer's den beneath the stage). Beck played a country-tinged set, disappointing most everyone but Stanley and yours truly. But the highlight was our introduction to Beachwood Sparks on one of the venue's smaller stages. Five years on and I still haven't tired of those "Desert Skies." About as close to perfect as a day can get.