Decline Of My Civilization: Part 1


This is a shitty intro to this post. Here are some of my favorite songs from an era when I had pajamas with feet and slept with the hall light on.

There is something about true British names that I dig. XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel” has been one of my all time favorites for years. Between the drums on phase effect and the over simplified guitar riffs it is hard not to hum this for everyone to enjoy. I do it a lot in the office. If I ever have kids I think the first born male will be Nigel. I’d raise him completely oblivious to his English name so when asked if he is from Great Britain he will roll his eyes and say, “no idiot, I’m from Georgia.”

God I love The Buzzcocks. I bought my first Buzzcock album in ’88 when forced to decide between that and Queen; Live At Wembly. It was a good choice because this song “Every body’s Happy Nowadays” was the theme of that summer. When most kids were rocking Beastie Boys and Winger I was forming my roots as a British Punk fan for life. I finally saw The Buzzcocks in’04 and I’ll be honest, Pete Shelly didn’t age as well as others. They still ruled though.

Gang Of Four can be tough for many to take. Personally I think they are brilliant and this song “He’d Send In The Army” was featured on the documentary Decline of Western Civilization: Part 1. I can best describe Gang Of Four as if someone swallowed a hand full of Alphabits, threw them back up and then tried to read what they spelled out. I attribute Radioheads success to what Gang Of Four started.

The Jam is the most underrated band in the United States. They were pretty big in the UK but for some reason they never really impacted the States like they should have. Paul Weller is my favorite front man and if you ever read his lyrics it is pure poetry. Bruce Foxton on base, well, listen and try to argue he isn’t the greatest post punk era bassist ever. His master of the base even makes up for his mullet.

Hang the DJ D! Just kidding pal. I am a Smith’s fan all the way but sometimes there can be too much Morrissey. I listen to “Panic” and it takes me back to 1996, sitting on the steps of the Cotton Club in Atlanta between shows smoking Camels and drawing pen art on my Doc Martins. Oh, I need to pick up smoking again.

The Godfathers really broke it down with the song “Birth School Work Death”. I think if I was ever to be in a band it would be like The Godfathers. They save money to produce amazing albums by only budgeting $100 for the videos. There is no need to be flashy when the band already kicks ass. Axel Rose missed that lesson. (Ok, you are going to have to look this one up on YouTube. Apparently the guy who posted this didn’t want to share. And I think he may be in the band. Get a life, man. I already bought your albums and now I’m kissing your coin purse. Take the compliment. Double negative.)

Midnight Oil are angry Aussie’s aren’t they? Actually it’s mostly the singer, Peter Garrett who, for the longest time as a child, I mistook for Michael Berryman. And please watch the full video to see Garrett’s dance moves. He dances just like my Great Uncle Mel, except Uncle Mel wasn’t dancing. He was having a seizure at a family reunion. It took the full song of the Electric Slide before we knew he wasn’t dancing at all. (That story is slightly exaggerated. I forgot what the song was.)

See? Very similar.

It’s true. I have had and have a huge thing for Kim Deal. I would love to be sung to sleep to “Gigantic” while I have my head petted. Somehow I think Kim would probably just lick her finger, stick it in my ear and spit in my eye. A guy can dream I suppose. The Pixies are never more than a CD case away on road trips. I even have a tattered Pixie t-shirt that has been banned by many a friend. I wear it proudly as I drink beer……alone. Sad Panda.

The Misfits are mostest bestest thing that ever happened to a skinny, bifocal-ed, themed sweater wearing nerd in middle school. To others I may have been little Billy but in my heart I was Glenn. “Astro Zomies” was on repeat in my head and one fateful day a few lines slipped out and was quickly recognized by the metal loving ostracized kid of the sixth grade. Soon we were like peas and carrots and out went the themed sweaters. Being a Misfit’s fan does have it’s advantages, right Kittymao?

Well, that is part one of my decline of civilization. I hope there are a few songs you like and maybe some you have never heard. It is true that many people believe I am a music snob. I don’t believe that. Unless you ask me about Shania Twain. Then I may get angry. You wouldn’t like me if I was angry…

12 thoughts on “Decline Of My Civilization: Part 1

  1. Holy crap! XTC, Gang of Four, The Buzzcocks, The Jam, Midnight Oil AND the Pixies all rolled into one post. I think I love you. You sir, are NOT a music snob. You have impeccable taste. These are all the bands that I listened to back in high school & college. (I know, now I’m dating myself) and unfortunately, most of my music was on cassette *GASP* so now I’m left with downloading it all and spending tons of money just to listen to my old faves.

  2. Werd, Bill.
    One of my major coolness marks is if a person knows the Misfits- which was far more difficult im my HS days, and not so much anymore. I used to randomly quote lines from Misfits songs in mixed company to decide who was worth my time. Any references to them by ANYONE instantly garners cool points in my book.
    and Yes, I am Keeping Score.

    Bill : +25

  3. Holy shit, what a solid post! I know i’m commenting way late on this but I’m trying to catch up tonight on all the stuff I’ve not been reading the last few weeks. As long as you read it, that’s all that matters. Once again, you remind me that sometimes I feel like I was born 10 years too late.

    Dude, you seriously need to check out my playlist from last week’s show, especially if you didn’t happen to listen to any of it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Gang of Four and The Misfits showed up, as they do every week. I remember loving Midnight Oil as a little kid and being the only one around my school who even cared about them at all. I came into The Misfits and Gang of Four way later than I should have and kick myself to this day for everything I missed. Also, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one out there who has a crush on Kim Deal. She’s gotta be just about one of the coolest chicks to ever walk this earth, and the Pixies equal perfection to me. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re part of my generation and at the very least don’t have an appreciation of The Pixes, Iv’e got nothing to say to you. Just nothing.

    Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with being a music snob. I’m an admitted one.

Speak to me, Egor.

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