This was a hard hard challenge but it yielded fine results in the form of some magic music.
Fuck Shit Up (Wa Na Na) by Wingnut Dishwashers Union, chosen by Roobin
We took our time with this one, I had some personal stuff to tend to and Roobin was just plain old super busy. Well I for one needed that time to find this perfect song for this challenge.
When I started with the challenge I had only vague ideas of what I was looking for so I thought I’d just put “Solemn Hymn” (that would be the idiom that came to my mind anyways) into the YouTube search window to see what other people thought was sounding solemn. I learned two things, 1) apparently Solemn Hymn is a rifle in a FPS game called Destiny 2 and 2) Solemn seems to, according to YouTube playlist makers, apply to basically any religious hymn they like, whatever the actual mood of the hymn. Google did me one better. It referred me to a crosswords puzzle solver tool that had “Dies Irae” as a possible answer for the clue “Solemn Hymn”. That made sense. Dies Irae is part of the Requiem mass in catholic tradition and as such has been put to music by the who is who of classical composition throughout history and again given the subject it’s of course going to be solemn. Well, not all compositions for the Dies Irae are slow, in fact perhaps the two most famous requiems, Mozart’s and Verdi’s, have the Dies Irae kind of fast paced.
Well neither of those are going to be my picks for this challenge but I came out of this research with a wealth of good ideas for tunes to contemplate and choose from. After some busy turntablening I ended up with My Friend by Dan Deacon from last year’s Mystic Familiar. Solemn isn’t a mood typically associated with Deacon, on the contrary his music is often stressfully up-beat and joyous, perhaps even so much so as to it sometimes hinting at a darker subtone hidden under what sometimes sounds like a facade of forced happiness. However Mystic Familiar strikes a much more overtly melancholy tone even though it is mostly still celebratory and positive. It is also mostly fast paced.
On My Friend, Deacon laments a friendship that has ended in what I think might be his best lyrics to date. He seems to describe how they have drifted apart and how he misses the closeness that they used to have. Of course it wouldn’t be a Deacon tune if it wouldn’t at least open the door to the possibility of a happy ending, at least sometime in the future, as it ends on the slightly hopeful note “I’m sure there will be more times / I’m just not sure when”.
I’m a huge fan of Dan Deacon’s very eccentric catalogue. He might be the one artist that has been most successful at combining Western Art-Music with Pop-Music in recent times and as such, now in hindsight, he of course was the obvious choice for this challenge since if there is one take-away from the initial YouTube search, for many people form does indeed substitute subject and vice versa. In Deacon’s My Friend, form and subject combine to that perfect fast paced solemn tune I was looking for.
Somewhere deep inside of me, there is a buried 14-year-old boy that screams:
“I don’t believe in cops, bosses, or politicians.
Some call that anarchism.
I call it having a fucking heart that beats!”.
If only there was a punk-rock song – not too slow – that solemnly speaks of these issues. Oh wait, there is?! Fuck Shit Up (Wa Na Na) by Wingnut Dishwashers Union is exactly that kind of song!
This is the kind of tune that really gets me all fired up there pedaling frantically on my bike on the way to work and cops, bosses, and politicians. Sometimes I wish my bike led me to another world, another reality where those institutions werent thought of. Where everyone was kind and every person was fulfilled and beautiful. Then I remember that I’m an old fart and that person in front of me is walking in the bicycle lane! Move aside you rule-breaking piece of scum. “Ring ring” goes my passive-aggressive bike bell as I pass this lowlife and giving them the evil eye. In the meantime, in my headphones that solemn song is pounding, and deep, deep inside me a 14-year-old is crying the same words; “Tonight, we’re gonna fuck shit up!”.
That’s it for now, I’m off to fuck shit up. I just have to do a quick pit stop at my boss and give her a hug and then find a cop to high five, wha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaa.
… and for our next task …
…has a really slow tempo but yet manages to be upbeat.
So for next week we are doing something all but entirely different.
And this time we will see you in just 2 weeks