The Perfect Songs, Part VIII
Peter and I wrote a song last night! Here's the lyrics:
"Rock 'n' roll band / rock 'n' roll band!
We're in a rock 'n 'roll band!" (Repeat as many times as toddler deems necessary. Accompany with random percussion on drums.)
"Headbang!" (Throw head back and forth until one of you gets dizzy. Repeat.)
(C) 2007 Three-Year-Old Songs Inc.
Anyway, here are three more of the ongoing, occasionally updated list of songs that I think are pretty darned close to musical perfection in this life. (Parts one, two, three, four; five; six; seven!)
Today's focus: Songs that may not be particularly lyrically deep, but have a heck of a punch in the gut where it counts. We're in a rock 'n' roll band!
22. James Brown, "Get On Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Pt. 1." Whenever someone who's had an earthshaking effect on the landscape dies, I always regret not knowing enough about their work. My sole James Brown album is his "20 All Time Greatest Hits," which is a small sampling of a lengthy career, but it's 20 slabs of solid booty-shaking funk, and this tune has always been my favorite. It's the one I first had go through my head when I heard about his passing last week. The stop-and-start punch of the JB horns, Brown's preacher-at-the-revival exhortations, his slightly wacky helium-clown voice – it all just moves, doesn't it? If you can sit utterly still while this song play, you got no booty. "Should I take 'em to the bridge? / Take 'em to the bridge!"
And if you live on Venus and haven't heard this song, dig this live performance with the swanky French subtitles! Rest in peace, Mr. B.
23. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Black Tongue." This song is pure punk rock sex, nothing but thrusting motion and carnal lust, but damn if it doesn't make me want to hop up and down like a fool every time I hear it. From this NYC punk-pop band's awesome debut album, it's lead singer Karen O grunting and moaning her way through 2 minutes, 59 seconds of orgasmic joy (the chorus basically consists of O squealing and gasping in a ridiculously lusty fashion.) Utterly rock 'n' roll, buy which I mean no redeeming value besides the kick and pulse it creates. But dang it's fun. "Boy you're just a stupid bitch / and girl you're just a no-good dick."
24. Led Zeppelin, "When The Levee Breaks." I have a curious relationship to Led Zeppelin. I missed out on them when most dudes got into them, between the ages of 15-18, and didn't really know of them other than a vague presence on AM radio until I was in my mid-20s. Even then, I've never been a raving super-fan, but I do own and dig Led Zeppelin IV, the soundtrack to beer bashes since time immemorial. This song, a loose remake of an old blues chestnut, throbs with a primal power, anchored by John Bonham's slamming triple drumbeat and Jimmy Page's airplane-taking-off pchhowwwwww guitar licks. I listened to it as we drove over the Rocky Mountains last summer, passing through the Eisenhower Tunnel as we scaled the highest peaks, and it roared like a hurricane. Epic rock at its finest, creating something indefinable at its crashing peak. "If it keeps on raining / levee's going to break."