The concept of this section is to have a place for me to purge all the leftover songs I’ve recorded on my 4-track. Since Love Songs is now, like, a fully-staffed rock ensemble these songs aren’t really official band songs – they are just scraps I did to keep busy while the others were off plumbing for the elderly, pilfering their employers and/or growing their hair out. And honestly I don’t think Bradley would want anyone thinking he played the drums on any of these. – Craigums
1. Man Inside My Mouth
Jack was a little beside himself when he realized this song was by The Cure. See, Jack doesn’t like The Cure and would never knowingly admit to it if he did. But he unwittingly told me he liked this song and really, if just one more person likes The Cure after hearing this, the world will be a fruitier place. Pete-sa helped me make chicken noises on this song.
This is an All You Can Eat song written about Bill. Bill is simultaneously the most low-key and the most hi-jinx-prone person I know. He was The Probe’s Man of the Year one year – and for good reason! Even at the age of 33 he won’t back down from any proposed shenanigan no matter how ludicrous or dangerous or alcoholic.
3. Jumping Someone Else’s Train
The Cure wrote such totally rulin’ songs, and they had such totally rad lyrics. This one was about how everybody is a poser. What better way for me to celebrate what a poser I am than by trying to mimic their song?
4. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
Yeah, if you thought I was a ninny for doing Cure covers what does that make me for doing a Smiths cover? But c’mon, these lyrics are far from ninny: I crashed down on the crossbar/And the pain was enough to make a shy, bald Buddhist reflect/And plan a mass murder. Brilliant!
5. Three Imaginary Boys
Yeah, yeah, yeah…another Cure song, I know.
6. I Want You Back
Australian bands rarely get the accolades they deserve, unless some American band rips them off first. For example, WASP wouldn’t be squat without bands like Rose Tattoo forging the path. Similarly, Guadalcanal Diary owed a lot to the Hoodoo Gurus. And after doing this song, so do I.
I don’t know about other parts of the world but for some unknown reason the Toadies never caught on in the Bay Area. Maybe it’s because most of their songs are in 3/6 time and so it’s sometimes hard to catch their groove. Ha! Like I could possibly catch a groove...that’s rich...<sigh>
8. 10:15 Saturday Night
Okay, okay, last Cure song, I promise. For a while at least...
I did this song because I thought making Tenacious D’s acoustic original version into a full-blown electric rock song would make it that much better. Then I heard Anthrax did it too and realized I could never live up to anything Scott Ian played. Then a year later The D themselves did it ‘plugged’ on their CD, thereby rendering this version a bad 4-track high school garage band version. Probably not worth adding but sometimes it’s good and humbling to admit to your weaknesses.
10. I Come From The Water
The Toadies often sang about god and heaven, and many of their songs had a hands-in-the-air / gospel-like quality to them, but despite that they still believed in the theory of evolution. Thank gosh.
11. "Bad Fun"
For an English band that started as a modern rock ensemble (aka Southern Death Cult) their third album as The Cult ("Electric") seriously captured the essence and simplicity of PURE ROCK. It was as groundbreaking to me as "Appetite For Destruction" and anyone who knows the Rocket Queens knows how monumental that is for me.
12. Search and Destory
I know it’s a cliche punk standard but a good song is a good song. (Hopefully) Even when I do it. And as a side note, what the fuck were the Stooges thinking when they mixed Raw Power?! Wasn’t there at least one person in the studio paying attention?
I first heard this Toadies song when I lived in California and my then-girlfriend lived in Florida. The closing refrain "I will be with her tonight" helped ease me to sleep on many a lonely night. As did a handful of fantasies and socks.
14. King Contrary Man
Dude, so simple but so FULL OF ROCK. I highly recommend you go pick up The Cult’s "Electric" yesterday. If anyone wants to learn how to play any rock instrument (guitar, bass or drums) this is the album to get you started. It’s easy and predictable and it rocks super hard from start to finish. Like peanut butter cups.
15. I Want to Be a Homosexual
I hear the snide murmurs from the punk rockers about how Love Songs is "all softie crap about girls." Well fellas, here’s a little something to prove you otherwise.
16. A Word From Craigums
17. All Outta Love
Another nod to Australia’s renowned rock heritage. If this shit don’t make you fuckers mosh then I’m at a loss. Jack says this was worth missing a month for.
18. No Reason
In 1987 (when I was 14) I borrowed my friend’s 4-track and immediately recorded 3 songs: Suit and Tie Guy by DRI, Stigmata by Ministry, and this song by Minor Threat. I did it the same way I recorded the first Love Songs CD – I played all the instruments and kept bouncing tracks until the final version was convoluted and muddy to the point of being unlistenable. Fast forward 16 years (to last week) and I’m coming home from work whistling this song. I sat down and noodled around till I remembered how to play it and decided to record it. After I was all done I fished out the tape of my original version and to my great surprise and chagrin there was hardly any improvement. It was faster and that was good to note, but the fact that I have hardly improved in all that time was discouraging. Worse yet, the reality that I’m still playing the same songs was just pathetic. Welcome to my suspended adolescents…
Thanks to Mic Mucus for helping me translate one of the best songs from one of the best bands I’ve ever seen – FUN PEOPLE from Argentina. When I first saw them in 1995 their guitar player was this fellow named Lucas who later went on to form Cucsifae, another rad band. To date he still stands as one of the best guitar players I have ever seen. He plays this homemade axe that weighs close to 15 pounds and was about as easy for me to play as a harp – it was awkwardly balanced and the action was all tweaked and it was just so damned heavy. But he made it sing like so much crazy-assed angels. Fun People’s singer, Nekro, was like Chi Pig’s long lost twin (Chi Pig was the singer for SNFU – another Best Band Ever). He was a small, wiry man with huge waist-length dreadlocks and the unfettered energy of a hummingbird. He bounced around the stage like a Tiny Toon and rode an inflatable whale on the crowd while his voice – part Latino crooner, part Jake Filth – rode over the top of everything. He has since changed his name to Boom Boom Kid and fronts a band of the same name. They are great as well but there was something magical about the first time I saw Fun People that will always stand as a pivitol musical moment to me. This version of Anabelle does no justice to either Nekro’s voice or Lucas’ guitar playing so I suggest you go find the album Anesthesia and see what I’m talking about. After that get Kum Kum, it’s not as gut-wrenchingly powerful as Anesthesia but the musicianship and composition are even better. The following albums have a different guitar player and while they are still great it might take listening to the previous albums first to appreciate the band as much as I do.
Okay, you got me...I thought that by playing fast, distorted, poppy music about girls and farts and balls and stuff that nobody would notice that I liked the Descendents. Guess I was wrong so I may as well not hide it anymore...
21. Kabuki Girl
I find comfort in knowing that the Descendents came from the same SoCal hardcore scene as Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. Love Songs has played it’s share of mismatched bills but the challenge of playing those shows - and not having everyone leave while you play, or without getting beat up - is a fun one. Speaking of fun, the pit at a Descendents show is one of the best ever. The audience all knows the words, they like to dance fun-like (no windmilling or kung fu-ing), and the average height is about 6 inches less than other shows. Last time I saw them I was in da pit with Jeff Ott. How often do you see that guy jumping around like a spaz at someone else’s show?
22. From Pit to Grave
In honor of my new roommates (Ernie and Rebecca, aka Chico y Chica) I decided to do this here particular LIFES HALT song because Ernie sang the song originally and Rebecca wrote it. But I took some liberties with the lyrics because being 25 wasn’t exactly relevant to me. I don’t remember what I changed it to but I think "wearing the same ideals as 10 years ago" is now "wearing the same clothes as 15 years ago." In a sad coincidence Ernie and Rebecca just broke up again. The first time they broke up was the same week I sent them the orginal version of "Chico Y Chica," a song I wrote to celebrate their upcoming wedding. If there is a silver lining in all this it is that they still live here AND they cook constantly leaving me leftovers almost every day.
OK, true, I am from the West Coast (even born in Hollywood!) but I have no strut.I don’t smoke or drink gasoline.I have a Care Bears suitcase but it’s not made of rattlesnake.I am neither mean nor machine.and unless your motor is a 10-speed chain sprocket I probably can’t make it hum. But I am one bad mutha when it comes to playing the cowbell.
Many years ago Tony (guitar player for Emo Summer and first guy to try out for Love Songs - he declined to join because the 25 minute drive to practice was too far) and Joe and I started a Descendents cover band called Coverage. Get it?
25. It’s So Easy
What’s not so easy is trying to sing like Axl Rose.
26. Up The Junction
Squeeze can spin a good yarn in addition to being able to write some very hum-able melodies. As far as pop bands go - this is the shiz-nit, fosho. Side note: mine is not nearly as good as Lawnmower Deth’s cover so you should go seek that version out. The same LD album is worth it for Kim Wilde’s "We’re The Kids In America" alone.
27. I’m Not A Punk
I’m notorious for getting lyrics horribly wrong. For years I thought "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears went "Everybody wants to mow the lawn." Until I read the lyrics for this song I thought the chorus went "I’ve got square underwear" when it’s actually "I’m a square going nowhere." Conversely, I knew what Chi Pig was saying when he sang "mind just like a door." Go listen to that song (on the If You Swear You Catch No Fish LP) and tell me that’s not quite a feat!
28. My Michelle
The chorus of this song can easily be swapped with Your Mother’s "Purpose" and Fugazi’s "Waiting Room." Three different genres bound together by the beauty of your basic 3-chord progression. The simplicity of it all brings a tear to my eye while listening to me sing this brings a knot to my stomach.
DIY 4-tracking in memory of one of the greatest DIY 4-trackers of my time - Matty Luv. If you haven’t already, visit www.mattyluv.com and download everything. Everything.
30. Anything Goes
Damn this song is sleazy. The riffs are fully hip-thrusting, the groove is dirty sex, and the lyrics are 3rd grade porno. If we got Jackson to write more songs I bet they’d come out more like this.
31. No New Tale To Tell
This is for Sabrina who thought I didn’t know who Daniel Ash was. p-"SHAW!" If my recall skills are working properly this is one of the earliest AltRock songs to employ the soft-verse/buzzsaw-chorus technique that was used effectively for the last time in "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Another pre-Nirvana example of this is next month’s selection...
32. Valerie Loves Me
If you knew it was Material Issue who wrote this song chances are you were called a new wave queer at some time or another, and you probably had an oversized paisley button-up shirt that smelled like pot and Drakkar Noir.
33. River Of Jordan
During one of the many late night This Is My Fist sessions Annie and I thought it would be a good idea to record this. She ended up scrapping all her solo stuff so this may be the closest anyone gets to hearing her songs. Sad, really. By the way, who else thinks "Airplane!" is one of the greatest movies of all time?
34. Suit And Tie Guy
Okay, so this is the next step in me reliving my youth. After "No Reason" (see October 2004 Love Song Of The Month) and this song all that is left is "Stigmata" from Ministry and I’ll have done the only three songs I ever bothered learning and recording when I was a freshman in high school (um, 1987?). Oh, wait, there’s still "March of the S.O.D"... (Side note: Your Mother was working on "September of D.O.S." which was "March of the S.O.D." backwards but we never got farther than the whole intro mosh part because we were too busy trying to rework a new version of our song "Help Yourself," a ditty we re-wrote every year starting back in 1990. After the previously successful "Help Yourself ’91", "Help Yourself ’93", "Help Yourself ’94", "Help Yourself ’95", and "Help Yourself ’97", we tried creating our opus, "Help Yourself NT", but like so many operating systems before it, it crashed.) Anyway, my friend Paul Lew and I spent hours, days, weeks playing and recording this song on his 4-track and we eventually debuted it at a church in Concord, the city dirty enough to bring you Anal Mucus (who, thankfully, were not in attendence). Paul even figured out the solo - and we were only 15! - but it still wasn’t enough to raise the fires of demonic youthfulness and clear off the church floor. Which reminds me of the time the same band played in a church in Pleasanton and kids started moshing until someone ripped a pew out of the ground. It was not quite as exciting as when people were uprooting trees and barging into the last Gordon Solie Motherfuckers show with the clear intent of causing pain and damage, but it was still funny at the time.
35. God’s Guts
God’s Guts were a band from Japan in the early 90’s who borrowed heavily from Husker Du. Jun, their bass player, used to be in Spitfire back in the early 80’s then he started this band and then went on to form the U-G Men. If you like any of those bands chances are you aren’t visiting this site, but I assure you all three of those bands kicked serious ass. I have no idea what the words are to this song so I delivered a loose interpretation, and in the same drunken manner as the original. I think it’s about broken records but Danny B seems to think it is about getting a new parking space. I don’t even know what the name of the song is! Does it matter?
36. Put Your Clothes Back On
Bobby Steele moved out of the shadow of Danzig as a one-time guitar-player for the MISFITS and headed straight into obscurity. He still keeps with the gothic horror image but his music rarely reflects it. Case in point. Actually, this could easily have a been a MISFITS song if Danzig sung it and changed the words to something like "Sew your hands back on" or "Put your corpse paint on".
37. Add It Up
This comes from what I consider the Golden Age of alternative music (then called "modern rock"). Back when ’alternative’ was truly alternative: a drummer with one cymbal, one snare drum and nothing else, not even a seat; an acoustic guitar and an acoustic bass; and a sissy singer fronting a band whose bandname epitomizes Love Song’s ’hard and soft’ approach to music. I also tend to like songs with a refrain that is repeated more than 20 times in a row. In this case he says "add it up" like 27 times while other examples include the "ooo ooo’s" in the Rolling Stones’ "Sypathy For The Devil" and "again and again and again..." from The Cure’s "A Forest".
37.1 Behind Enemy Rhymez
"When Bryan and I discovered that Behind Enemy Lines had the same chord progression as a certain rap/metal band’s song - we decided to kick it old school and come up with some Craig "MSG" Billmeier Deadbeatnicks era goodness. She’s moving to Long Beach, not Utah. Any similarity to Linkin Park is, like, TOTALLY intentional. I present to you: BEHIND ENEMY RHYMEZ" - Danny Angel
38. Mustache Uber Alles
Happy Birthday, Mary.
39. Pretty Pathetic
Happy 2007, foos! May yours be totally rad, sweet, bithcin’, and laden with chocolate! When it comes to sappy love songs few bands do it better than the Smoking Popes. And true to their word this is about the most pathetic song ever. Yet somehow it’s not nearly as offensively whiny as your standard modern-day emo/screamo band, even when you consider that some of their songs are actually about the singer’s "loving relationship with Jesus Christ" and not some taudry affair with a woman. I guess that shows my level of disdain for modern-day emo/screamo bands...
40. That’s Entertainment Tonight
Pat O’Brien proved that so long as what you do is entertainment-related (hosting Entertainment Tonight, getting busted for leaving obscene messages on intern voicemails, et al) you can get away with anything. John Tesh proved that growing a goatee and wearing a backwards baseball cap does not a man make.
41. Kill The Poor
What’s sad is that when I started listening to music like this I didn’t get the irony of such things. I just liked the shock and offense of it all. Who knew there was a deeper message?! Following that logic I wonder what The Exploited were trying to say with their seven-minute epic titled "Sex and Violence". That’s all they say - for seven minutes - "sex and violence, sex and violence, sex and violence, sex and VI-lence..." Whatever it was must have been pretty profound.
42. Abe Vigoda Is Not Dead
The original version of this song is the got-damned groovin-est song ever to lead off a tv show. Man, if I could write tv theme songs all day I sure would, and I’d use this as inspiration. By the way - http://www.abevigoda.com
43. Beef Bologna
Anybody remember when Lee Ving was Angela’s love interest on Who’s The Boss? And I’ll 10 points to Slytherin if someone can tell me what the real opening lyrics to this song are because I could never figure it out. (Thanks for Jack’s help!)
44. Diff’rent Strokes
It is as amazing as it is sad that I can sing along to pretty much every song on the 3 volume TV Theme Songs CDs without having to look up the words online.
July & August 2007
45. Maybe this is why Seth moved?
This will count as two months worth of SOTMs because it is 3 songs and, like, 8 minutes long (please overlook the fact that one song is our own and the other I’ve already done here). FYI: songs 2 and 3 feature Nekro (aka Boom Boom Kid, aka Carlito). Did I mention that we’re still looking for a bass player?
46. Stealing People’s Mail
So how much mail did they actually think they could steal on a Friday night?
47. Let’s Hear It For Love (Songs)
I’m pretty sure this is not about the singer’s undying love for his lord and savior Jesus Christ.
48. Like A Virgin
I know it has been a while since the last of these LSOTMs was posted. And for good reason.the life of a J-level celebrity eats up a lot of time. Case in point - Virgin Air was planning to launch a new flight leg from LAX to Seattle, and who better to help ring in their new flight than some air guitarists? Get it? Virgin Air = air guitar? With 36 hours to do it, I recorded a ’rock’ version of Like A Virgin for the event. Get it? Virgin Air = Like A Virgin? I was too sick to sing it in time so I enlisted Jack’s early morning pre-coffee voice and what we came up with was more than ’rock’, it was ’abrasive.’ (i.e Better than I had expected.)
In the end I never even performed the song but instead served on a ’celebrity panel of judges’ including Jerry Harrison (Modern Lovers, Talking Heads), Cisco Adler (best known for having sex with Paris Hilton), the CEO of Virgin Air America, and The Donnas. How did real musicians take being judged by air guitarists? My only criticism towards one of the bands was something about how only Celine Dion was allowed to put her finger in her ear when singing, but if he wanted to be like Celine I couldn’t stop him. He didn’t like it but that’s what you get when you sign up for a Battle of the Bands. I can’t remember much after that thanks to the open bar but I do have a vague recollection of everyone making fun of Thurston Moore (also in attendance) for being 50 and having to get a rectal exam. And someone kept yelling "rectal exam!" all night and I was surprised and confused that it wasn’t me.
49. Good Times
We might be more productive once we find a bass player, but untill then you get a TV theme song every 14 months. Merry Days Off!
50. Born Toulouse-Latreac
The New Bomb Turks are a standard by which all rock bands should be judged. High energy, witty, catchy, aggressive, soulful, intense... and that’s just the singer! I once saw him diffuse a fight between a biker and a guy who just punched a girl in the head. The singer, decked out in leather loafers and tight black pants, sauntered over to the knuckleheads and told them we were all there to love, not fight. Then he wiped his ’love’ (sweat) all over the guys’ faces. Love prevailed for at least another song before one of the guys ended up throwing a chair through a window. The point is, you gotta be 100% confident in your rock element to dangle yourself over that shark tank. Extra points to him for being a suave version of Devon Morf.
51. Dragstrip Riot
As if you cared, I think I’m gonna stop doing these LSOTMs. I’ve done 51 of these (way more actually) and yet we’ve written maybe 2 original songs in the last year. Where are my priorities? On top of that, this cover doesn’t hold a candle to the original so why bother? Or maybe I just feel silly for singing "baby" 12 times in this song. Either way I’m signing off for a while (again)...