Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BaD Tunes Tuesdays: Gone Workin' Music for the Daily Grind (BaD 19) Feb 18, 2013 3:51PM PST

In honor of having to wake up today at 4/5am to shower, brush, floss, eat breakfast, and go drive to work at 7am and get out at 12am (no that's not a typo, I work seventeen hours; if you think 4am or 5am sound early your job isn't 35 miles away and doesn't involve northbound I-35E Dallas traffic), and by the way I'm writing this at 4:42pm February 18, central time, and you better believe this is canned cause no way in hell was I worrying about blogging this out before work, I figured I'd dedicate this blog to songs about work and/or sticking it to the boss man.

I'm actually glad I GET to work 17 hours in this economy after a very long period of hunting for every job under the sun after graduation last year, and don't get me wrong I love that I was able to get a job that's even in my field of study and am very lucky for that, but for everyone else working long hours today, here are some songs you might sympathize with. And yes, obviously I'll get back to you when I can for comments and such, but expect delays lol.

Frankly, at this point, working 9 to 5 on week days for a living wage is a damn dream job

Being from Texas, many people assume I like country, and while I do like a few songs here and there, I've mentioned before that growing up I really didn't at all. In grade school I liked pop and pop-rock, in high school hard rock and heavy metal, and in college a bit of everything, but country went in the "everything" pile about as often as jazz fusion, which is to say barely, until my Syrian-Argentinian girlfriend and my older brother got me used to, and in some cases even liking the genre.

Now, I've always liked Johnny Cash, but I consider that more of a 50s rock meets country type of thing, and frankly, most of what I like in country now is not anything close to the super-twanginess of the original country singers who I highly doubt would have penned songs like "Red Solo Cup," and I certainly don't think the typical one man with a guitar style is similar to "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" by The Band Perry.

So a great deal of my current tolerance for country music has at least a little bit to do with its departure from its roots into something with more modern pop and/or rock sensibilities, but I do love at least a couple Dolly Parton songs I never would have heard of before now, and "9 to 5" is one of them, along with "Jolene," which I found out about through a White Stripes live cover on Youtube.

This is the type of country song I like: it's about the daily grind, but its instrumentation and vocalization don't sound like a beaten southerner complaining over a steel guitar noise, rather it has what I like to refer to as a "gospel-style" chorus, where you can almost see the people singing clapping in their Sunday robes, with smiles and an upbeat ryhtm to offset the lyrical subject matter.

In other words, it's a fun country song, and I can't argue with that.

Above: Music by a chipper, clean-cut chap that said nothing offensive about Jesus at any point in his career

Switching gears, or rather completely inverting the mood into an equal and opposite tonal shift from the first song in a dramatically staggering manner, we have John Lennon's "Working Class Hero," an assault on the establishment and "the man" in general.

I mentioned I liked pop-punk quite a bit, and I actually found out about this song from the Green Day cover which ... and I say this as someone who usually prefers the first version of a song I hear, loves covers, has "When I Come Around" as a favorite song of all time, and actually hold a special place in my heart for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and the American Idiot album despite its critics... sounds like shit.

This Lennon original on the other hand is a dark, stripped-down, captivating song about feeling as if your personality is meant to be molded by the heirarchy of society rather than yourself, from teachers to bosses, and the struggle for significance in a world making every attempt to belittle you and subdue your true self. Or at least that's what I got out of it.

I think the atmosphere and lyrics hit much harder in this original version, and do a great job of welling up emotions. Of course, it's not cheery and has an f-bomb so maybe dedicating it to the working class and playing it over a college radio station held to FCC regulations wasn't my finest moment working at KSAU in fall of 2011, but no one seemed to notice, so I think we're ok.

Butt Rock at its finest

For those who don't know, Hellyeah is a band formed after Pantera split, and has the singer from Mudvayne and the former drummer for Pantera in its ranks. I actually saw them live at Ozzfest 2008 (as Dallas was its only official stop, it was a good year to like metal and live in Dallas, I have a blog about in on here somewhere way back), and while I'm only a passive fan, the crowd went arguably more insane for them than even Metallica.Which I was grateful for, cause I could actually watch Metallica without being moved everywhere.

This song has more of an edge to it than Dolly Parton's, but it's certainly not as somber as Lennon's classic, finding a happy medium between country and hard rock/metal, as well as one between a good time and an angry flip of the bird to "da man."

The lyrics aren't exactly deep, but it makes for a great TGIF song.

If you're wondering where songs like "Takin' Care of Business" or "Working for the Weekend" are on here, look no further than classic hits radio or your local diner/Hobby Lobby, or just search on Youtube. I like those songs too, but I try to make Tunes Tuesdays about songs you might not have heard before.

But since it's Oscar week, let me list you my favorite movie themes anyway.

"Pirates of the Carribean"

Say what you will about the franchise itself, any time I hear that song I want to either run or fight Keith Richards when he's dressed as a pirate.

"Lord of the Rings"

Epic is the only word to describe the main theme.


Not only did it recapture for me that sultry feminine style I missed in the opening credits from the last two Bond films, it's a damn great song in its own right.

Let me know your favorite movie soundtrack pieces, and what songs get you through the daily grind in the comments below!



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