Fool – Frankie Cosmos Yet another “I heard this song at like 7:30 am, burnt from work and I don’t remember why it stuck in my head so much, but here we are,” song. The only time of day that I’m even emotionally weaker is around 4, 4:30 am.
All I Want – The Spits I would be lying if I said I clearly remember the times I’ve seen the Spits. It’s just that kind music. Which is fine with me. Specially right now, in the middle of the night when I need something to remind that I AM ALIVE. DAMN YOU. ALIVE.
Garbage Man – The Cramps
You know you got theme songs. This is one of mine. It always picks me up and is fantastic for those long nights where I’m just getting by. YOU GOTTA LIVE UNTIL YOUR DEAD/YOU GOTTA ROCK TIL YOU SEE RED. True lesson! If I had my own Svengoolie like terrible movie TV show this would be my theme song.
The Bar is Low – Pissed Jeans
Listen to that intro, with those thumping drums, that stabbing guitar, and half a second into it, that earth rumbling bass, it’s so sick. This is some fast driving music right here. Or fast drinking music. Look it’s friday. What are you gonna do? Are you gonna rock to some capacity or are you going to be lame? Yeah that’s what I thought.
American Graffiti – Haggard Cat
I love how stompy this is. Listen to that dude, “I’M NOT THE DEVIL, I’M A MOTHERFUCKING GOD!!!” That’s what I’m talking about. Just fucking wipe the floor with everyone. Raucous stuff. Turn it up.
A Dime at a Time – Norma Jean
There’s also a terrible metalcore or whatever band called Norma Jean. Fuck that noise. This is the real stuff right here. This song is in my “Drinking Music” playlist, which is okay for drinking. Yes there’s a hint of leather in that microbrew, but mostly tears. I can’t listen to that list when I’m drinking because it bums me out.
I don’t remember the exact day that hard rocking, badass radio died. But it was some time in October 1998, when Rock 103.5 went off the air with Metallica’s cover of So What. And thus my beloved Rock 103.5 vanished into the FM airwave spectrum, having indoctrinated me to the cult of loud rock music that I still adhere to. It may have been the worst influence I’ve ever had. I was 13 years old and the looming question was where was I to get the same amount of hard rock that dripped out of my headphones and directly into my brain? 101.1 was out of the question because all that shit was whiny, and on certain nights they PLAYED TECHNO. How dare they call themselves a rock station. B96 made me carsick when I listened to it in a moving vehicle, and I couldn’t stand that music anyway. There was no music left.
Thus set adrift I cast about for some audio flotsam to hang on to. Options seemed dire until I landed on 97.9 the loop. Something. Of course they didn’t play White Zombie or Soundgarden, and there was no way Metallica was mandatory. But there was among the miasmic fog of bands like Styx was that shrieking voice, Ozzy himself “Flying high again!”Okay fine. I just wanted rock music and there was nothing else around. Sure I had to sit through interminable stretches of Journey, Stxy, and syrupy Aerosmith ballads. But this Stranglehold song rules. And they’re playing Kiss! Hell yeah, Iron Man! Oh fuck a Metallica song! This was shortly before I rejected my dear David Lee Roth era Van Halen, so what a treat when I got to hear Jamie’s Cryin’. But maybe it helped spur on that rejection by them playing Van Hagar all the fucking time. I remember sitting in the old typewriter cubes at Sulzer library, unable to type as fast as I wanted to while Led Zep’s Immigrant Song blasted on my headphones. And who is this band? This band that screaming out to break the law, BREAK THE LAW! I love these guys! The Loop didn’t really expose me to Aerosmith before they stopped doing drugs, but i wouldn’t have checked out their back catalog without constantly listening to Walk This Way and dream on. Let that be a lesson: Don’t stop doing drugs if the whole basis of your band is doing drugs. (Leave sobriety and well being to the rest of us who have to have jobs.) Sure trading off hearing Ramnstein in return for putting up with Phil Collins was a suckers deal, but AC/DC? It’ s impossible to think of living life bereft of thunderous guitars, bashing drums, and yowlings of a crew of demented Australians. I’m sure I would’ve eventually loved them anyway, but 97.9 helped push them on me. I didn’t have a choice to but to hang on to the Loop, it was either that or drown.
It sounds like this went on for years, but it was more like A year. I was 13. I started going to shows. I found out that used CDs were way cheaper than new. I took mindblowing sojourns to the stations on the lower end of the FM dial, the various 88s, that really shook me up. One of my best friends introduced me to hip hop and rap. I don’t remember the exact moment I the epiphany of “you know, you don’t have to just listen to rock music,” occurred but it was around the same time. And apparently you could get music on the internet. But the Loop was still there.
You can’t get WZRD everywhere. And how many cars have I been in with busted tape players. And how many cassette players that I’ve held together with duct tape have accompanied me on my CTA commutes/wanderings through the city? How was I suppose to work to WXRT, reglazing windows, or washing cars? Fuck that, it’s 2 for tuesday and they just played the Eagles (fuck the eagles) so you know something good is coming up. What radio station was I suppose to call when hammered to demand they play Iron Maiden (AND THE LOOP WOULD SOMETIMES!)? The Loop was there when I was cruising through the city in summer time in a nearly broken down van with no AC, blasting the Scorpions. Air guitaring in hardware stores to Sad But True. Missing turns because I was yelling along to AC/DC. Until Mancow jumped back on the Loop was the radio station on my alarm clock. Rousing me awake with the occasional AC/DC song, KNOWING that day was going to be a good one. Despite that they played more pap in it as the years went on, the commercials becoming more annoying, the lack of Judas Priest, I will miss the Loop. What am I going to listen to now?
yeah i know that it would’ve made more sense to have that side be on the “Classic Rock” edition of this, but this happened this week.
no paper edition this week. i had to train my night shift replacement. i can’t wait to be back on the streets. i can’t wait. right! on the plus side you don’t have to go look for the tunes i’m talking about. yeehaa