Monday, April 16, 2007

Michael Ian Black

When I had to drop out of NYU when I was 18, it was a real heartbreaker. I came back once to visit a few months after I'd left. All my good friends were busy living their fabulous dorm lives without me, so I stopped by Michael Ian Black's room, cause we were pals in a comedy sketch group called The New Group together (with Showalter) and he was fun to pal araound with. We had one of the best conversations that you could have in college, you know, about life, the universe and everything, and I really appreciated it and his perspective on everything. Flash forward to a million years later and Black is kicking butt and taking names and being funny as hell (as always) all over the place. He's also poised to join the kid lit ranks with an upcoming picture book, and you can bet your sweet ass that it's going to be terrific.

I give you, Michael Ian Black's punk mix. Go and get it.

Music you want, eh? Alright, I'm rifling through my brain here trying to come up with something decent for you.

Essential punk list:

I'm going to start with the obvious, but I don't see how you can have an essential punk mix without:

1."God Save the Queen," the Sex Pistols.

From there, you should probably skip across the ocean and include:

2. Anything by the Ramones. They're all pretty much the same song, so you can just pick one and listen to it for two and a half minutes, which is most likely longer than the actual song.

Now you've got your seminal British and American punk bands covered. Now I think you want to skip ahead a few years and head west to California for a little Black Flag. I suggest

3. "TV Party," by Black Flag. It's angry and loud and catchy and features a very young Henry Rollins

If you want to go to the other extreme of punk, but stay in the same geographical location, check out

4. I'm Not a Loser" by the Descendents. There is no Green Day without these guys.

Back on the East Coast, Washington D.C. was kicking out the punk rock jams. Who can forget:

5. "I Don't Wanna Hear It" by Minor Threat. Vintage D.C. punk, which gave birth to:

6. Fugazi, who epitomized the whole "never sell out" D.I.Y. spirit of punk rock. Their album "13 Songs," is one of my favorites of all time. They are not, however, my favorite band. That honor belongs to:

7. Husker Du. Minneapolis based thrash trio, who imploded in the early 90's after releasing a ton of great music. A lot of aficionados love their early work: "Land Speed Record," "Metal Circus," and especially "Zen Arcade." But my favorite album is "Candy Apple Grey," which was their first major label release, and the beginning of the end for the band. Most punk rock song on that album? The opening track, "Crystal."

For just obnoxious political punk, you might want to check out

8. "California Uber Alles" by the Dead Kennedys. A good band with an even better name and an even better named frontman: Jello Biafra.

Two bands with still better punk names: The Circle Jerks (best song: "Wonderful") and the Day-Glo Abortions (I can't remember any of their songs, but the name really sticks with you.)


No comments: