Write the word “ten” too many times quickly and it starts to lose meaning, obviously, but really, what were the Sumerians thinking? We have ten fingers! Where did base sixty come from? I could maybe understand base twenty given the toes, but if you want the common folk to know what you’re getting at, I think base ten is the way to go.
Been two years since TPC’s “ambitious and riotous project” to “cover” ten songs, one from each year from 2001-2011, one per day, nothing to do with hours at fucking all, and I just noticed now. And that’s a song, because a few of these are pretty excellent. Here’s the “essence, or gist”: TPC, as I’ve surely said a godzillaon times, are a bunch of four white kids from a suburb of Toronto that are younger than I. They play rock as indie as is allowed on MTV, and they look like they belong there as well. In other words, they’re at least what your parents think cool is if your parents aren’t complete idiots but still haven’t heard of Adventure Time.
So! Everything becomes an urbanized, rock’n’roll, Jagger-haired white-guy-with-bangs song. And that’s usually a good thing! That’s what I was for more of my twenties, and if you can get past the fact that they didn’t write any of these songs, to my ears (yes, I know I just switched personal pronouns) most songs just sound better when they’re made by guys who look like me. Most, not all. And I do love guitars more than keyboards, so there’s that, as well.
There’s only ten songs (surprise!), so they’re easy to disseminate individually: A few are songs by lame-o’s. Of these, Moby’s “Southside” has always been a good song, somewhat ruined by terrible lyrics and Moby’s love of animals, the second problem gets all solved up here. Jimmy Eat World’s “Sweetness has always annoyed the hell out of me, and isn’t much changed here.
Then there’s the songs by people I’ve never heard of: “Under Control” is a good reggae song but still a reggae song, and The Harlem Shakes’ “Strictly Game” is fucking brilliant, taking a song I’d never normally listening to (the original is based on about a 1/4 second keyboard loop over and over and buried vocals) and turning it into one I’ll listen to often and start singing loudly in foreign cities. Pretty much the highest function of the cover song.
Then there’s the songs originally sung by chicks, and to their credit I’ve always thought “Since U Been Gone” and “Party In The USA” were good songs, though the first is unnecessary and the latter is a bit spoiled by three minutes of jamming and naming cities (though it’s WAY better without being fifteen year old grilled all over).
Then there’s the songs that didn’t really need the help – “Kim And Jessie” and “Little Sister” and “All My Friends” were all better over there, when they were done by enjoyable artists and aren’t switched around much except that LCD Soundsystem, QOTSA, and M83 didn’t need to be turned into 20-something white guys. But the rest – whee!
And isn’t that “Strictly Game” song a mint? “Make a little money / Take a lot of shit / Feel real bad then get over it / This’ll be a better year” might as well be the anthem for my little heart right now.
You know what’s wrong with Toronto? There’s a lot of great pubs, and a lot of fancy nightclubs, but not enough in-between. And the beer’s too expensive. And we shouldn’t discount the importance of our little hearts, though at the same time we should remember that our logic is more important. At least, for me, my logic HAS to be more important, because my feelings are fucking assholes. Always telling me I should do horrible things to myself and tell all my friends to go to hell forever. How much trust should I really put into something that changes immediately after I have an orgasm? Not much trust, I’m thinking. And I’ve seriously dated too many girls (4) to think that anyone else’s feelings are worth viewing as anything other than a force of nature, like mine. They’re winds, rainstorms, and earthquakes. I sometimes choose to live on faultlines, but let’s not kid ourselves, they might destroy something horrible, but they’re just as likely to destroy something important.
Ah, fuck it, ride the trains, everything’s okay, tenderize yourself as needed. America I’m afraid of the Wobblies. But trust me about leaving Miley Cyrus alone.
7 / 10