The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s 1996 Now I Got Worry takes me back. I mean, it really takes me back. Back to a time that seems like it was in a galaxy long ago and far, far away, where the world was a decidedly different place. Maybe that’s why I have trouble going back to an album like this on a regular basis regardless of how much it kicks; nostalgia is a relative phenomenon, relative to the experiencer, and the older you get the more it plays a funny game with time. The world early-20’s Shawn experienced in the mid 90’s was relatively different from the world that existed twenty years before that, so much so that at the time the late 60’s/early 70’s seemed archaic in many ways. However, jump up another twenty or so years and you land here in the NOW and guess what? Relative perspective – perceived through me as the aforementioned experiencer of course – shows that 1996 really wasn’t that different from 1976 or even 1966, because 2016/17 is exponentially different than that starting point in our time line.
For this review, I desperately wanted to find something new that I would love, rather than taking another walk down memory lane to revisit an old favorite, or finding something new that I was only lukewarm about. Unfortunately, given the cyclical nature of popular music, most of the things I like are deeply out of fashion at the moment. So I put a request out to my facebook friends (many of whom have more free time to discover new music than I do) for something that would land in my wheelhouse, a fairly narrow corridor that runs from melodic garage and punk, edges into shoegaze and psychedelia but only the more sprightly regions, and finishes up on the edgier fringes of power pop.
The Joup shit song of the week is “(You Can Still) Rock In America” by Night Ranger. I’m repulsed by their mega hit “Sister Christian” but I like to dig a little deeper because I know if a band is capable of writing one shitty song they probably have more. You can still rock in America according to the lyrics in this song which was released in 1983 during the-hey day of the Cold War. I feel this song was to remind people of their freedoms here in the U.S. as opposed to the Soviet Union where you could not rock at that time. However, when I hear such a dreadful song such as this one it makes me feel like maybe we have too much freedom? I am aware this song is dated and the genre an easy target but there are songs older than this that have withstood the test of time. This piece of shit is not one of those songs.
Today’s shit song of the week is Rupert Holmes’s “Answering Machine”. This song may have been the B-Side to “Escape (The Peña Colada Song)” which was used in the hilarious movie “Dirty Work” during a bar fight scene. Although I have used the song “Answering Machine” as my voice mail message one time as a goof, the chorus of the song is “leave your name and number and I’ll try to get back to you. You have 30 seconds to talk to me before we’re through”. It is a cocaine decision, light FM, shitty song and it deserves to be in the anals of Joup’s Sh!t Song Of The Week. Just give it a listen and tell me what you think after the beep.