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Lemme Tellya How It Will Be

You like the Beatles? This is better than the Beatles.

AC/DC’s Most Toppest Songs

According to me, some ding dong on the Internet.

“It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock N’ Roll)”

They said bagpipes could never work in rock music. They were wrong.

“T.N.T.”

Everything you need to know about the late Bon Scott in three and half minutes: he’s charming, he’s got a strong voice, he’s in control, he might sock you in the face if you give him any guff. Very Sinatra, in a way, and it isn’t hard to imagine Frank putting his spin on this rakish bruiser. Of course, the Old Man woulda cut the “oi” chant, on accounta it ain’t classy.

“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

AC/DC rewrite “T.N.T.” with the new angle: “what if we were mean, but like, professionally, as a commercial service?” The damn thing works, right down to the anguished scream that punctuates the ending.

“Big Balls/Rocker”

Yes, I’m counting these as one song. “Rocker” is a hilarious freewheeling apology for the juvenile “Balls”—it’s AC/DC saying, “listen, we’re just dirty rockers, what did you expect? We’ve happily wasted one of our best slower arrangements on a drawn out testicle joke.” I realize “Rocker” did not make its debut backing up “Balls” on Dirty Deeds; I know it came out a year earlier on T.N.T. and that it only appears on the international version of Deeds, but I refuse to apologize for not being Australian. Besides, as noted, this pairing gels like Moe’s hand and Curly’s forehead.

“Let There Be Rock”

As satisfying as watching a golden retriever chase its tail. Knocks over as much furniture, too.

“Whole Lotta Rosie”

A celebration of the zaftig woman built around one of history’s most shit-kicking guitar riffs. If you can’t boogie to this get the hell out of my car wash.

“Highway to Hell”

The sinner’s anthem, but it’s hard to tell where the protagonist is emotionally. Is he joyous? Is he resigned? Is he daring to exercise irony? It doesn’t matter when that hymnal of a chorus kicks in.

“Night Prowler”

Catchy strut of blues cloaked in darkness not just because it’s about murder but because AC/DC denied it being about murder after a murderer cited it as inspiration to murder. Does that compel me to keep returning? Sure, but so does the musical performance, and I remain more mystified by Bon Scott’s decision to end the tune by impersonating Mork from Ork. If this song is really so evil Richard Ramirez would have also tried to kill Pam Dawber.

“Back in Black”

A monster truck being driven by a grizzly bear in sunglasses, crushing your fears and doubts and delivering you a sizzlin’ onion burst of empowerment. I don’t know, you try to explain the omnipresence and worth of the ultimate “hard rock” song.

“Big Gun”

This band wrote a lot of material about their dicks. This selection is the least stupid. Also, for some strange reason, I’m really partial to the lyric about the “baaaaad man cruisin’ around in a big black limousine.” Maybe that’s what I aspire to, secretly.

Reassurance You’re Being Heard

If I could change one thing in the world, I would reengineer cell phones so the person talking could hear their own voice in the earpiece of their phone…as someone who grew up with landlines, I can tell you: Hardwired phones were engineered and designed to give you the confidence that you were being heard—which is why people would whisper into their phones and know that they were being heard because they could hear their whispering voice in the earpiece as loud as they could hear their regular, full-volume speaking voice. It was compressed and loud and audible. And it’s a little bit of a reassurance that you’re being heard. The limitations of cell-phone technology are such that your voice would be delayed if you heard the actual, real signal. It’s not coming back in real time. So they just make the receivers dead, like you only hear the other end of the line, which is why everybody shouts into their cell phones. Nobody shouts into landlines. You can be in a phone booth by a highway and you can just talk and you can tell that people can hear you. But when you’re holding this dead object that is the cell phone, it makes you scream. And this is a very low-cost engineering solution to the problem of cellular telephony. I’ve thought about it a lot.”

– John Flansburgh, from this great interview

Q: Do You Prefer “The Addams Family” Or “The Munsters?”

A: Oh, “The Addams Family.” Morticia and Gomez have such a beautiful relationship, full of respect and understanding and expression. Most of the time it seems they work together to solve their dilemmas. The Munsters are more typically sitcom; Lily tolerating Herman’s lunkheaded crap, even when it blows up their living room or puts him in traction. And Grandpa Munster is always egging Herman on…it’s like “Leave It To Beaver” with neck bolts. Herman and Grandpa need a goddamn babysitter.

Unsolicited Limit Takin’ On History Of The Eagles

– I’ve never been a huge Eagles fan and this three hour doc didn’t change that, though now I’m inclined to give them respect for being another band committed to their own sound; they never kowtowed to industry pressure, they just kept doin’ that Eagles thang and let success land on them

– three hours and not one reference to the “Desperado”/”Witchy Woman” plot lines on “Seinfeld”; guess most of the Eagles weren’t too thrilled with all that

– I want to say I can’t believe there was a period where these guys had their own baseball jackets emblazoned with an “E” on the front but they also had their own plane so maybe matching jackets weren’t so crazy

– I love how proud Glenn Fry is that Cameron Crowe immediately thought of him when he was trying to figure who could play a jerkier dude than Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire

– Don Henley gives off a R’as al Ghul vibe during his talking head portions (it could just be the goatee and black turtleneck)

– at one point Glenn Fry refers to Don Felder as “the biggest asshole” in the Eagles; maybe he’s right, we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but I’m taking Felder’s side for now because he’s the only one in the doc who tears up while discussing all this discord (I also disagree with Fry’s assertion he and Henley deserved more cash for the reunion b/c they had solo hits)

– there are two guys named Don in this band, what are the goddamn odds?

– Timothy B. Schmit seems like a Jon Wurster character

– it hit me in the feels when they showed that note Joe Walsh’s kids wrote about how proud they are of him

– Linda Ronstadt seems cool; shame she’s too sick to sing anymore

– as suspected, they play one of those guitars with two necks on “Hotel California” (b/c hiring a fourth guitarist would have just been fucking nuts)

To Open Up The Sky’s Veins

If they made a “Freaks & Geeks” style television program about my high school years (1993-97) I’m certain this would be the theme song. It seems to capture whatever that time was about (confusion, apathy, Windows ’95). I’d also find Spacehog’s “In The Meantime” acceptable.

Potential plot lines for this program: getting my very first job at Taco Bell and nearly choking to death during my first shift after accidentally inhaling a straw wrapper; the hellish term I spent in summer school trying to pass algebra; all the bonkers stuff that happened during senior prank week (never-ending fire alarms, live mice dumped on our lunch table, a six foot cardboard cut-out of Gumby burned in effigy); various mortifications in attempted dating.

Oh, and there’s gotta be an episode that covers the shock, the grief, the utter despondence that hit my school the day Oasis cancelled the only show they were playing in the area that year. You would have thought another fucking space shuttle blew up. Oh, Noel!

Q: If You Could Go Back In Time Where Would You Go And Why?

A: Either 1960s California so I could try to tackle whatever that thing is in the Patterson film or 1990s Chicago so I could try to tackle that extra in Home Alone who is supposedly Elvis Presley. I’m all about the big issues.

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