Bless This Mess (11 September 2012 Retrocast)
(Featuring music and recordings offered in loving tribute to the country that I love, with tongue placed forcibly into cheek.)
(This was originally produced as a podcast on 11 September 2012 in the St. John’s Studio we used at the time. Enjoy.)
While I am a big fan of political music that skewers whatever the flavor of the week happens to be, and have done a few Fourth of July shows that were less than respectful to the institutions this country holds dear, I have never had the balls to get down and dirty regarding the subject of 9/11. And with good reason: while the event is well in the past, there has been a cultural sacred cow in place when it comes to mocking what was, in the end, a really awful event in our country’s history. My usual knee-jerk reaction to everything is to make a joke, and while there always seemed like plenty of great throw-aways that could have been used when planning a 9/11 show, I never allowed myself to go down that road for fear that there would be some sort of outcry the moment I showed any amount of disrespect for what has become an accidental holiday in this country.
However, time seems to have dulled my sense of what is and isn’t appropriate, and now that it’s been 11 years, I feel like America might be ready for a podcast that goes the whole 9 yards, and delivers some music that obtusely tackles a subject that seems to be somewhat taboo. While I would never go so far as to be critical of the awful events of that day, it seems odd to me that the day now carries this cultural baggage that causes everyone to get far too serious about their patriotism. I’ve always considered myself a patriot, but in the sense that I am willing to question things, discuss them, and find ways to make sense of them through culture and art that addresses complex issues in entertaining ways. Sometimes these take the form of agressive punk songs that speak their mind without concern for who will be pissed off when all is said and done.
Since Tuesday falls on this particular day this year, and since I will have no one to answer to but myself in the event that people do get pissed off, this year felt like a good year to finally break the silence, and bring you a bunch of songs that present different visions of America. I tried to cover a lot of ground, and thus bring in a number of different voices for this show. But in the end, it’s a bunch of stuff that I like listening to, and all of it has a particular perspective that I feel is very worth exploring. Even if it is temporarily.
And: this mix kicks a whole lot of ass.
Next week’s show may be delayed somewhat, as I will be out of town. However, I will do my best to bring you a road show, which may just end up being short. We shall see.
So: don’t forget to pull out your miniature American Flags, plant it firmly in the most inappropriate place you can think of, and turn this one up just loud enough that it’ll piss off your neighbor in the cubical next door.
See you in seven.
Bless This Mess
Part I: Growin’ Up In America
01.) Boy From Nowhere * DMZ * Live At The Rat
02.) All American Twist * The Champs * “All American”
03.) American Heartbreak * Langston Hughes * The Voice Of The Poet: Langston Hughes
04.) Growin’ Up In America * The Colors * Killed By Death Vol. 20
05.) Terror In America * GG Allin & The Murder Junkies * Brutality and Bloodshed for All
06.) Thinkin’ Of The USA * Eater * Thinkin’ Of The USA 7″
07.) American Terrorist * Chris Burke * diymedia.net
08.) Experiment In Terror * Henry Mancini * Greatest Hits
09.) The Ugly American * Big Black * The Hammer Party
10.) The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like To See You In His Office * The Locust * The Locust / Melt Banana Split 7″
11.) American Dream * The Redundants * I Hate The Redundants
12.) Amercan America * Godless * 7″
13.) Middle America * J.F.A. * Rat Music For Rat People
14.) N.O.U.S.P.T.D.A. * The Nation Of Ulysses * The Birth Of The Ulysses Aesthetic (The Synthesis of Speed And Transformation) EP
15.) America Has Spoken * Patton Oswalt * Werewolves and Lollipops
16.) Fyt * This Mortal Coil * It’ll End In Tears
Part II: Freedom’s Waiting
17.) Early American * Sonic Youth * Confusion Is Sex
18.) Help Stamp Out America * Kermit Schafer * Pardon My Blooper
19.) Cityman * Negativland * Free
20.) 9/11 is a Joke * Delusions of Parasitosis * Coupon D’état
21.) Mecca: A Vision Of The Next Crusade * Thomas M. Disch / X’s For Eyes * Mecca|Mettle
22.) We’re An American Band * MX-80 * We’re An American Band
Part III: The ABC’s of The USA
23.) Politics In America * Bill Hicks * Philosophy
24.) Pow Wow * Grace Tennessee & The American Spirits * Lux and Ivy’s Favorites: Volume Six
25.) A.B.C’s of the U.S.A. * Ada Jones and Billy Murray * Edison Gold Moulded Cylinder Record: 9903
26.) Land: Part I: Horses, Part II: Land of a Thousand Dances, Part III: La Mer (De) * Patti Smith * Horses
27.) Crimes vs. America * Old Time Radio Commercial
28.) Alaska * The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black * A National Heath Care
29.) Freedom Of Choice * Devo * Freedom Of Choice
30.) Contract With Depravity * Kenyon Hopkins * Crime Jazz: Music In The First Degree
31.) Our Nat’l Anthm * Abbie Hoffman * Wake Up America!
32.) Unwanted Workers Of America * The Firesign Theater * All Things Firesign