Letterpress List No. 82: Rollin’ Again

So my little brush with crime and the loss of a beloved collection
of CDs got me to thinking, after a long hiatus, about music again.

Namely …

If you’d told Shop Boy 25 years ago that he’d have a favorite Pandora station built on ditties from country singers and jokey folkies — Kinky Friedman, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, Willie Nelson(!) — I’d have told you to take a couple of aspirin and lie down, because you’re feverish, son.

Well, dropkick me through the goalposts of life, Jesus.

Maybe it’s a family thing. My sister Ellen, who converted to Judaism
and raised three kids — OK, and a husband — in the Jewish faith,
rides around Rhode Island in a minivan pumping country songs. Which is “wicked” weird only because of the location — ain’t no cowboys where Shop Boy comes from — and because every so often something country Christian comes on. And they’re grooving to it.

I mean, “Drugs or Jesus” by Tim McGraw? Mary about fell out of the vehicle. It sure did lighten the mood on our way to my mom’s funeral, though.

Now, Shop Boy’s not one to goof on anyone’s religion. Mom raised seven kids — OK, and a husband — in the Catholic Church and went to her grave in the comfort of knowing she was loved and saved. Us kids went our own ways, some finding comfort in various denominations and others not so much. We’re told we’re nice people.

And my brother-in-law Barry’s outlaw CD copy of McGraw’s album Live Like You Were Dying — with “Drugs or Jesus” on it — actually sat in Shop Boy’s truck a while.

It’s just funny sometimes how music often unconsciously becomes part of our fabric.

Take what was swiped from Shop Boy’s truck. (Or, in this case, give it back, whoever you are. Geez.) It reveals me as what I am: white middle-aged (I hope) New England-bred dude fiercely loyal to the music of his teens, twenties and thirties. So what in the world is Kanye West doing on my iPhone playlist. And why am I suddenly more fond of the “Urban Assault” version of Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin'” — with Redman, Method Man and that barking looney DMX — than the original. Young Jeezy? And perhaps even more unexpectedly, U2. I mean, all that chingalingy guitar drives me bonkers. But I love “Vertigo.”

The Doors? As music critic J.D. Considine once wrote of Courtney Love, “I don’t worship at that particular church.” But someday maybe Shop Boy will have recovered from his college roommate’s infatuation with all things Jim Morrison.

It’s why I try not to say things like, “Oh, I hate that band,” or “Oh, I hate that type of music.” And sure, maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome — you know, falling in love with the one who kidnapped you like Patty Hearst did. Mary does play this kind of stuff very loud all the time at the printshop. Maybe Shop Boy’s simply gone off his rocker.

It would kind of explain the letterpress thing.

See, at first Shop Boy indulged Mary while secretly considering every new printing press or furniture cabinet one more stupid thing to clean and every late night as one more cross to bear.

And now? Well, I still kick a bit over the late nights. But mostly I wish Shop Boy could spend more time with Mary in the printshop.

Yep, that clinches it: Stockholm syndrome.

Letterpress List No. 82

Rollin’Limp Bizkit (The old Shop Boy rolled more like this.)
No More Mr. Nice GuyAlice Cooper (So easy a caveman can sing it. What was Geico thinking?)
VertigoU2 (All right, all right …)
Break on Throughthe Doors (Nope. Still ain’t working for me.)
Gold DiggerKanye West (Just sayin’.)
Drugs or JesusTim McGraw ( ;-) )
TemptationDiana Krall (A more sultry version of …)
TemptationTom Waits (Wait, I like this guy’s music? When did that happen? See what I mean?)
1996Marilyn Manson (He’s heading toward middle-aged-ish white guy now as well. Bet he’s screaming mad about that, too. “Anti-aging, anti-fat, get me Grecian formula stat! Anti-statins … now you’ve gone too far.”)
Que Onda GueroBeck (Apparently L.A. barrio slang for “What’s up, white boy?” — and you can absolutely feel the street corner here. Great song. “See the vegetable man, in the vegetable van, with a horn that’s honking like a mariachi band …”)
Ain’t That a ShameCheap Trick (Yes it is — the theft, I mean.)
Ain’t That a ShameFats Domino (You decide. OK, no contest, but the Cheap Trick version went over very well at Budokan. The next three went over even better in my truck.)
Chop Suey!System of a Down (“Why’d you leave the CDs in the truck cab/you wanted to …” Wake up, Shop Boy.)
Toxicity System of a Down (Every SOD song has at least one “what the?” moment.)
DdevilSystem of a Down (This one’s got, like, six … including lead singer Serj Tankian unable to stifle a laugh at it all. Magic.)
SheGreen Day (Turned out whoever broke in got the Green Day CD case, but not the CD, which was in the player. Shop Boy cheered!)
Song for the DeadQueens of the Stone Age (Dave Grohl on drums! Shop Boy gets chills every time.)
AM RadioEverclear (Had never heard of John Prine till Art Alexakis mentioned him in a song. Then came Google and … bam.)
Flag DecalJohn Prine (Patriot.)
My PresidentYoung Jeezy (Just … wow.)

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