Feel Cool with these three tracks.
by Kt Emmerson
Sometimes the everyday doldrums hammer out all of your anti-establishment, counterculture tendencies. Death by spilled milk, smashed cracker crumbs in the carpet, demands for cereal, juice boxes, ice cream ever-increasing intensity. Even Joe Strummer liked a tidy house, No? And surely Jello Biafra has to make a run for kitty litter at Costco? Ok, Sid and Nancy did not need clean dishes, but you get my point.
And here’s the thing about parenting that no one told this determinedly independent, nonconformist minded little Texas girl (or I wasn’t listening, which is probably the case), there is hardly any room at all for YOU to be that punk rock, rebel, antagonist you reckon yourself to be. No, the whole ship goes to hell with that kind of attitude. Believe me, I’ve tried, and there are a lot more clean-up messes to contend with, actually and metaphorically.
But fear not my almost dead inside reprobates. I present a placebo or let’s say a methadone to your heroin addiction to misanthropy. A touch of cool elegance to sooth that hateful heart of yours. Here are 3 songs to make you feel cool even though you know you’re almost out of milk, and waffles for dinner again won’t pass muster 3 nights in a row. My 3 coolness inducing songs might not have you bludgeoning a hotel room in Hollywood, but you will feel like returning to vintage clothing shopping and searching for your leather jeans in the back of your unorganized closet.
Jonathan Bree’s “You’re so Cool” (aptly named) somehow embraces mommy’s little hang-ups, and turns them into lovely little sexy quirks to worship and adore:
Body so fit so full of spark
With affirmations as your wall art
You were driven, eyes on the prize
A yoga routine home exercise
Sultry orchestral cello laid on top of buttery compliments of your undeniable coolness, and the distinguished distorted guitar is a true embrace of the lost little Joan Jett inside of you. I know I’m giving you the infomercial sales pitch but, really there’s nothing in it for me, YOU are the winner of this persuasion exercise. Watch the video to be superly disturbed, which is also very cool.
I guess in my ‘old age’ I’ve lost a need to lash out in puck rock hateful fashion and replaced it with a tendency to luxuriate in holier-than-thou, not on top 40 radio, alternative indie-ness. Bands with an influence from ABBA to new romantics of the later 80s (as long as there is not a hint of grunge in there) I embrace with enthusiasm. But there are a few songs that just hit you at the core of your college radio essence and add to your coolness quotient.
Case in point “Letter of Intent” by Ducktails. Maybe it’s the Suzanne Vega understated phrasing by and her soulful Simply Red costar, that sets me in mind of skipping out of high school in my pal’s borrowed Volvo station wagon, clandestine cruising to the outskirts of town for an ungodly amount of cigarette smoking. Or maybe it’s her cool pedestrian – Audrey Hepburn swaying to the perfectly twangy jangles. “When you’re walking next to me, seems just like it’s make believe, spying in the gallery, an unforeseen fantasy…” you catch that ethereal ghostliness? Whatever it is, this song harkens me back to bygone days of escape, freedom, and superior differentness.
Somehow, a song sung in French is just tres chic, n’es pas? Quesque se super cool en francais? Le Couleur’s “Femme” is ridiculously styled while maintaining an effortless façade of “this is nothing to me”. Perfectly noir, its disco indie-pop beats will have you completely unselfconscious as you bop your head strolling through the trendy section of your particular local. I for one spent a lovely afternoon last week, trapesing through New Orleans’ French Quarter sure of my own suave meter ticking upward. Oh, and if you watch the video, you will be Twiggy, if only your head.
Download them, swim in them, and then you can certainly bow down to my superior coolness for sharing them with you.
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