Monday, July 04, 2005

The Christian conservative mix tape

My good friend James just moved to the middle of nowhere last month. Nobody there knows him except the people at Dairy Queen. So I’m attempting to throw together some kind of a care package for him, which has been interesting because, as the title of this post suggests, he puts the “ervative” in strict Christian conservative. I just finished candying some endangered species, and the fabric paint on the “Everyone loves an Aryan boy!” t-shirt I made him is still drying. So I figure this is a good time to crash in front of the computer and put together the king of adolescent gift items: the mix tape. Most of the mixes I’ve made before could have been titled “The best of ‘80s post-punk accessible enough for kids who like Good Charlotte”. Unfortunately, even the most dilute punk formula may not fly this time. Still, I gotta be me. So I’m trying to come up with songs that will expand James’ horizons a little to the left, without finding myself in Gitmo tomorrow morning. Here goes:

Sonic Youth – “Chapel Hill”
I should probably call this song “Greensboro” in the liners just so he won’t immediately push skip when the track comes up. Only after at least 20 listens, or over an hour and a half of spastic dancing, did lyrics like “Ameri-k-k-kan” and “Jesse H. come into our pit, all ages show” sink in for me. Here’s hoping James is as slow as I am.

Consonant – “That Boston Life”
This is just a nice song. Regular doses might get him to stop pointing his rifle at anyone who mentions Massachusetts.

Public Enemy – “911 is a joke”
Believe it or not, James actually enjoys rap. Poetic devices in action, he calls it. He also wants to be a doctor, so Flavor Flav explaining the inequality and discrimination in health seems appropriate.

The Kinks – “Lola”
James’ attitude toward gays is also surprising—he hates them, sure, but no more than he hates straight people. We all give in to temptation, he says, so we’re all equally damned. Oh well. Maybe cute, low-talking Lola can get us all back in his plus column.

Modest Mouse – “Ocean Breathes Salty”
“Good luck, for your sake, I hope heaven and hell are really there, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.” This verse sums up the guns I stuck to in a 6-hour theological debate we once had, in which our heroine narrowly escaped conversion.

Fiery Furnaces – “Blueberry Boat”
I’m hoping the cheerful synth-pop and pleasant female vocalist reel him in before he realizes that said female is captain of the ship.

Pavement – “We Dance”
This one is just because James refuses to say the word “castration” in front of anyone without a Y chromosome. Someday, I intend to catch him singing this in the car. Muhahahaha.

They Might Be Giants – “Your Racist Friend”
I’m pretty sure he won’t become one, but a pre-emptive song can’t hurt.

Ben Folds – “Rockin’ the Suburbs”
Origin of the infamous line, “Let me tell y’all what it’s like, being male, middle class, and white.” It doesn’t really fit the theme, but it’s the last song, so I’ll give him a break.

Feel free to make song suggestions, left-leaning or otherwise. Unless you answer to the name “Borda” or “Chorda”, in which case you should be calling home to wish Mom and Dad a happy anniversary >:o(


Brandon said...

It was probably a good idea to skip over "Youth Against Fascism," but how cool would it be to subject your conservative friend to Thurston Moore singing (of Bush pere) "Yeah the President sucks / He's a war-pig fuck."

Neil's Kid Sister said...

Again, maybe a title change is in order. Call it "Youth for Fascism" and he'd hear it at least once.

Anonymous said...

How about sticking on some Minor Threat... "Straight Edge" could introduce him to Hardcore while appealing to his Puritanical side. On a more serious note, how about "the Ballad of the Sin Eater," by Ted Leo. It's so catchy it took me a bit to realize it's about how hard it is to be an American overseas when our country is so obnoxious.

Neil's Kid Sister said...

Now that I think about it, quite a few Ted Leo songs would work. "The Angels' Share" and "Abner Louima v. Gov. Pete Wilson" come to mind. By the way, for any interested indieboppers, this is old but cool.

Blar said...

If he likes the rap, you might include Mos Def - "Mr. Nigga", which deals with the racism that is faced by even a successful black man. Plus, Mos Def is one of the best lyricists out there. If you get James hooked on his poetic devices in action then you can send him towards the CDs "Black on Both Sides" and "Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star."