WHAT I'M DOIN' # 49: Christmas Eve

Republibot 3.0
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One nice thing about being poor and no longer being able to afford your storage PODS (That’s singular, not plural, BTW. Plural would be “PODSes” I guess) is that it means you don’t have to Christmas Shop. Just wrap up some unopened Series Six Simpsons figures, and - bingo, bango, bongo* - you’re done. Just lay your old books on the driveway in the sun for an afternoon to kill the mold, dust ‘em off, and they’re good for givin’. The best thing is re-gifting. Invariably you’ve got stuff in the PODS that you didn’t want, that came from someone as a present somewhere along the line. It’s sat there unopened for a decade or so. After a decade, it’s acceptable to pass it on. (“Ooooh! Pitch Black Action Figures! They haven’t made these in forever! How did you find ‘em?” “Oh, it wasn‘t easy. I had to [insert cock-and-bull story here]”) In fact, if you accidentally give a gift to the person who gave it to you in the first place, you don’t need to worry about them catching on. Who’s gonna’ suspect after a decade?

So in addition to running around buying presents and refilling prescriptions and taking lunch to my wife and stuff all day, I’ve been listening to more old mix tapes I found in the PODS. Today’s installment was the fault of Miguel Cielo. Side B was entirely INXS songs. Side A was mostly stuff that was already played out by the end of the middle 3rd of the ‘80s. (“Shock the Monkey,” “Synchronicity,” “Saved by Zero,” etc.) I won’t bore you with that. Amidst the boring XM Radio “First Wave” blandness, however, there were four tracks of note:

“Common Ground” by Rhythm Corps.

This is the kind of song that all the girlies sang along with back in the day, a bit too intently, like they *meant* it, like it had serious poignancy, like no one had ever thought of this before. The video goes a long way towards destroying an already cloying song. Check out the guitar player, generally on the left side of the shot, playing Way Too Emphatically. Embarrassingly late ‘80s.

“Voices of Babylon” by The outfield

I’d completely forgotten this song existed. Good video. Any music clip that involves a pointless spitfire battle has to be good. Both song and video aged well. Late ‘80s, but in a good way.

“City of Love” by Yes

An uncharacteristically straight-ahead rocker from “Yes” off of 90125. Forgot this one existed, though there was a short period there where my friends and I listened to it a dozen times per car trip.

“Tyranny” by Stabilizers

Apart from showing up on Miguel’s mixes for a few years, I know nothing about the song. The band, or anything. I’m almost definite I’ve never seen the video before. Something about it makes me think they’re Canadian. Dunno why. I *almost* like this song, it’s got some nice elements to it, and it edges towards menace, but, alas, it never quite gets there. Blandly mid-80s.

“The Day Your Ship Gets Through” by Glen Burtnick.

Yeah, don’t know who he is either, but evidently he was in Styx during the Gulf War. Wrote some hits for some other people. Despite the obvious sacchariney contrivance that comes oh-so-very-close to proto-Boy-band awfulness, I kinda’ like it. Nice melody. Oddly, while I’d completely forgotten much better songs on the mix, I’ve always remembered this one through the years, and found myself singing it in the shower or while puttering around in the garage. I have no idea why.

I chucked the tape in the garbage at Wallmart.

Ok, I’m going to wrap stuff now. Merry Christmas, everybody.

*- And Irving!