Soundtracks for deals to come

It’s the sales event that only happens once(?) a year: Toyotathon.

But along with great features, financing, and APR, we also get ads featuring a generic remake of a well known song. Let’s explore a playlist for the Toyotathons that await us on our march to the grave.

Bad Romance — Lady Gaga

This one is pretty by the book. You hear it, go, “Hm, I think I remember this” and boom, they’ve got you hooked with medium-energy shots of cars driving around a suburb surrounded by a meaningless barrage of numbers.

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“Eat shit, bridge!” -Your 2021 Toyota

This brings up a key tension: the people in the car aren’t visible during these ads because the windows are rolled up. So you’re left to assume your Bad Romance is with the car itself, meaning you possibly have sex with the car. …

Man, breakups are a bummer.

Put simply, “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus is an absolutely gorgeous, perfectly constructed, and immensely depressing song. Like, the unflattering reflection possible of your worst self at the worst possible time type of depressing. Give it a listen and read about why it’s so good at being sad!

Oh Dang It’s Post-Breakup

Now your garden variety breakup tune might feature some kind of battle, a locking of the horns, a final word, if you will. But this song here employs the underutilized “getting coffee after the breakup for very vague reasons” phase of the process. Potentially the worst part!

By positioning this in the oft-overlooked some-time-later moment, our narrator has a fresh new take on putting a musical pit in my stomach. …

I’m not sure but also pretty sure?

Interpol

Ok, I know it doesn’t totally sound like the Spoon guy, but didn’t they do some kind of echoy, reverb washed thing in 2010? Or 2011? I remember because I was working at a Sprint store and they played this song all the time. Could be wrong though.

Delta Spirit

Love this one! I think it was a live session they did, maybe BBC? It’s got that raw sound you don’t normally hear from Spoon. The four-on-the-floor stomping thing makes it sound like an energetic demo, but the detailed harmonies totally give away that it’s The Guy From Spoon. …

The question on everyone’s mind

While leading The White Stripes and The Kinks, Jack White and Ray Davies respectively crafted generation-defining rock sensibilities regarding melody, arrangement, and storytelling.

Speaking of stories, many of the ones told by these guys concern a deep, burning desire to return to childhood. To achieve boyhood again. To become baby, if you will.

But between these two aspiring children, who most wants to be baby? We’ll stack up their top 5 “I’m going back!” songs head to head in a five-round, winner-take-all cribmatch. First to 3 wins. Let’s go.

Round 1: “I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart” vs “The Way Love Used to Be”

The White Stripes’ “I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart” is a classic example of Jack White thinking an entire sentence is a good title for a song. …

Tunes for hell

Elections in The United States are Tuesday and everyone is pissed! While things are extradordinarily bad here and globally, the rightward drift of the western world has been undeniable for at least 20 years. We love it!

In short: Political conservatism is a cancer that reflects the moral failure of any society that allows it to flourish. Here are some fun songs about that:

7: 2 + 2 = 5 (Radiohead)

Leading off an album named for George W. Bush’s theft of the 2000 presidential election, “2 + 2 = 5" is Radiohead diving headfirst into Orwellian spookiness instead of mumbling weirdly about it for once.

While the total lack of subtly might feel limiting, it also comes from a band known for its fear of computers, transportation, and oxygen, probably. The result is a simmering electronic tension resolving into a rock freakout that questions what, exactly, is real. …

A conundrum.

There’s no singer-songerwriter with greater mastery of the craft than Sydney’s Courtney Barnett. She creates vivid songs with plenty of flourish and none of the “writerly” trappings that make stuff annoying. Also she takes no shit!

But along with the inevitable ambiguities of a well-written pop song, Barnett brings us another mystery: Is she singing or talking? Like, either generally or specfically. Any clarity is appreciated at this point, so let’s dive in.

EXHIBIT A: Are You Looking After Yourself

Pointedly titled without a quesiton mark, this one opens up with some classic “Are these musical notes?” type talking. …

Certain things are inherently frightening. For example: Rabid dogs, murderous clowns, and Gordon Lightfoot’s 1974 death threat Sundown.

There are 6 particularly scary-ass things about this song, so let’s talk about them in ascending levels of menace. Also, you might as well listen while you read (make sure the kids are outside).

6: The Pre-Chorus Beat

It’s a simple thing. A quick, muffled KUH from the drum kit that signals to you, the listener, that we are plunging back into the by-the-throat message of the chorus. …

It happens to the best of us: You find yourself on the wrong side of the wrong people. It could be juiced up Teamsters, Yakuza psychos, or fettuccine magnates–whatever shadowy crime syndicate operates in your zip code.

Welp, you’re fucked! There’s nothing more embarassing than getting murdered on vacation, so you can’t skip town. No, what you need to do is start planning the Motown-infused needle drop that provides a poignant, ironic, and/or festive backdrop for your unexpected but long-anticipated demise.

Let’s take a look at your options, counting-down style:

9: Tired of Being Alone — Al Green

Starting things off we have Al Green at peak horniness. The titular line and aformentioned bonerism give you the age-old commentary on murder as a form of connection along with its inherent eroticism. …

Your ultimate holiday music guide.

Possessing one of the 20th century’s finest baritones along with a unique sense of melody and storytelling, singer/songwriter Scott Walker (1943–2019, not the Wisconsin guy) consistently eschewed the trappings of pop music in favor of the dissonant and opaque.

And since all that eschewing sounds like a gargoyle having a psychic freakout in an abandoned cathedral, it’s the perfect mood for the most frightful time of year.

In the spirit of the season, here’s 7 songs you can use to bring Scott’s paranoid brand of spookiness to *your* family’s Halloween.

7: Jesse

It’s a ghost story as old as time: Elvis Presley communicates with the spirit of his long-forgotten twin brother Jesse, who died in childbirth. …

Let’s face it: I love The Beatles. It makes me an extremely interesting person.

That said, a band being good is boring. It’s been done before (by The Beatles). So let’s talk about their 10 worst songs and why they suck shit!

10: ’Til There Was You

In an alternate timeline, The Beatles had a long and fruitful career covering schmaltzy Broadway numbers that sound like they were written before electricity. While our current timeline has Abbey Road, the other one included universal healthcare, so.

9: All You Need Is Love

A great example of how something can be both incredibly popular and incredibly awful.

Written by the LSD that John Lennon was taking at the time, the highlights of All You Need is Love include the opening fanfare of the French National Anthem (a different, better song) and Paul yelling the lyrics to “She Loves You” (a different, better song). …

About

Thom Crowley

i wanna live in a lighthouse

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