dtunes Editor’s week day 6: Jonathan Holmes

[dTunes is a community organized blog showcasing the musical tastes of Destructoid’s users. For two weeks, the editorial team is commandeering the series because, hey, we like music too. To further expand your horizons, make sure to check out the dTunes blog.]

Just about everything I like is at least a little bit funny.

For instance, I love the movie Evil Dead 2, the NWA album album Straight Out of Compton, and the original Resident Evil, despite the fact that they all turned out more hilarious than intended. I’ve found that things that alternate between making me laugh (intentionally or unintentionally) and being genuinely kick-ass in a seamless way can bring me years of joy, where completely serious stuff often gets old after a few months. Maybe it’s the fact that a mixture of light and dark moments creates a more multi-dimensional whole, or maybe it’s because most artists that really think what they have to say is super-important-serious turn out to be pretentious, narcissistic jack-asses when you meet them in real life.

Whatever the reasons, I can assure you that you wont find anything too dry or traditional on this list, but I hope that what you do find will surprise you, and make you happy. 

No guarantees people, but if you gave me a chance and hit the jump, I sure would appreciate it.

 

 

Dead Milkmen- Punk Rock Girl

If it were a videogame it would be: Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

This isn’t my favorite Dead Milkmen song, but it’s the one that I heard first, and it’s probably the one that the band will be best remembered for. Part of what I love about these guys (and a lot of the entries on this list) is that they had absolutely no reason to believe that they could ever “make it”. When a bunch of dudes are fairly ugly, refuse to cling to one particular genre of music or preconceived style, but instead just show up as themselves and make music that they enjoy making, I can’t help but respect them.

They also do a pretty kick ass version of The Misfits’ Astro Zombies. It’s not quite as great as the original, and I’m sure they know that, but the fact that they did it anyway makes me smile.

MF Doom- I hear voices

If it were a videogame it would be: MadWorld

If you were at all impressed with the Dead Milkmen for their chance taking ways and devil may care attitude towards the music industry, then I insist that you take your hat off for the one, the only Metal Fingers Doom.

Like a a lot of pre-Gangsta era rap fans, I got sick of the macho posturing, ingenuous boasting, and overall insincere garbage that erupted after New Jack City and Boys N The Hood became blockbuster hits. For quite a few years, I pretty much gave up on the world of Hip-Hop. Both MFs (Doom and Grimm) did a lot to change that. Rhyming “so-so chick” with “Milošević” in itself did wonders for me to reconsider rap music as a whole, and see it as something I could potentially get excited about again.

Speaking of the other MF, you can hear his half of I hear voices here. I would have posted that vid instead, but the video of Doom brushing his teeth with the mask on was just too good to resist. 

Also, this song features the lyric “retarded in real-life, on the mic Rain Man”. Just thought you should know.

Loudness- Gotta Fight

If it were a videogame it would be: No More Heroes

For most of my life, I’ve tried as hard as possible to directly communicate my ideas to the people around me, yet 99% percent of the time I still feel misunderstood. That’s probably why I love Engrish. It feels like my native language.

As you can tell, Loudness is well versed in Engrish themselves, and they certainly know how to rock as well. The fact that they adapted a wholly American style of music (hair/guitar metal) and even excelled in their chosen field is totally heartwarming to me. If these guys can make it, we all can make it, as long as we put more your fight. 

We are the heroes!

M-Z-A!

Mike Hanley-Final Fight 3

If it were a videogame it would be: Final Fight 3

I used to hang out with Mike Hanley about three times a week. Often times Mike, our friend Jeff, and my at-the-time room mate Jesse would spend these visits trying to beat my records in Super Punch-Out!!, followed by at least and hour with Final Fight 3. I didn’t understand the appeal of the game at first, but after watching them beat it multiple times a week, sometimes more than once in the same day, I began to understand. 

Mike doesn’t really like videogames all that much, and because of that I think he appreciated things about Final Fight 3 that I just took for granted; the size of Haggar’s shoulder for instance. Through his eyes, I came to see the game in a different light, and learned to love it as he does. I wasn’t alone in this. An entire website would go on to be created in it’s honor. 

Speaking of the song, Mike wrote it in about ten minutes and recorded it in twenty, performing all the tracks alone, and in one take. He did this all the time, sometimes whipping up entire 12 song albums in one night, and called them “Penny songs”. The idea was to eventually charge a penny per song, but I don’t think he ever went ahead with that.

If you want to hear some of them, or some of his more labored, “serious” stuff, you can go here. All the songs are free. 

Richard Harris-Macarthur’s Park

If it were a videogame it would be: Shenmue

This is not Richard Harris’s most bizarre, mind-blowing song, but it’s up there. There is another song he did where he sings “Somewhere in my mouth, there will always be the taste of you” which may be more amazing, but that song was never a hit.

Macarthur’s Park was a hit; a huge hit. People didn’t care that Harris couldn’t hit a note unless he hit at least five other notes on the way to finding it. People didn’t care that, with no irony at all, the man yells the words “IT TOOK SO LONG TO BAKE IT” multiple times in the song. People loved it. Multiple other artists covered it, from Glenn Campbell to Donna Summer. it was a huge money maker that some would say changed the face of music forever. 

Isn’t that weird?

I genuinely love the song too, but I’d be lying if I said I that I don’t also laugh almost every time I hear it. The combination of Richard Harris being a huge film star at the time he recorded these songs, the sound of his voice, and the surreal, serious tone of the lyrics both works on me as Harris’s songwriter Jimmy Webb intended, and in a totally unintended comedic way simultaneously.

Cast of The Science of SleepRescue Me

If it were a videogame it would be: Katamari Damacy

I love kittens, and songs about being a kitten. Kahimi Karie also has an awesome song about being a kitten, which can, like the song above, instantly put me in a good mood. I’d write more, but this post has to go live in five minutes, and anyway, I think the appeal here is pretty self explanatory.

Ah, what the hell, I can’t resist.

Whether we want to admit it or not, I think all people just want to drop the garbage of human life and just be a kitten. A well kept kitten lives a better life than most people, and everybody loves them.

Being a Tiger kitten might suck because you might get eaten by a tiger, but other than that one exception, being a kitten is something I think we all want. To fore-go any pretense of being more sophisticated than that and just speak this simple truth of kitten-aspiration is something more song writers should do. 

RobotechLook up! The sky is falling

If it were a videogame it would be: Final Fantasy IV

This song just completely rules, but if there is a reason beyond that for loving it, it’s probably because it is completely serious, incredibly well crafted, and appeared in a “kid’s show” that wasn’t afraid to treat me like an adult. I love the entire Robotech soundtrack, especially the instrumental (much of which has been used on David Letterman multiple times) but I thought this would be a more rousing song for this post to go out on.

Thanks for reading (and listening) everybody!

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes