GOTW Anger Post-Mortem


Not entirely sure i like these post-match analyses – i sort of feel like when i’m done with it, i’m done – but if it’s expected i’ll bang up a brief one. I did a b-list last year so the amount of labor and the process itself wasn’t unfamiliar to me. But a b-list is different from an A-list, and Jon D did the heavy lifting there last year. It’s a whole different can of worms. I did all new-to-me’s on my b-list last year because i could. But an A-list needs a write up and a theme, there are songs that want zedding, and have to be justified and explained.

One thing i did very differently than Chris is that i listened to the tunes first, and then dealt with lyrics later. That’s how i would have done it anyway, but i think it was a very good call this week because there were a lot of songs that had fantastic lyrics (hip hoppy stuff, punk, rants, etc) but were musically uninteresting, and i wanted a playlist that was listenable. After i got down to probably 100 tunes or so, i started to sift through themes, and weed out songs with similar themes, and choose the one i thought best. And i think that paradox was really what i was looking for most. Funny bile, cheery vitriol, sexy rape songs (yes, i know i don’t deserve to live), pissed off hippies, positive metal, punk, and hip hop….

Problem with this is that you get a list heavy on my own personal taste in music. I love my A-list. So it’s probably a bit too rock-heavy for a lot of people’s taste, but to be fair i did post an early warning that i asked for a rock-friendly topic. There really isn’t enough variety. But it is what it is. One thing i did right this time – paced myself in listening. I’d listen to a page full of tunes, then take a break for an hour or two. So unlike last time i did the b-list, i’m not sick and tired of music. Looking very forward to the Festive Spill lists.

For a b-list i just did a grab bag of new-to-me tunes i thought were great. That was almost tougher than an A-list, because i had to leave just so much out. There were so many good tunes this week. My favorite thing about RR isn’t getting my own noms zedded, fun as that is, but discovering new tunes, and that’s what’s best about guruship. I feel like a big part of the job is to point people to some great tunes that they may have missed.

So a brief explanation of my A-list choices –

1. PIL – Rise There was pretty much no way this song wasn’t going to get listed.

2. Fatima Mansions – Shiny Happy People Much as i love this song, I had no intention of listing it. But i wanted at least one song with a bile filled rant. Siouxie’s Drop Dead got a lot of donds and recommendations, but i hate the song, i think it’s really ugly. Even if John Cooper Clarke’s Twat wasn’t zedded, i wouldn’t have listed it as it’s musically uninteresting to me. There were plenty of others that could have fit the bill, but in the end this one was musically interesting enough, the bile was aimed at the right targets, and it’s not without humor for diffusion purposes.

3. Soft Boys – I Wanna Destroy You I just love this song, think it’s fantastic. Happy that Shiv nommed it, and happy to list it.

4. Rolling Stones – Midnight Rambler No apologies for this one whatsoever. Sorry Stones fans (all 2 or 3 of you), but this was pretty much the only Stones tune i would have considered, it’s the one i would have put up myself. Blessedly Alfie coughed it up almost right away. I probably would have been devastated if i couldn’t have fit it on the list. But it dealt with a theme i wanted to highlight, it’s a great song, and no one else was ever going to zed it, unless maybe we got a topic about Rape or something. The other alternative would have been the Mountain Goats angry sex song, but a bit too nebulous to pin down.

5. Pavement – Spit on a Stranger It became clear as i was listening that i had a motherlode of angry breakup tunes, so that aspect of anger certainly deserved a slot. And Alanis probably totally deserved it too, it probably should have been her here (more on that downthread). Damien Rice was another strong contender. I went with Pavement in the end because i love the song, it’s a bit more subtle, and i felt the list needed a bit of a change of pace here.

6. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message When i saw this go up on the boards, i pretty much knew that this was going to be the one for the hip-hop / social anger slot. Fantastic tune, bang on topic, thrilled to be able to zed this puppy finally.

7. Angelic Upstarts – Murder of Liddle Towers This was the shoehorn of the list – really more than the others i think an angry song more than being about anger. Considered a lot of alternatives for social anger, but in the end this one got the slot because it’s such a flat out great tune. But if Conflict was more interesting musically, it could have well had the slot.
8. Pantera – Mouth For War A list of songs about anger really had to have a metal tune. I’m pretty happy with this one – i like the message, and it totally rocks.

9. Yes – Long Distance Runaround No apologies for this one either, even though it might sound a bit proggily dated and a bit out of place. If it’s not one of their very best top tier tunes, it’s a goodun, it’s well on topic, and Yes was badly overdue for a zedding.

10.Plan B – Who Needs Action When You Got Words If I was going to list an American hip hop tune, i really felt like i needed a British one too. The more i listen to this one, the more i like it. I’m pretty happy with this one, it’s a nice counterpoint to Grandmaster Flash. US vs UK, old skool vs contemporary, frustrated / impotent anger vs solutions. A lot more musically interesting to me than the much recommended / donded Ill Manors too. I like this guy.

11.Bob Marley – Them Belly Full Happy with this one too. Reggae a nice change of pace, and a positive message in the face of legitimate anger.

12.Sinead O’Connor – This IS a Rebel Song So happy i could get this one listed. Love, love the song, and i like that it shows a way to deal with anger that is not one’s own. And encompasses both the personal and larger scale issues. Really a perfect wrap up song for what i wanted to say.

Missed Opptunities

My failure to zed these tunes may well come back to haunt me. They all deserved to be A-listed. In fact, i’m afraid that i might go to hell.

Jimi Hendrix – Bold As Love

Alanis Morrisette – You Oughta Know

Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger

Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Veruca Salt – Seether

Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues

Animals – I’m Mad Again

23 thoughts on “GOTW Anger Post-Mortem

  1. haven’t listened yet–am very much looking forward to doing so–but I gotta say that if you’re going to hell, you’ve got a helluva soundtrack…

  2. interesting write up and glad the idea of ‘Who Needs Action When You Got Words’ came across – it was pleasing that DsD agreed too. It’s easy to go with the most obvious when faced with a vast amount of tunes laid out… cheers for that.
    I managed to listen through with the anger tunes – the army tunes made me more angry – I just couldn’t cope with them.. sorry Chris, I would have had to vent/express too much information I’m not comfy sharing if I’d joined in your post RR write up)
    So Pavement – I just couldn’t take the bait – I don’t find them that angry – like Dinosaur Jr a lot of bile is involved – but it comes from a place I don’t associate with anger.. the words could express it, but the tone didn’t; unfair, the hexx, fight this generation, sutciffe catering song, all embrace vitriolic language – but just don’t scream anger at me.

    Anyway – brilliant lists** – they feel totally personal and guest RRs should be that… take what’s given and twist: genius.

    **(except, not enough of my perfect tunes)

    • Maybe it’s because i’m a yank and have known a few tall and beautiful California guys (who i will love as friends until i die, although i’ve lost touch over the years) – the anger is most certainly there. It’s like “hey dude, we just have to surf”, but they’re smart as whips, and passively agressively as pissed off as anyone. It takes a real lot to get them going, but once you’ve crossed a line, you really don’t want to fuck with them at all…

      • It’s probably because I come from the same place, amy – quiet, laid back, internal anger, I mean – it’s easier to judge it looking in possibly … than it was for me to judge empathising (if that makes sense?) I love the fact that you chose Pavement – shows up all those cloth eared guru’s in the past who didn’t… this is a joke (insert smiley guru – for anyone who takes everything too seriously)

    • Shane: please tell me (over on it’s own post-mortem thread) why you found my army list difficult. I noticed the lack of any comment from you (and from Shoey) and was disappointed. As I’ve said on many an occasion, I find your perspective interesting and valuable. Don’t share personal stuff if you don’t want to, obv, but do share, please.

    • “you can’t ignore the phiglt of (perhaps) millions of women who are smacked around and beaten on a daily basis – just because, on a much more rare occurence, a guy who was truly defending himself against an abusive female got hauled off jail and had to explain himself”Millions of women? Well, maybe in Pakistan. ;-)But seriously, how do you know that in domestic abuse cases the man is only rarely the innocent party? In an attempt to address the assumptions implicit in current domestic abuse policy, a researcher got to thinking: “If the problem is largely due to male violence, then we should see significantly lower levels of domestic abuse in lesbian couples. And if the problem is one of male sexist attitudes towards women then we should see lower levels of violence in gay couples.” And yet, when the researcher looked at the uniform crime statistics published by the Department of Justice, they showed very similar abuse rates for heterosexual, gay, and lesbian couples. Which suggests that maybe the problem is not Eeeeevil Men but just the flawed nature of humanity.Sadly, I have been personally acquainted with feminists who proudly described themselves as female chauvinists and saw nothing wrong with demanding the right to denigrate men however they wished while reserving the right to use violence on men who expressed opinions they disliked.

      • Yesterday’s television saw it.The magic of Mr.Sero is still terfiric!It was very surprised!It was glad that it could be watched on television after a long time.I want to see much wonderful magic of Mr.Sero again:)

  3. Hi Amy,

    Insomniac DsD here, lying in spare bed next to one awake sick daughter, listening to the other one cough in her sleep next door!

    Yeah, I’m sending you to hell for not A-listing Seether. I honestly thought that one was nailed on. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted the songs to be ABOUT anger, but the more I realised they wouldn’t/couldn’t all be. So a tip of my hat for sticking to your parameters, but a flip of a digit because they wouldn’t have been MY parameters!


    Plan B was ear-catchingly angry on that first album; so good it stays in my collection despite its poor fit to my normal listening tastes. I can’t believe The Bellrays were new to you: me, Gordon, and occasionally Mnemonic have all championed them in several previous RR topics. And if I understand you correctly, was GnR’s Get In The Ring fighting for the slot the Fatima Mansions eventually got?

    • no, GnR really wasn’t a contender at all. Despite being a massive GnR fan, that’s a pretty subpar one to me. I think it’s ugly. Was glad to see that no one put up One in a Million.
      Siouxie’s Drop Dead might have been a contender, as it had so many donds and recommends, but again, i just thought it was flat out ugly. SMASH might have been a contender, but it was too similar to the Soft Boys. There were plenty of punk songs too that could have made the slot. It was the humor in Fatima Mansions that finally got it the slot.

      No, i can’t believe i never heard of the Bellrays either. But you can bet i’m going to check them out now, so thanks to you and Gordon for that one!

      I had said on the mothership that what i didn’t want was a list of songs with “Anger” (or some varation) in the title. If i did, my haunt list may have been the actual A-list! And i didn’t want a b-list to be songs that just missed the A. And i had a theme i had to fit and some points i wanted to make. But i was kinda surprised and sorry to find only one girly on the A-list – i thought for sure i’d end up with more than just one female on there. Alanis really should have been on there too – great lyrics – but in the end i can only take her screeching for so long…

      • btw, that Timex Social Club was a big find too. I may or may not have heard it before, can’t remember, but that one was just great.

        Told you all it hurt for what i had to leave off of the lists…

    • And i’m visual and gestalt, not so good with words…

      But in the end that Fatima Mansions made the list because it’s a really unique song, basically. I don’t know anything else like it.

      • it’s an amazing song (Fatima Manisons’ “Shiny Happy People”) and I’ve wondered since I first heard it what R.E.M. make of it…now try to imagine Fatima Mansions’ version with the Muppet’s…I’m obviously easily amused.

  4. Feel a little guilty, that the ‘Spill doings clashed with your tenure, & Maki’s too – now that RR is running right up to Christmas.

    Interesting that you went with a musical bias rather than Chris’ lyrical. Agree that Rise is a great tune, but the lazy lyrics spoil it for me.

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