1950s-christmas-card.jpgJudging by the sad madness in our nation’s Wal-Marts, it must be the holiday season. The days are getting shorter, the lines are getting longer, and it’s becoming more and more important to cram as much as we can into the hours between sunup and sundown.

My friends and I like to play a game where we condense a band’s entire lyrical output to one characteristic line; it can be a line that sums up their philosophy neatly (as my friend Ben points out, nearly any Fugazi lyric will do there), or something that’s indicative of the types of stories they tell (according to my friend Jason, literally any Black Sabbath line will do). So, in keeping with the season of sharing, get together with a few friends, throw on a yule log and the Beach Boys Christmas record, and start stuffing.

In The Comments: Let us know what you come up with below. With thanks to Jason, Ben, Robbie, and Josh, here are a few examples to get you started. words/ m. garner

The Hold Steady :: “She was a pretty cool kisser and she wasn’t all that strict of a Christian.”
Nirvana :: “Teenage angst has paid off well; now I’m bored and old.”
The Minutemen :: “Punk rock changed our lives.”
The Replacements :: “One foot in the door, the other one in the gutter.”
Joy Division :: “I’ve got the spirit, but lose the feeling.”

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68 Responses to “Rock & Roll :: Cliff’s Notes”

  1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — “It’s our time sweet babe, to break on through / It’s the year to be hated / So glad that we made it”

    Cash — “Till things are brighter, I’m the man in black”

    Wu-Tang Clan — Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin’ to F*ck Wit’

  2. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t think up that Wu-Tang one. That’s so perfect.

    Atlas Sound/Deerhunter – “I’m waiting to be changed.”

  3. My bad, that one’s just Atlas Sound. Deerhunter – “Crucified on a cross in front of all my closest friends.”

  4. Cold War Kids – “One hundred years of solitude and only twelve years old”

  5. Tom Waits (later): “Never trust a man in a blue tench coat, never drive a car when you’re dead”

    Tom Waits (early): “Someone pour me a cab, I just can’t drink no more”

  6. Oh, and who could forget the Ramones:
    “There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin”

  7. I leave early in the morning and I won’t be back till next year. I see that kiss-me pucker forming, but maybe you should plug it with a beer. – Magnetic Fields

    You know the bottle ain’t to blame and I ain’t trying to. It don’t make you do a thing it just lets you. – Mike Cooley, Drive-by Truckers

    Look me in the eye, then, tell me that I’m satisfied. – Replacements

    Come pick me up, Take me out, Fuck me up, Steal my records, Screw all my friends… – Ryan Adams

    I miss the innocence I’ve known, Playing KISS covers, beautiful and stoned – Wilco

  8. Ella: The Ryan Adams and Wilco picks are damn good.

  9. Son Volt’s

    ‘Tear Stained Eye’:

    “Walkin down Main Street,
    gettin’ to know the concrete
    Lookin’ for a purpose from a neon sign.”



    “Switching it over to AM
    Searching for a truer sound
    Can’t recall the call letters
    Steel guitar and settle down
    Catching an all-night station somewhere in Louisiana
    It sounds like 1963, but for now it sounds like heaven
    May the wind take your troubles away
    May the wind take your troubles away
    Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,
    May the wind take your troubles away.”

    (yea, it’s long…but it’s good)

  10. “ladies, let me tell you about myself i got a dick for a brain
    and my brain is gonna sell my ass to you” greg dulli (afghan whigs)

  11. Magnolia Electric Co. (Jason Molina): “Now that the big gray owl above me, she starts again to wail, she says that moon has got so low tonight that it’s polishing the rail…”

  12. Talking Heads: This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.

    X: We’re desparate, get used to it.

    Specials: Stop you’re messing around, time to think of your future.

    Young Neil Young: Everybody knows this is nowhere
    Old Neil Young: People my age, they don’t do the things I do.

  13. new order – “ive lived my life on alcohol, ive lived my life on pills”

    a stupidly obvious nin one – “i hurt myself today, to see if still feel, i focus on the pain, the only thing thats real”

    ryan adams – “i was at the bar til 6, oh lord, but i wasnt ready to go, im never ready to go

    depeche mode – “i’ll give in to sin, because i like to practise what i preach”

    sigur ros – ha yeah right

  14. the smiths – “i decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
    england is mine, it owes me a living”

    the stone roses – “kiss me where the sun dont shine, the past was yours but the futures mine, your all out of time” (this one doesnt work for second coming era roses)

    babyshambles – “OH PADDY PUT THE PIPE DOWN”

    i really like this game

  15. I know you listed the Minutemen but “maybe partying will help”

  16. Arcade Fire:

    MTV, what have you done to me? Save my soul, set me free!

    or if you prefer…. Lil’ John:

    Yeah. what? ooookaaaaaaaaay

  17. Perhaps the most obvious one

    Rolling Stones: If you start me up, I’ll never stop, never stop,never stop.

    and then these

    magnetic Fields: “it makes the sun shine, makes it rain; you just get out what they put in.”

    M. Ward: “God it’s great to be alive, rips the skin right off my hide to think I’ll have to give it all up one day”

  18. Minutemen “we jam econo”

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