The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, April 6, 1995 -
*Thanks for the memories, now let's kick out the jams, ya crazy villains
Staring with disbelief atthe schlump
who was graciously chosen by some
damned University committee to speak
at the 1995 commencement, I, along
with a few thousand other graduates
and parents assembled at the stadium,
yawn with overt ridicule and, regard-
less of political agendas, curse State for
their grip upon Clinton. Hey aren't we
the victors and the best?
Nodding offmomentarily, I wake to
*find I've slept through the entire speech.
"And so ... looking back on your
academic careers at the University of
Yawn. Hrumph. Zzzzzzzz ...
Looking back, I hear music, feel
music - both coming in with music
into-the School of Music and a brief
diversion, training to become an opera
singer, then awaking to my senses and
reemerging into the more substantive
College of Literature, Science and the
Arts (despite its business-like competi-
tive drive, the School of Music is not the
real world - musical theater majors
tromping through the halls, dropping
daisy petals along the floors and sing-
ing "The sun will come out tomorrow,
betcha bottom dollar that..." with their
firmly compact, permanent grins em-
bedded onto their faces -musical the-
ater majors, c'mon and frown; it's not a
sunshine day, it's a dark and evil day),
and now emanating out from the Uni-
versity with Pomp, Circumstance and
But music has been with me my
entire life from the age of seven, when
I jumped on my rickety bed to the
rhythm of my parents' tattered and
scratched original copy of "Meet the
Beatles" to my present -day fascination
with the individualist expression of love,
apathy, limpness, orgasm, alienation
- a spectrum of human emotions that
become condensed by music into each
person's own unique experience. Mu-
sic is the lifebloodspirit of us all. Those
who can't appreciate its multi-leveled,
cosmic deliverance/retribution can at
least hopefully hear it surround their
entire aura of consciousness.
Yet staring at the face of this con-
sciousness, I see a vast, veiled void of
spiraling entropy because as we all in-
crease in age, music becomes memory,
no longer holding that secret sauce that
can stir us to orgasm at a punch of a tom
drum, a strike of a G-chord, the manic
and guttural howl of a scream. The
Rolling Stones' lifebloodspirit is now
decrepit, any power they once com-
manded gone with Keith Richards'
blood. The old vanguard of '70s rock
critics feebly tout the past, seemingly
afraid to grasp anything wonderfully
fresh. Lester Bangs (my hero -in case
you couldn't tell) left this world at the
age of 33 in 1982, thereby fleeing the
blazing oven onslaught of MTV and the
decrapitation of video rock. Thank you,
Lester Bangs, for staying true to your
instincts and to yourself.
Asked recently to name the song
that best describes my self, I, being far
from my record collection, reeled off
four in a moment, not really sure of
what I had chosen. Who says free asso-
ciation isn't 100 perecent accurate?
The New Bomb Turks' "Brother
Orson Welles" assaults with its punk
ferocity, but the words lie inside the
cracked nut's shell: "What are the things
we can never have?/Where do dreams
go when you're out of bed?/Come into
this world a smiling kid. Drop the coffin
down, shut the lid./Wanna be a loner
with the purest of intent, being your
own boss but watching every cent?/Or
can you follow to a line someone else's
rules?/Security secure but feeling like a
fool." Thank you New Bomb Turks for
giving voice to my current crossroads
conundrum between writing or finding
a stifling suit job to make money.
The Pixies' "Debaser" in which
Black Francis screams "Wanna grow
up to be aDebaser." I know what I want
to be when I grow up - are there any
openings in Debasement? Thank you,
Pixies, for providing me with my first
The Ramones' "Commando," a
moron-hop tune with its commands to
"be nice to mommy, don't talk to
commies, eat kosher salamis," it is still
a celebration of The Dumb, a crippling
gene of rock that's been lost some-
where on the road to ruin and yet still
belongs inherent in rock history. Thank
you, Ramones, for your low IQs and
still being able to chop off my ears.
The Stooges'"1969," spawned from
the same Ann Arbor soil as I, who
embraced youth alienation for the first
time in punk rock history as Iggy Pop
slyly intoned "Now last year I was 21,
I didn't have a lot of fun; Now I'm
gonna be 22, a my-my and a boo-hoo."
It's another year with nothing to do.
Now 1995, turning 22 in two months, I
say thank you, Stooges, for your great
contribution to music and my life.
Thanks to Nirvana, which Kurt
Cobain finally found exactly one year
ago, for providing me with many an-
Thanks to the Cynics, who are al-
ways questioning the exertion and loss
of love and romance, for guiding me
through some tough times.
Thanks to the Afghan Whigs for
providing even stronger support.
Thanks to Icky Joey, the worst band
in rock 'n' roll.
Thanks to Mudhoney for their
Thanks toBilly Childish formaking
me a Youngblood.
Thanks to Urge Overkill for saturat-
ing my cosmos.
Thanks to Sugar for redesigning my
Thanks to Smashing Pumpkins even
though Billy ripped The Nuge.
Thanks to the MC5 for kickin' out
Thanks to the Cure for supplying
my junior high experience with a little
Thanks to R.E.M. who, after the
end of the world, suddenly realized
that everybody hurts. Thanks for the
Thanks to Public Enemy, one of
the few rap groups I ever grooved
with, for bringing your empowerment
upon my shoulders.
Thanks to Elastica for reaffirming
my faith in British rock. Those were
some mighty tough times there for
awhile, weren't they? Your connec-
tion is made from one fan to another
throughout the world.
Too sentimental? Too personal?
Damn right. Listening to music is the
most religiously sentimental and per-
sonal event in all lives. Hearing a new
vibration of power in a song is to me
like feeling all my innards simulta-
neously contract completely until the
point of implosion but then they ex-
But the point of interest isn't
my record collection or the result-
ing explosion -- it's your indi-
vidual experience with your per-
sonal fave raves. You may have
your own explosive memories of
and thanks for Mariah Carey, Pave-
ment or Boyz II Men -- three from
whom I don't really ketch the
fevah. The feeling is there for you,
and the memories may jump upon
you at sudden points in your life,
but don't ever lose the fevah.
This Is Paul McCartney. He used to be in some crappy little four-piece.
Don't let half your grade get you
stressed during finals.
These are the New Bomb Turks, they are sure sexy MFs, aren't they? I hear Prince has them as his new backing band. (That was a lie.)
Blue Notes of Ann Arbor Inc.
Located on the
upper level of
'us a unmurui Nu uvur w/tuauniv Iu I
Ann Arbor's Biggest Modem Rock Dance Party
* 541 ~ofr~h a~'~cl .s~a4~
215 S. State St. Ann Arb
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Lynn M. Thomson
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