One of my tricks to mess with people's heads in rural towns is to play gay as fuck synthpop, then good ol' boy rock'n'roll. It works, because there are bands in both genres that i like. Often i will pick Bronski Beat, Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, then switch it out to Guns'n'Roses, AC/DC, Led Zep. Occasionally i then escalate through Deep Purple into full-blown proggy nonsense like Floyd, Yes or ELP. Which can then take me to Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel or Paul Simon or whatever.
Sometimes i do a Supernatural (TV show) playlist. So. Fucking. Of course. Kansas - Carry On Wayward Son. This is THE BEST song to play in some shitty small-town country bar, if you ever watched the show.
There are some funny tunes i've found that confuse everyone in North America, most recently The Stranglers - Peaches, which is unknown enough here that they don't censor "clitoris" and it offends people in ways that explicit hip-hop and country music apparently does not.
I also like Neil Young, which gives you a huge bang for your buck due to extended guitar solos. Also he is way the fuck more woke than most of the trashy "classic rock" bands and sometimes inspires people to go on a Canadiana tangent full of Tragically Hip and whatnot.
But i find i most often go back to the 80s. My pop music taste got very stuck in the 80s, because it reminds me of music i listened to before i could afford to buy my own music. From the 90s onwards i got deep into house, techno, all the electronic music that absolutely does not and will never appear in a North American jukebox.
Underground techno will probably never appear in any jukebox, because so much of it was deliberately disposable. It's always about the next sound, the new sound, the sound you think you heard before but it's not quite the same. That's what i love about the genre.
I also love the synthesizers.
So this is where 80s music works.
Tonight i kicked off with Oingo Boingo, and thanks to the slamming volume in the hollow shell of the socially distanced bar, it caused an old couple to leave in dismay. The bar staff turned it down. Not exactly what i was going for.
Here is a playlist...
Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party
Laura Branigan - Self Control
Yaz - Don't Go
The Human League - The Lebanon
The Clash - Rock The Casbah
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Jamming
Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
You all know that Fast Car is one of my favorite songs of all time. It's not a story about my own life, but everything about the song speaks to me. It's technically a song about generational poverty, but for me it's a song about wanting more, traveling to try find it, and getting disappointed anyway. I love it. I love her. Tracy Chapman speaks so much truth it hurts.
At this point i paused, because i knew playing songs on the jukebox would inspire someone else to play, and play they did. FUCKING COUNTRY MUSIC. That was not the intention, but at least i kicked off the party.
For one song.
Who goes to a jukebox and plays just one song in 2020? Maybe back in the old days, sure, but now they're internet-connected and you have to buy 10 credits at a time on your phone, so it's not like, oh, i got a quarter, let me play THIS FUCKING SHITTY COUNTRY SONG.
Oh well. I decided, for my third stein, to close with a women's revue.
Pat Benatar - Hell is for Children
Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen
Tina Turner - Private Dancer
Kim Wilde - Cambodia
Alison Moyet - Love Resurrection
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
Guess which songs were the one credit bonus plays?
The Clash, Bob Marley and Fleetwood Mac.
I guess anyone who put money in a North American jukebox before would've seen that coming a mile away. Of course, the lesser-known tracks of those artists are still two credit plays.
Anyway, i didn't inspire anyone to put more money in the jukebox, so i went to the liquor store and bought a sixer of PBR and now i am at home. If i were motivated, i would listen to some more music right now. Like, real music. With no lyrics and lots of fucking synthesizers. YOU GUYS. I MISS RAVES SO FUCKING MUCH. But now i am living in a share house full of normies i feel like i need to keep it rock and roll.
I mean, not like my tablet makes a very loud noise or anything, but still. This is the downside of living in a share house. Made out of wood. I'm listening to fucking Simon & Garfunkel.
That's alright, i suppose.
Okay let me switch to Ry Cooder - Down in Mississippi, so i can think about where i could be if there was no fucking pandemic and i could actually go south for the winter.
I never went to the south.
It's probably shit.
I was thinking, while i picked songs on the jukebox, there seems to be a lot of 80s pop bands that did songs about war. Vietnam. Middle East. Cold War. I feel like bands today don't do enough songs about war. They sure got enough to write about. Afghanistan. Yemen. Syria. Iraq. Somalia. South Sudan. Congo. Not to mention the violence and bullshit happening in their own backyards. Come on. But perhaps i'm just not tuned in enough to what the kids listen to.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes
Yeah. Gave up on the guitar music. Fuck guitars.
Okay, here's a good drunken guitar song, for the American and Canadian countryfolk.
Neil Young - Cowgirl in the Sand
This is American music too, you know.
Underground Resistance - The Final Frontier
ACID UP THE KHYBER.