Today we bury the monkey.
The Green Monkey Music Project is no more, but I was fortunate enough to sneak into this final edition - the Battle of the Sexes version (chosen by the always stylish and rarely confrontational, Beckeye). Five of us provided five songs with girl names in the title, while five of us coughed up five boy name songs. I went with the boys, as I find boys utterly fascinating.
You can get all the songs over at Splotchy's and there are some dandies over there, believe me. Here are my choices for boy songs:
Can't Con an Honest John - the Streets
Mike Skinner (aka the Streets) is a hell of a story teller. The first time I heard the Streets' song When You Wasn't Famous, I knew I needed to listen to more of this mockney UK garage stuff, so I headed to the store and bought all the Streets cds in one fell swoop, which impressed the hell out of the sales boys. I'm so grime.
I have never entirely figured out all the details of the con that Mike Skinner describes how to pull off in Can't Con an Honest John, but that's half the fun, innit?
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Warren Zevon
Another great story told in song. Mercenaries, political intrigue, geopolitics, murder, and vengeful ghosts (with guns). What's not to love? This song should be a mandatory part of all high school history curricula. This is classic Warren Zevon storytelling, along the lines of Excitable Boy, Carmelita, and Lawyers, Guns and Money.
Donald in the Bushes with a Bag of Glue - Ballboy
Ballboy deserve to be far better known than they are. Besides boasting the best song titles in the history of best song titles, this fabulous Scottish band is heavy on infectious and often breakneck rhythms, handclaps, and tales of oddities and outcasts. And Gordon McIntyre's beautiful brogue comes through strong and lovely.
Donald's transition from lying in the bushes with a bag of glue to baking cakes for middle-aged ladies is perhaps more complex than it appears at first glance, even if he is now married to a good-looking girl who gets on well with his family.
William, It was Really Nothing - the Smiths
Every now and then you just need to get out the comb and the hairspray, fix your hair into a cocky quiff, and wallow in your angstiness whilst howling along with the Smiths.
Poor William, first he gets Morrissey trying to lay a guilt trip on him and then Morrissey calls his wife fat. You are better off out of that humdrum town, WIlliam.
Still, there is a great deal of therapy in howling out a Smith's song, and the louder and more dramatically you howl, the better.
Our Retired Explorer (Dines with Michel Foucault in Paris, 1961) - the Weakerthans
If you don't know the Weakerthans, then you owe it to yourself to seek out this great Canadian band. Their highly literary and wonderfully poetic songs, and the tightness of their music which combines a poetic sensibility with a punk history, makes them one of the country's finest musical ambassadors. In Our Retired Explorer, all these elements combine to tell an infectious and poignant story of a befuddled retired Antarctic explorer trying to drum up support for a final mission.
You really should head over to Splotchy's to check out all 50 songs in the Battle of the Sexes version and very last ever Green Monkey Music Project. It'll be your last chance to partake of these diverse and kick-ass lists. Get your songs while you can.