Monday, December 28, 2009

30 Best Punk Songs, plus the Most Ukrainian Punk Songs

Eugene Hutz of the Ukrainian Gypsy/punk ensemble Gogol Bordello, who I saw perform last night at a densely-packed Webster Hall, is a sufficiently skinny, hyper, unashamedly tacky/goofy frontman — backed by cute sports-outfit-wearing singers in knee pads — that I’m tempted to declare him the Fee Waybill of Ukraine (not to be confused with Johnny Hallyday, the Elvis of France, recently released from the hospital and reportedly planning to sue the doctor who inadvertently put him there, if Hallyday’s irate fans don’t kill the doctor first).

Meanwhile, a list of the “30 Best Punk Songs Since 1979 Available on YouTube” has been created by a former Debates at Lolita Bar participant, Newsweek’s Seth Colter Walls (we put him up against National Review’s John Derbyshire, and he used to date yet another Lolita debater, Jen Dziura).

You’ll notice he includes a song by the band Heatmiser, as good an excuse as any for me to link to the original claymation Christmas show “Heat Miser” bit (alas, the Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs are really the only good bits from The Year Without a Santa Claus, much as one hates to pick on a claymation Christmas special).  More recently, Heat Miser appeared briefly in this amusing video montage put together by the Op-Toons blog to mock Al Gore’s eco-doomsday poetry.

On another holiday musical note, I was amused to see over Christmas in Norwich that Liberty Honda of Hartford is running TV ads using a faux-hairband jingle called “The Final Markdown,” in the style of the band Europe’s “The Final Countdown” (always filed in my brain near “Life Is Life” by the Austrian band Opus, who perhaps should be covered at some point by Gogol Bordello).

Getting back to punk for a moment, though: my own most punk contribution to the culture this month will either turn out to be that chapter-length version of “Conservatism for Punks” I’m finishing up or my drunk, somewhat maudlin — yet killer — rendition of “God Save the Queen” last week at Iggy’s karaoke bar, dedicated to a certain vexing punk-sympathizing woman I know who doesn’t even like karaoke.  It seemed to be a crowd-pleaser precisely because it lends itself to a more dangerous performance than the New Wave I’ve often done — but then, that is the nature of the punk/New Wave dichotomy.


Meredith said...

Wow. Went through most of the punk videos. Thought something would be intriguing. Unfortunately, I just found it all awful.

Todd Seavey said...

Hey, I didn’t say I actually _watched_ them. Thanks for taking that bullet for me. Jen says he’s also really into Japan-pop.