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100 Greatest Punk Songs 13-22

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13 – 22 of a work in progress, compiled by me (M) and my co-blogger (T)

13. MDC – “I Remember”
Okay. This song made you think that maybe your life wasn’t so bad. That someone had it worse than you. That someone was angrier than you and more pissed off than you. That no matter how punk you thought you were, someone is always behind you going, “Hey dude, you think you saw the shit? Lemme buy you a beer and tell you my story.” A serious what-the-fuck song from some SF transplants that makes you think. It’s a time to remember and a time to forget. Nothing I can do but get away. Good stuff. – T download

14. Husker Du – “New Day Rising”
This song is like fifty hits of speed shoved into your veins with a needle that’s been dipped in pure adrenaline. It’s fucking primal scream therapy. It’s stomping on the ground and shaking your head and kicking the wall and maybe taking a chunk of plaster out of the spot behind your bedroom door and you really don’t fucking care, you are just ripping shit off your walls and throwing books and empty beer cans around and screaming along with the song – and I mean throat tearing, from the bottom of your stomach screaming, which you play 43 times in a row until a neighbor bangs on the window and asks if you are okay and you are like, “Fuck, yeah, I’m okay. I’m better than okay.” Cathartic. – M download

15. Radio Birdman – “New Race”
Gah! I knew someone would say that and I’d have to kick my ass for losing that album. Australian punk rock. Really, basically the only thing Australia had at the time. They came out of nowhere and they were gone before I could work a telephone. This is a great song that, well, fuck, now I need to get the album again. Just real, cool punk that kicks with simple, clean, no distortion licks that kinda rocks. Well, fuck that. It rocks. If you’ve never heard Radio Birdman, download some of their stuff. It’s one of the only cool things to come out of Australia since Crocodile Dundee…..I knew someone was gonna say that song, dammit. And now I’m out fifteen bucks on the CD. – T download

16. Misfits – “Some Kind of Hate”
I’m trying to narrow my Misfits songs down and damn, it’s hard. But I think out of all of them, this one best exemplifies Danzig’s penchant for masturbating with his own voice. You won’t get this kind of “I’m a real singer, damn it, listen to me croooooooon” again until much later on (when he was solo) with “You and Me (Less Than Zero).” And I’m not saying that like it’s a bad thing. Danzig was at his best when he was making sweet love to himself. Plus, you gotta dig the whole Phil Spector-type music, as if the Ronettes were gonna suddenly bust out with maggots in the eye of love won’t copulate. – M download

17. D.I. – “Youth In Asia”
What the hell was with this song? Youth in Asia? What the fuck? It took me, like, 15 times listening to it to get it. Youth in Asia? It moves you but you try to figure out the title…what does he mean? Asian land war? Then you slowly get it or, like me, it hits you in the face like a cast iron skillet and you feel like the dumbest son of a bitch on the block since Goober rolled into Mayberry. Pull the plug, let me die, youth in asia, wave bye-bye. Hey, I never said I was that smart. In fact, I’m feeling pretty stupid right now remembering when it hit me. Don’t laugh, dammit. It happens. But awesome song that has a weird title until you say it fast. Kinda clever. Maybe stupid. You make the call. I like it – T download

18. Richard Hell and the Voidoids – “Blank Generation”
One of the first “punk” songs I ever heard. Had to be on WNEW FM, which is where I heard most of this music first. I heard this and “Love Comes in Spurts” and I was like, what the hell is this? Who the hell is this? I found a blank cassette tape and threw it into my stereo and just sat around and waited and waited for them to play the song again so I could hit record. When I finally got it on tape, I sat there and analyzed it, pressing stop and pause and play over and over again, trying to figure out what about the song made me feel like there was something subversive and dangerous and rebellious about his voice, something that made me want to go and hang out in a dark alley and smoke cigarettes and bitch about the man. – M download

19. BGK – “Youth For Crime”
A Dutch band who hated the British scene. Somehow they got signed to Alternative Tentacles for some weird reason. Still not sure about that and about their name. B.G.K., or Balthasar Gerards Kommando. Hmm. Anyway, the song. Seriously. This song is an orgasm. It walks up the fret then blasts you with vocals. Like a tease at a strip show that you just pray for her to stop so either you can go home and masturbate or get another beer. But it doesn’t quit. It’s not done. It just walks. “Youth for crime.” He keeps yelling the top of the fret. “Youth for crime.” Keeps yelling. This tape lived with me for years and every time I listened to it, I prayed for that last track. – T download

20. 7 Seconds – “Remains to Be Seen”
Listen to my story! That’s the way the song kicks in and then it’s just a relentless barrage of words and music until the Misfits-like whoa-whoa break lets you breathe for a second before it kicks again and, by the time it’s all over, you have carpal tunnel syndrome from drumming on your steering wheel and it’s left you more breathless than your last orgasm. – M download

21. Minor Threat – “Salad Days”
Almost everyone who has added to this list has a favorite Minor Threat song. So I’m gonna get mine up here first. Because I can. The slow start, the build up, the anticipation because you know the song is gonna kick any second and then MacKaye starts in half singing, half talking in that frenzied way — and that’s one of the things I aways dug most about Minor Threat, the way his vocals make it seem like you’re sitting in a bar with him and he’s just going off about something (and this is also true of why I love Fugazi and, on a different but similar tangent, 7 Seconds). And listening to “Salad Days”, you know it’s the last thing they did, so you sing along with the lyrics in a wistful kind of way but you think, what a hell of a way to go out. – M download [I like this song so much, it’s replaced the old place]

22. Sham 69 – “Sunday Morning Nightmare” -
The only reason I really like this song a lot is because when you hear calls of unity and all that other crap for an hour then a song about getting into fight, throwing up on your clothes, and yelling at your sister is fun. Don’t get me wrong. I love all sham, but this one has to be my favorite. It’s so “fuck you, get out of my way” it’s kinda cute. I know saying that this is my favorite is going to bring a lot of backlash, but that kids are united stuff was way before me and was in another country so it didn’t really effect me. Or maybe I just didn’t care then. I dunno. I was more in tune with beating up your sister’s boyfriend for wearing your clothes. Plus they talked funny! -T download

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About Michele Catalano

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Alright!! I dig on some of the choices! “Blank Generation” is crucial. Sham 69? I put in a vote for ‘Borstal Breakout’ (the live version if I have it right.

    “Homocide” by 999. “Isolation” by Joy Division. “India” by Psychedelic Furs. And so many more…

    peaceloveart

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    OK, I also like that song about a brand new Cadillac by the Clash. That came across well….