Part 5 of a series from my co-blogger (T) and myself (M).
Black Flag, Damaged (1981)
All these frat boys I knew bought this album on the basis of "TV Party Tonight" and, to a lesser extent, "Six Pack". “Party band! Party music!” That god damn song. It was like I had to constantly grab them by the shoulders and shake them and say, “Did you not listen to the rest of the album??” But it was like talking to a tree stump. A drunk, horny tree stump who only cared about partying.
The only way I listened to this album was by myself, in my room, those gigantic early '80s era headphones on, lights out, joint smoked. I wanted no one else around as I contemplated life as an aimless 19-year old. This album made me itchy. Restless. Angsty. And then it would take a wide turn on my emotions and make me feel apathetic, despondent, hopeless. I might as well just stay here in bed and get stoned and sleep and not care about anything to Jesus Christ, I gotta get out of this room, out of this house and do something, anything, like go light myself on fire in front of the White House or maybe just go kick a cat or something, but I gotta move.
And then I’d close my eyes and sink back into the music again. And it went on like that. I’d get all the way up to "No More" and wait for the build-up of the drum, that slow steady beat that got faster and faster and I’d think that whole 40 seconds or so from the first beat right up until Rollins kicks in is a microcosm of the album, of my life up until that point, and I’d suddenly be yelling I need action, won't take no more, no more, no more, no more and I’d be ready to get up and buy some kerosene or find a stray cat, but then "Padded Cell" and "Life of Pain" would come and I’d pull the covers over my head and think, fuck, man. Maybe listening to "TV Party Tonight" in a room full of drunk frat boys isn’t such a bad thing after all.
And then I’d move the needle back to "Rise Above" and put that thought out of my head real quick.