In this day and age, I’m picky about my entertainment. This goes especially for TV and movies. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve set my standards higher as spare time has become more precious, or if it’s due to some decline in quality of TV show/movie production. Maybe shows/movies these days lack substance or thought-provoking plot. I often compare them to those of the 1980s and ’90s in a fit of “these young whippershappers have no clue how to write a plot” and ranting about the ADHD Generation and whatnot, but then I stop to think: if I had seen those 1980s sitcoms for the first time now, would I like them as much, or would I think “holy shizz, this is cheesy as hell!” with its artificial-looking living room sets and predictable rounds of canned laughter. And then I start to wonder: in those moments, am I suffering a touch of premature Old Fartish Nostalgia?
I wouldn’t doubt it. *Sigh.*
It seems that I want that which I cannot have, and has rarely existed: 1980s-90s substance combined with 2000s-2010s video editing wizardry and production slickness.
Notice, though, that I said “rarely” – not “never”.
It does occasionally happen, when the moon is the right shade of blue and the wind direction and speed are specific enough to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the wind-chimes on the back deck.
“House MD”, “Breaking Bad”, “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy”, and now “Sons of Anarchy” are among top contenders on the list. (So is The Walking Dead, but I’m getting ahead of myself as it is.) 😉
Sons of Anarchy is actually a decent show. It doesn’t suck, and that’s the best that someone with my weird brain can hope for. The shows I mentioned, SoA included, go beyond Not Sucking, though. They were actually quite…dare I say…good. The people who bring these dreams to reality are not slackers; Gen Y is actually quite intelligent (hear that, collective Boomers? The world is not falling apart!).
All because of TV? Shows like Sons of Anarchy are saving the world? No, not quite. But entertainment as a whole is a reflection of society and culture as a whole, and if shows like this are getting produced, well, they may be different from “Family Ties” or “The Facts of Life” or “Diff’rent Strokes”, but they reflect the overall vibe of a time period and delve into the exploration of topics we’re interested in or place importance on. Again, they reflect.
And the reflection is good.
Shows like this also reveal that yes, there are brains in today’s movers and shakers; they’re thinking, and often deeply.
OK, so I’ve chattered enough, waxing poetic about the Generation Wars and whatnot, now let’s get to the f**king tunes 😉
It’s a short list, quality over quantity. But quality there is indeed.
(I’ve linked to videos, first searching Vimeo before YouTube, and if not successful there, then for the least-advert-intrusive video possible, preferring still images to moving ones unless the video itself is really cool, vetoing anything super-flashy, vetoing ads that played before the video where I could, yada yada, you know the drill 😉 This can only be true for the video’s status as of today, though, because I can’t predict the future and shizz… 😉 )
Kitty’s “Sons of Anarchy” Song List:
1 – “I See Through You (Free Your Mind)” (YouTube, ad-free) – by Battleme (and the Forest Rangers, who pretty much teamed up with almost everyone to produce the songs). A contemplative song that screams determined preparation and builds to an intensity that remains soothing throughout. Comforting in a warrior-like way.
2 – “The Devil In Miss Jones” (YouTube, ad-free) – by Mike Ness. An intense song from the git-go, starting out without the percussion, which soon kicks in, along with a faster tempo. Perfect for those road-trips of catharsis where you want to drop the hammer and open up the engine and tear off the rearview mirror. Motivating and courage-inducing, good for those times where you’re busting through hardship.
3 – “Oh Darlin’, What Have I Done?” (YouTube, ad-free) – by The White Buffalo. A pretty, peaceful song pretty much throughout, that pours wistfulness and regret, a hardened man rethinking his recent adventures and beginning to mourn in realization. Comforting in a “somebody gets it” kind of way.
4 – “Day Is Gone” (YouTube, ad-free) – by Noah Gunderson (and the Forest Rangers). Another mellow, beautiful song that bridges contemplation and regret and mourning. A fitting song for walking in the woods and on the beach, perhaps, for example, after hearing about the loss of a loved one. Kind of comforting in a therapeutic way.
5 – “Strange Fruit” (YouTube, ad-free) – by Katey Sagal (and the Forest Rangers). Yes, another melancholy song (SoA is not a happy-happy-joy-joy show, after all, and it deals with hard subjects), only this time, there’s a blue sultry-ness because the singer is a sultry, bluesy female who totally gets it. Appropriate for those moments when everything feels empty and hopeless and beyond control/repair.
6 – “Gimme Shelter” (YouTube, ad-free) – by Paul Brady (and the Forest Rangers), cover of the Rolling Stones song by the same name. An upper-tempo song, providing a comfortably accessible insight into an otherwise gritty world and gritty emotions. Has a vibe of determination, like you may be on your way to hell, to do something totally wrong and irrevocable, but it has to be done anyway. Perfect for getting started on those unpleasant tasks you might not want to do but need a little pick-me-up so that you can get it done anyway.
7 – “Crash This Train” (YouTube, ad-free) – by Joshua James. A slower, peaceful, wistful song that eventually does pick up a little in intensity, with a percussive beat and a little more desperation, before winding back down into minimalism again. I could listen to this during my times of helplessness and futility, or perhaps after hearing bad news about a loved one approaching a coming end. It speaks to me strongly in that kind of way.
8 – “As Tears Go By” (YouTube, ad-free, has lyrics) – by Noah Gunderson (and the Forest Rangers), also a Rolling Stones cover. Although a slower and somewhat melancholy song, it’s also quite pretty and peaceful, and most of the music is in a happy major key. Would be perfect for meandering in nature on a sunny day and just admiring the flowers or the fallen leaves or the butterflies or something. Really nice.
(I’m not sure if the YouTube videos really are ad-free or if they’re the result of a particularly muscled ad-blocker, but either way, I didn’t see ads on the videos. Please let me know if you do and I’ll find another link (unless you have a link you’d like to share; I welcome that, too!)
(See? There’s plenty of themes left to be explored and there’s still a lot of hope for humanity, even as we Gen X-and-Y’ers take over the world. 😉 )
(PS: if you liked this or you like playlists in general, You’re Not Weird (grin). Here’s a link to other Playlist-Themed Posts on here.)