Monday, January 22, 2007

Get the Fuck Off the Commode

Rage Against the Machine are getting back together...if for only one show. Well, you might say, who gives a poop? Well we do. I read a couple things things on blogs this morning that were like "oh Rage is getting back together to play a show, they were kinda good but we're afraid to risk cred with people who don't like rap and loud guitars and admit that they were pretty much a dynamo of spleen busting music." I would link to these things but blogger is a big fucking idiot who won't let me do that on my Mac without typing the code in.

I remember distinctly walking down the hall in middle school, listening to the radio on my walkman because I had a skin disease and my peers often yelled derogatory remarks in my direction. When the radio disc jockeys would play the soft music, the remarks wouldn't be drowned out, and I would cry a large single tear that took longer than usual to run down my face because of the adhesive properties that my skin disease lended to my face. When Nirvana and Offspring would come on, I would be happier because I would hear plaid shirts instead of insults that hated my soul. Nothing compared to the moment when I first heard Rage. I was walking to the wing of the school where the science and math classes were (read: nerdspace) and I was walking down a ramp that was installed for those kids whose legs were run over by trucks when they were little. I used the ramp because I had a particularly precocious case of Osgood Slaughter's disease so my knees were already giving out on me. So I was walking down that ramp and "Bombtrack" came on. I thought for sure one of my vital organs had failed (I was was quite a hypocondriac and really wasn't equipped to handle this kind of excitement). When I woke up in the nurse's office and she called me a "little pussy," I was galvanized and inspired. I still cried, but the tear was smaller, for I needed to hear that shit again.

I didn't know what the song was until it came on the radio again, and I summoned all my powers of homeostasis not to pass out from the excitement. The band sounded like the name of something cool, and I went to the local record shoppe to purchase the record with the co-pay that I withheld the pharmacist the previous day, telling them that my mother would take care of it the next time she was in. The album that I bought had a picture of a self-immolating monk on its cover. I thought this was a charming parlor trick, until years later, when I found out the monk was doing that because the Zapatistas were being oppressed in Mexico. I listened to the album over and over again. I had also recently discovered the rap music w/o the guitars and sons of revolutionaries, and I liked how the Rage guy yelled about how I was going to "Boin, Boin" me on "Bombtrack" I thought he was speaking french or something. Again, years later I found out that this was more about immolation. I bought a Rage T-Shirt and wore it to school. One of my teachers noticed the Molotov cocktail on the back and asked me about it. He was one of those cool young teachers who seem like the apotheosis of humanity when you are in middle school, and he told me what the picture was. I thought it looked like a sunset of something. He told me it was something that was made so that explosions achieve political ends. He asked me if I knew who Noam Chomsky was, and I said "bless you."

By the time Evil Empire came out, I was already a seasoned RATM fan. My skin disease had cleared up somewhat, and I had talked to a girl. She worked at the post office and she was at least 35, but I figured that was like, extra points or something. So I had gained confidence and when the jocks and cool guys started to listen to Rage I acted all uppity and asked them if they knew who Noam Chomsky was. Sometimes they did, which was kind of humiliating. In 1997 Rage went on tour with the Wu-Tang clan. To me, this was like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus teaming up to do Wrestlemania XVLXMI. Unfortunately about a third of Wu-Tang showed up for the first couple shows of the tour, and then Zach de la Rocha broke his ankle or something when he jumped across the stage and landed on a speaker. The rest of the tour ended and they never made it to my neck of the woods, which caused my skin problems to relapse.

The Battle of Los Angeles came out, and that covers album, and then Rage broke up. At this point, I had discovered Joy Division and Sonic Youth, and so I didn't really care that much about Rage anymore, because I basically thought that big guitars meant the same as big phallus. Zach started working on his solo album, which he has been working on for 348 years now with zero results, and Chris Cornell joined the rest of the band and came up with a terrible new name. This band sucked, but I think I still bought the record, because I had begun to feel nostalgic for those bands that I discovered in middle school that helped me get though my various heath problems and pariah status. Listening to Rage now, I realize that Zach was a good rapper, even though I now know what he's talking about. Morello made some great rap beats with his guitar and the drummer helped him with that. I hope they get back together and Chris Cornell becomes a hairdresser so that they can make another album. It can be called Barack Obama for President 08 and it can have a picture of Hillary Clinton being bludgeoned with Das Kapital on it.


Sordid Puppy said...

sweet dude. i went to see that tour in Kansas City, and Wu didn't show up at all, but I still got my nose broken so that was fun. i think i also once spent like 35 bucks (a serious amount of money to me at the time) on "Live and Rare," just because it was a Rage album. Do middle school kids have hardcore concerts to go to these days? I can't imagine getting punched in the face at a My Chemical Romance show, unless it was by some wasted 14 year old girl or whatever.

Furman P. Slothra said...

i dunno about the state of hardcore/punk in middle schools. thing is kids mosh to pretty much anything that's remotely hard or fast, so I could see a bunch of dudes at a MCR show going all aggro and beating each other up, even if the lead singer is mostly just sad and stuff.