Halftime Leisure

The Weekly List: Seven Unrelated Songs to Throw Together to Meet a Deadline

November 7, 2019

Illustration by Jacob Bilich

So there you are. You and your boys, kickin’ back and enjoying a coupla’ sacks of Capri Sun on a crisp Autumn’s eve. And then it hits you like a large cannonball in the chest when you were not expecting a cannonball to hit you in the chest: you have to write an article about some songs or something. You put down the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. You pause the latest episode of HBO’s, new, critically-acclaimed Watchmen adaptation. Oh, you want us to write you an article? By Jove, we’ll write you an article.

1. “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down

The last I saw my father, he was donning his sick leather jacket (unethically sourced) and waving goodbye to me and meemaw. He shoved a crisp dollar bill into my lapel, stuck it there with a bowie knife, and told me he would come back “when [I] was more powerful”. The last thing we heard, ere he drove out of sight, was this classic alt-rock band.

2. “Rejoice” by Julien Baker

This song made me cry this week at the office. My coworker asked what was wrong and I said it was allergies. It accounted for the tears but not the sobs. The crying was actually because I am very depressed, but we can pretend it was this song. It is a good performance. The audience seems very sad, which I relate to, because I am also very sad. 

3. “4’33” by John Cage 

Up-and-coming hip-hop artist John Cage attempts to write a prequel series to Jay-Z’s critically acclaimed 4’44”. Like most prequels (Star Wars, Godfather pt.2, The Old Testament in its entirety), this piece blows the original out of the water. The flows are so smooth, the beats are so chunky, the riposte so erudite, the plié so scruffy, that I can’t help but fall in love with this song over and over again.

4. “Pissin’ In A River” by Patti Smith

This song rips, and not just cause it’s about piss (though that remains a major contributing factor). If we had done an entire list of songs that are about voiding your bladder in places where you are not supposed to be pissing, this would have easily cracked the top three. I often find myself considering just how hard it would be to take care of business in a river, just how taxing that experience, that moment, could be. All that splashing, that raw power, couldn’t be easy to handle. Patti Smith, a rock and punk icon, achieved her legendary status partly by way of her refusal to take orders from anyone, particularly those who would tell her where to spring a leak.

5.”Wonderwall” by Oasis

So there I was, 18 episodes deep in my Word Girl marathon on PBS Kids, when all of a sudden, I was struck by the utter emptiness in my soul. I look at other people, and I am constantly reminded that whatever force or desire keeps the whole rest of the world running is so pointedly absent in me. To call myself a husk of a man would be a compliment to me, and an insult to husks everywhere. It’s not like I want to be this way, or that I relish the feeling of being less than, no matter who I compare myself to, but there it is. Anyways, here’s “Wonderwall”.

6. “Zendaya is Meechee” by Gabriel Gundacker

This song has created a vortex in my brain. Nothing can escape. Each firing neuron is held still at its siren song. Serotonin and dopamine, joys of a brain before. I can barely perform day-to-day tasks, much less comfortably consume content like HBO’s critically acclaimed series, Euphoria, which stars Zendaya (who is Meechee). It has consumed every memory. My fourth birthday party – “Lebron James is Gwangi.” My first kiss – “Danny Devito is Dorgle.” My own name – “Zendaya is Meechee.” Zendaya is Meechee. Zendaya IS Meechee. ZenDAya IS MEeChEe. ZENDAYA IS MEECHEE, ZENDAYA IS MEECHEE, ZENDAYA IS MEECHEE, ZENDAYAISMEECHEEISMEECHEEISM-

7. “Another Brick in the Wall” – Pink Floyd

I just feel like, like, my eyes were really opened when I listened to this album for the first time. Yeah, I’d probably call myself sorta like a music nerd. I really love Nirvana, I wonder when they’ll do a reunion tour. Oh, my top three artists? Probably, like, I don’t know, have you ever heard of this band called Tame Impala? Yeah, and then probably Tyler the Creator, but I don’t like his old stuff like Flower Boy (2017). I mean, Queen’s gotta be on the list, obviously. Did you see Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)? Blew my mind, man, blew my mind. Oh, yeah, and that song “Teenage Wasteland” by The Who? Total game-changer, dude, a total game-changer. Anyways, what brings you to Brown House?

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