I’ve made abundantly and repeatedly clear that I’m not a fan of most music from the ’00s, especially the death throes of alt rock and hip-hop’s transition to being all about how rich rappers are. This is making the honorable mentions lists a bit short.
That said, metal is good! Metal was good in 2006 (even though RIFF’s capo dei capi Roman insisted for some reason that Lordi is pop) and metal is still good in 2007. And between the guitar-heavy bookends are… songs that are not metal at all.
Machine Head — “Aesthetics of Hate”
In our first metal song of this week’s list, which Roman will probably claim is K-pop or something, I finally got Oakland’s own Machine Head on the list. I love Machine Head but they didn’t really have one standout song that I could justify getting on the list until “Aesthetics of Hate.” It’s such a standout that it got a Grammy nomination.
The song, if you don’t speak fluent “metal screaming,” is a critique of an obituary of Dimebag Darrell titled “Aesthetics of Hate: R.I.P. Dimebag Abbott, & Good Riddance.” As you may imagine from the name, it was not complimentary. It called the Pantera co-founder—who had been recently murdered, mind you—ignorant, barbaric and untalented.
It was not cool. Thus, this chorus: For the love of brother/ I will sing this fucking song/ Aesthetics of hate/ I hope you burn in hell.”
There are few rebuttals better than heavy metal rebuttals.
Feist — “1234”
If you’re not a metalhead, good news! This is the exact opposite of metal.
First off, yes, this is the actual official video on Feist’s official YouTube page. I don’t know why the video quality looks like the Zapruder film. Maybe Canada hadn’t gotten broadband by 2007? It would make sense if this was uploaded during the 100 free hours offered by an AOL CD they found on the sidewalk, I guess.
Anyway, sorry if you’re getting iPod ad flashbacks. This played at least once during every commercial break when the iPod was new and back then you couldn’t wait for the show to hit Netflix so we were stuck with it. But it’s still pretty good. I mean, if it’s good enough for Sesame Street, who am I to argue?
(Note that even the Sesame Street clip is in HD. What the heck, Feist in 2007.)
The Nightwatchman — “The Road I Must Travel”
Between Rage Against the Machine and his new solo work, Tom Morello was a folk singer who went by The Nightwatchman. And it was also good! Completely and totally different from the various flavors of Rage—Against the Machine and Prophets of—but good nonetheless.
When Morello joined Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band it confused a lot of people, considering the vast differences in musical style. Literally any Nightwatchman song should clear it right up. Morello’s singing voice sounds extremely Springsteenesque and with an acoustic guitar the influence is clearly there.
Rihanna — “Umbrella”
These are extremely different songs so far, huh? (uh-huh, uh-huh).
I don’t have as much to say about this one. It’s not a hostile rebuke to a mean obituary and to my knowledge Rihanna has never been on Sesame Street. (Though if I’m wrong someone please send me the clip.) I just like the song.
I guess I need more words though, huh? (uh-huh, (uh-huh).
Oh! Did you hear Rihanna turned down an offer to play the Super Bowl halftime show because Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job? Good for her. Granted now we’re stuck with Maroon 5, which is almost as bad as Train, but I’m glad she’s standing by her principles. Anyone who’s watched even one Eli Manning drive this year should be convinced Kaepernick is being blackballed.
Dethklok — “Hatredcopter”
We’ve reached our second metal song of the week, or if you ask Roman, our first polka song.
I absolutely love Dethklok, and I probably spent more time trying to pick a song off The Dethalbum than I did on the other four songs put together. They’re one of the best melodic death metal bands I’ve ever heard with a consistently great output, which is even more amazing since they don’t actually exist.
Ok, so they do exist. They’re the work of Brendon Small, the writer, voice actor, and animator behind the show Home Movies. Well, originally. More recently he’s the co-creator of Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse, a cartoon about the greatest metal band of all time.
You probably see where this is going. The band the show is about is Dethklok, for whom Small wrote and recorded actual songs to use on the show. The songs were actually really good so they’ve been compiled into, to date, four albums. The third of which, Dethalbum III, peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard rock chart.
Again, they’re cartoons. The creative inspiration is a stand-up comedian turned writer and animator.
The world is weird and beautiful.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.