The #1 Pants

July 21, 2011

I suspect I drive Paloma to distraction with my lack of sartorial acumen and interest in such.

Often she will return home with a new shirt or pair of pants for me. I truly feel bad that I cannot participate in her enthusiasm.

Truly, I am.

It’s just that career choices afforded me the ability to dress casually with few restrictions well into my thirties.

(grunge played right to my strengths even if not all of the music associated with that era did)

Of course, during the past half decade or so, I’ve labored under the fashion standards deemed acceptable in the corporate world.

In the civilian world, I opt for simplicity and comfort – a pair of baggy cargo shorts, a well-worn t-shirt with The Who emblazoned across the front.

Two things about cargo shorts appeal to me. One is the loose fit, the free-wheeling vibe of not wearing pants while still wearing pants.

And then there’s the loose, deep pockets.

I have stuff – an iPod, wallet, keys, cigarettes, sunglasses – and that stuff takes up space that my work wordrobe’s meager storage compartments cannot handle comfortably.

(if humans are the most intelligent species on the planet, wouldn’t we have figured out a way to exist without carting so much crap everywhere we go?)

For the work day, I strive for as much comfort as possible knowing that I’ll still feel like fidgeting.

It is not easy – despite Paloma’s well-intended efforts – for new items to move into the rotation. I go for veterans that I know, through experience, will enable me to attain the greatest state of clothing Zen.

It must be the heat – what’s here and what is forecast as impending – but I feel compelled to announce that a new pair of khakis has ascended to the top of the heap in trousers.

Well done, pants.

Well done, Paloma.

I truly have no idea what kind of music best captures this event. I simply have few “pants” songs.

Here are four songs that pulled up scrolling through my 97X playlist on the iPod…

Talking Heads – And She Was
from Little Creatures

I could imagine that Talking Heads could have written an awesome song about pants. In fact, I’m probably blanking on some song in their quirky catalog celebrating clothing.

But, there is the band’s jaunty ode to levitation And She Was which has charmed me from the first time I heard Little Creatures. I used to hear it now and then on some of our more mainstream rock stations, and it even became one of the few songs by The Heads to make the Hot 100.

The Cult – Rain
from Love

The recorded output of The Cult is a bit uneven to me and, despite its success, I thought the Rick Rubin-produced Electric was an overrated yawn aside from the wonderful Love Removal Machine.

However, Love, Electric‘s predecessor, is a classic from the time and the driving Rain – with lead singer Ian Astbury’s howling to the heavens – is appropriate today.

Timbuk3 – The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
from Greetings From Timbuk 3

Well, another song suitable for the occasion pops up because a man with new trousers is a force to be reckoned with in the corporate America workplace.

Thomas Dolby – Hyperactive!
from The Flat Earth

Thomas Dolby is an A-list act in our household and, like Talking Head David Byrne, I have absolute faith that he would succeed smashingly if I could commission him to write a song about my new pants.

(note to self: get mega-wealthy, commission Thomas Dolby to write pants song)

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Maybe There’ll Be Soylent Bacon

August 14, 2009

Well, the future’s here and somehow we’re expected to handle it without the guidance of Charlton Heston. This is disconcerting.

I realized from watching The Planet Of The Apes as a child that no one was more at ease in dealing with the future than Heston. It wasn’t just maladjusted monkeys. An after-school viewing The Omega Man in the mid-‘70s made it clear that the man was equally as capable of keeping a horde of psychotic, Luddite cultists at bay.

And, with The Omega Man, it’s almost as though the filmmaker had peered thirty-five years into the future and been inspired by a glimpse of a town-hall meeting on health care.

(of course, that flick ended badly for Heston – it would seem that you can only keep a horde of psychotic, Luddite cultists at bay for so long)

Each time I read of the folks who believe that passing a health care program would be like smothering old folks with a pillow, I can’t help but think of another Heston movie – Soylent Green.

I think I was eight or nine, sometime in the late ‘70s, when CBS showed Soylent Green on the Tuesday Night Movie (or whatever night it happened to be). It had one of those “mature audiences” announcements beforehand.

Of course, I watched it.

And it freaked me out.

Soylent Green was set in the future – from an early ’70s perspective – with most of the human population unemployed and sleeping in the crumbling stairways of roach motels.

The small handful of uber wealthy live in high-rise apartment buildings playing video games and eating steaks and strawberries. The poor have never seen a steak, a strawberry, or a Pop-Tart as pollution and global warming has ravaged the environment.

So, the future is playing out pretty much according to that script.

(why couldn’t it have been talking monkeys running the planet?)

And, if the rantings of the misinformed and Sarah Palin are to be believed regarding old people and the health care debate, you’d think Soylent Green – the foodstuff – might be in stores by Thanksgiving.

A Girl Called Eddy – People Used To Dream About The Future
from A Girl Called Eddy

I received a promo of this album; the debut for an American ex-pat in London named Erin Moran who goes by the less Happy Days-centric A Girl Called Eddy. Her 2004 debut was one of those deals where I checked it out, thought enough of it to move it into another pile of discs, and it promptly got lost in the shuffle.

Hearing this song was a fortunate rediscovery. I’m not sure how the rest of the album sounds, but People Who Used To Dream… is gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Burt Bacharach, it’s an excellent use of five-and-a-half minutes.

Leonard Cohen – The Future
from The Future

There are outtakes of stuff I’ve never posted where Leonard Cohen has popped up. And I keep thinking I need to write about him. I mean, the man has lived a full-grown life.

If I were Canadian, I’d want Mr. Cohen to be prime minister.

Timbuk3 – The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
from Greetings from Timbuk3

This song’s simply more fun than killin’ drifters.

Matthew Sweet – Future Shock
from In Reverse

Paloma does not find The Heston to be as endearing as I do. Fortunately, I have studied his work and should we have to address talking monkeys, a horde of psychotic, Luddite cultists, or Soylent Green in the future, I will be prepared with a dramatic, over-the-top solution.

Paloma is extremely fond of the work of Matthew Sweet and, after hearing Future Shock, it’s not difficult to understand why.