Unlike the previous songs on this list, the lack of understanding regarding Peter, Paul & Mary’s 1967 smash “I Dig Rock And Roll Music” is less a result of cryptic lyrics than us music lovers’ lazy listening habits, only listening to half of a song’s lyrics, combining them with the song’s title, and drawing conclusions about the tune from that alone. That’s not to say that “I Dig…” doesn’t have stylish lyrics, because it does; in fact, the style of the lyrics, along with the instrumental arrangements, do a lot to get the song’s point across. However, the lyrics are still somewhat straightforward, and, although the music is great and it’s easy to get swept up in the beat, not listening to the lyrics may indict us, listeners, including myself, of being just what the songwriters claim that rock lovers are like. “I Dig…” was written by Paul Stookey (the “Paul” of the group’s name), Jim Mason, and Dave Dixon in response to the quickly-rising rock music “fad” of the time. Stookey, Mason, and Dixon felt that rock music was inferior to folk music; while they felt that folk tunes were deep and thoughtful, they thought that rock n’ roll was shallow and only appealed to the lowest denominator of record buyers. To express this opinion, the three composed this song, which lampooned three of the most popular rock artists of the time while also skewering their fans. The song’s first verse mocks rock lovers, heavily using the slang terms of the time (like “dig” and “happenin”), while also stating that rock lovers don’t like “smart” music but prefer vapid bubble-gum songs. The second verse mocks then-popular group The Mamas And The Papas, using the musical style of The Mamas & Papas’ recent hit “Monday, Monday” to ridicule the group for writing lyrics that make no sense. The second verse teases the psychedelic guru Donovan, particularly his song “Sunshine Superman,” taking him to task for also writing incomprehensible lyrics (this is actually a valid argument in Donovan’s case; while his music is good, his lyrics are rather strange). The third verse takes on the Beatles, accusing them of being sell-outs, caring less about what their music says that the amount of money it brings in. The fourth and final verse takes up an interesting tack; it states that, while important messages could conceivably be conveyed through rock music, they would have to be so heavily concealed that it would render the message indecipherable. I know that, when I was a kid, I thought that this tune was merely a loving homage to my favorite genre of music, and, as I read others’ writings about the song and as I’ve talked about it with others, I’m relieved to find that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. It feels good to know that you’re not the only lazy listener out there. I can’t help but wonder what Stookey, Mason & Dixon thought as they watched their anti-rock song climb steadily up the Billboard charts, become a platinum rock record, and, in what must have been the ultimate insult, be covered by one of the song’s targets, The Mamas And The Papas. I guess that just goes to show you that, in the words of Stephen King, sarcasm will get you nowhere in this world unless you want to write for Mad magazine
Keith Maitland’s animated documentary TOWER [on Independent Lens Tuesday, February 14 at 10pm; check local listings] has left critics and awards-voting bodies alike flummoxed as to how best to categorize it. This is a visionary work, no doubt, that uses voice-actors and vintage audio to reconstruct what happened back in 1966 when a sniper shot dozens of people on the campus of University of Texas. The rotoscopic animation smoothes over the differences between the various source materials, creating a gripping—and ultimately moving—“you are there” effect. So was TOWER one of 2016’s best docs, or one of the best cartoons? Or was it something entirely new? Continue reading
serial experiments lain – a mindfuck
paranoia agent – studying the psychology of different kinds of people
Aoi Bungaku Series (the first four episodes “No Longer Human”). It’s actually a book adaptation.
.hack//Sign’s main character Tsukasa is a loner and suffers from depression. The anime has a video game premise, but deals with escapism, interpersonal relationships, etc. It has more in common with Lain with it’s atmosphere. It’s best viewed as a character study in my opinion.
Onii-sama e… has themes/topics of suicide, depression, drug addiction, divorce, etc.
Haibane Renmei gets darker as it progresses with certain characters going through depression, guilt for past mistakes and so forth.
Narutaru has the character Akira Sakura who self-harms.
Welcome to the NHK.
Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Life by Keiko Suenobu
Is there anything like the manga called “Life” if you read the beginning you’ll see what I mean.
Colorful is a very nice movie that deals with depression.
If you’re also interested in manga, Oyasumi Punpun is exactly what you’re looking for.
Welcome to NHK
Admittedly there is no self harm but it is very depressing a lot of the time and suicide does become a major theme later on in the anime.
Might seem cheerful at first but it really isn’t and there isn’t a single arc where one of the characters is not depressed over something
In roughly a decade as one of the biggest names on the New York underground hip-hop label Definitive Jux, Aesop Rock developed a distinctive style, as well as a solid support base to back it up. But after operations at Definitive Jux were put on an “indefinite hiatus” in 2010, he hung his hat at Minneapolis’ Rhymesayers label. Putting together his forthcoming album Skelethon on a new label five years after its predecessor would have been a daunting enough task, but Aesop Rock also decided to forgo the assistance of his go-to producer, Blockhead, making this his first fully self-produced effort. In light of all of these changes, “Zero Dark Thirty” finds him wisely deciding to tread familiar territory: dense, buzzing beats peppered with snippets of live instruments, coupled with his usual verbose wordplay. Continue reading
Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me blew up teen angst to literally biblical proportions, resonating like no emo band before or since to outcasts in Sunday school and high school.
At the turn of the century, emo had finally gone pop, but hadn’t felt like music for popular kids. On Clear Channel playlists, “The Middle” and “Screaming Infidelities” were boyish, bashful contrast to the goateed bullies of nu-grunge and rap-metal and the New Rock Revival’s trouser-stuffing sexuality. But while Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional were extensions of the church basement and DIY house scenes that fostered Christie Front Drive, the Get Up Kids, and the Promise Ring, they would soon be overtaken by the likes of Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and plenty of bands who were basically jocks in ringer T’s: they were loud, rude, and thought about little other than sex. The Long Island band’s 2001 debut Your Favorite Weapon helped establish the sound and the gender politics for a time when emo would draw in more fans of both sexes than ever before, but often cleared the room of people who expected punk rock to be a welcoming or progressive environment. To this day, “Emo Night” most likely means drunken 20-somethings yelling along with “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad.”
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel made more than $135 million worldwide while offering a handful of finely seasoned veteran actors a chance to prove that Hollywood doesn’t always have to be youth-obsessed. This gives us the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to returning Exotic star Judi Dench, whose long list of well-received roles includes everything from Merchant Ivory period pieces to a long stint as M in the James Bond franchise. You won’t find any of her 007 movies on this list, because they missed the cut after we added up and averaged out their scores, but that’s just another testament to the strength of Dame Dench’s filmography. Continue reading