Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Tuneage
The Hellacopters - "Carry Me Home"

I saw The Hellacopters at the 400 Bar just over ten years ago, they were hyper and skinny Scandavian dudes. You know how most American bands will introduce a song, play it, then say "thank you"? The Copters would do this: "This one's called 'Like No Other Man.' Thank you!" Then they would play the song. It was quite endearing and while I have never found their studio releases all that consistent, they recorded enough hard rock anthems to find a steady place in my music rotation. Especially when I need that one song to blast away bad thoughts or distractions in my brain.

I first got into The Copters early in the first term of George W. Bush. I bring this up because of a theory being held by certain music fans I talked to at the time. The theory was this: With a conservative Republican back in the White House after eight years of a Democratic president, there was a good chance that this would bring back the glory of Reagan-era punk rock. (Think Minutemen, Black Flag, Husker Du, etc.) It seemed like an odd theory to me - these same people were badmouthing Bush for his politics, but then out the other side of their mouth were saying: "But think how great punk rock is gonna be in a few years!" As the early years of the Dubya administration played out, there was a punk revival - but it was led by the likes of The Strokes and The White Stripes and was a garage rock revival that had nothing to do with being a reaction to the Bush administration.  

So what does all this have to do with The Hellacopters? They are sympton of yet another hole in this theory I'm addressing: The Copters weren't oppressed by some right-wing administration allegedly turning their country into a police state, they were garage rockers from Sweden, which everybody knows is a generous welfare state. Then note that the original punk rock - the American garage rock of the mid-sixties - was born in the midst of LBJ's Great Society. Yet nobody runs around claiming any type of link between big government and garage rock. Seems to me the only conclusion to draw is rather plain: These punky garage rock spikes happen when kids have garages.