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“It’s Hard Not to Fall for a Woman Whose Pandora Station Toggles to ‘Zip-Lock’ by Lit”

It’s constant: this unflagging, maniacal stream of plaintive detritus. What do they CALL it? They call it music, never anything more specific or stylized, and another thing is that they speak with this bizarre sense of authority when vouching for its merit. It’s like they stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night [1].

And I don’t want to name names but the music, this pop-punk sh** from the 2000s, is like so annoying it’s funny. It’s like a band that’s making fun of a band that’s like nauseatingly earnest and whiny except that instead of making fun, that’s actually how they are. Needless to say, too, phrasing unorthodoxies don’t exactly grow on trees in this realm I’m handling. 

And it seems like it’s spreading like wildfire around my hometown these days, which, arguably, is becoming more segregated than it used to be, with the city having dumped any number of dollars into restaurants and bars downtown, the type of thing to which the lower class has essentially no access, more or less. And, spoiler alert: this pop-punk goop comprises the “white” sector of the binary, replacing hard-won swagger, rhythmic flairs and sense of humor with a sort of like imperial assertion of the importance of the self through cloning Blink-182. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, one of the bands playing in this one bar was actually called “Blink-183.”

So, long story short, the crackers were born on third and think they hit a triple, again, and we get an autocratic monopoly of this musical “wanting your bah-bah,” so to speak. Blink-182, however, represents an interesting phenomenological node, here, for their own right. They are marked, that is, by actually not taking themselves way too seriously, and also for their lyrics actually being understandable, which certainly doesn’t hurt. Recently, I was in the bar and the girl had on Blink-182 Pandora, or whatever. It rotated through most of their well-known hits, like “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again?”, etc. (actually, I think it, in good form, sidestepped “Adam’s Song,” which probably saved us all from a pretty awkward silence). 

And, true to form, the station would play the featured artist as well as various other bands with stylistic and/or cultural similarities to the primary act. One of these, in this case, was Lit, which stands for yet another interesting portal into the great, ubiquitous ulterior. Lit, that is, for their own right, is a band that started in 1988, according to Wikipedia, but didn’t put their first album out until 1997. Now, in addition, Lit, as well as many of their late-’90s cohorts like Third Eye Blind, Eve 6 and Fastball, happens to be a band that’s often pigeonholed as frat-boy simpletons pandering to rock radio. Without question, it’s true that each of these bands wrote songs that became very popular. Hopefully, though, the very fact of Lit, for their own right, having gone through that nine-year period of playing gigs and still not having a record deal, should put the kibosh on any notion that they lacked grit and substance.

Without question, this is a band that had paid their dues, had stockpiled up an impressive cluster of catchy songs, and on A Place in the Sun (1999), the proof’s in the pudding. Typically, “My Own Worst Enemy” is the song you hear ad nauseam, sort of beliking them to the malady that plagues Franz Ferdinand, Alice in Chains and any number of other bands of whom only one of their songs is approved by the Ministry of Thought [2]. 

So it was my shock and awe to hear “Zip-Lock,” the single from A Place in the Sun that follows “My Own Worst Enemy” and, in what’s always been my opinion, an altogether superior song, with more interesting phrasings leading into a chorus that flows with a substantially higher level of energy and purpose. And, indeed, it’s a song about desperation. It’s a song about being at a precipice of a relationship, of perceiving disaster, perceiving the demise of the love that’s meant so much to those two people. And I don’t even have to ask: I know the love that these two people shared meant a lot to them, because the song’s musical aspects, themselves, possess so much synergy and efficacy that the magnanimous significance of the relationship between those people is evidenced, clearly. Oh God, I’m sensing a Delilah moment coming on here. No, Delilah, not today! I put on way too much mascara earlier to be dealing with her shennanigans, plus she’s lost in a place in the sun.

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[1] If you will, this is a reference to a series of commercials from about 20 years or so which would posit a Holiday Inn Express guest as thereafter having the supernatural ability to do things like perform surgeries, when they couldn’t beforehand. 

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[2] For any faithful unawares, this is a reference to the George Orwell novel 1984, and an element therein of total mind control administered by the government toward the objective of mental uniformity across the populace and ergo tautological cooperation with and functional subservience to said government.

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