Words: James Passarelli

Last night I was trying to think of the song that goes “now that’s over.”  Surprisingly, SR-71’s “Right Now” is one of the few songs that contain those seemingly commonplace lyrics, and it was just the one I was thinking of.  Then it occurred to me that this was a perfect opportunity to kick off my much contemplated new segment, the Chain Game.  The rules of the game are simple: pick any song or video on YouTube, and then create a five song chain, using only the suggested videos on the side, giving your thoughts on each one (hint: this works better if you’re not signed into YouTube, since they’ve switched up their method of recommendations recently).  But without any further ado, let’s take the dive…

1. SR-71 – “Right Now”

Quick backstory behind SR-71: it comes from the stealth aircraft of the same name, and the band used to be called Honor Among Thieves (I told you it was quick).

“Right Now” is a prime example of turn-of-the-millenium listenability: that is to say, it’s not anything close to a good song, but it has elements, like a melody, that make it sonic nectar in comparison to today’s radio standards.  Also charming is how quickly the opening lines go from making sense (“She clings to me like cellophane”) to not making sense (next line: “fake plastic submarine”).  But now that’s over.

Pros of the video: purple-haired guitarist; razor scooters; Inceptionesque dream twist at the end (oops, spoiler).

Cons: see above

2. Sugar Ray – “Someday”

Three weeks ago, a friend of mine dropped a bomb on me: Sugar Ray, he claimed, was being ironic—the look, the music, the voice.  None of it was serious.  Now, I like Sugar Ray like I like Rain-Blo, pogs, and Supersoakers—more because they permeate my childhood memories than because of any inherent depth or quality.  But never had I entertained the notion that Mark McGrath had aspirations other than flight.  But if anything is evidence that the man’s been putting us on all this time, it’s his video for “Someday.”  Bizarre beach dancing from the band and a wonderfully random supporting cast of characters, not to mention Mark’s chin bush (that only the world’s greatest understater would call a soul patch) at full strength.  This has really got me thinking, and that’s usually a bad thing for everyone.

3. White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

I wonder how Jack White would react to his video being one suggestion in a sea of Sugar Ray songs.  Either way, he probably knows something about Sugar Ray’s intentions that we don’t.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if McGrath made a guest appearance on the next ICP-Third Man collaboration.

As for the song itself, I need not inform you of its greatness, or the wonders it’s done for stadium PA operators.  More importantly, however, it’s left us with this legendary Yahoo Answer.

4. Temple of the Dog – “Hunger Strike”

I was familiar with Temple of the Dog in name only, but now I get this joke from Portlandia.  I won’t spill too much virtual ink over this one.  I’ll just leave you with this equation: Chris Cornell + tall grass = what can possibly go wrong?

5. Sponge – “Plowed”

Simplicity is enticing, especially when it involves the pairing of two words that could easily find themselves in the title of an adult video.  I had to see what it was all about, and the still-active Detroit band didn’t disappoint.  “Plowed” is a single off their 1994 debut album, Rotting Piñataand as you might expect from a song with that title on an album with that title, it’s not a particularly uplifting song.  But it’s not all that depressing either, which makes me wonder if Sponge accomplished their objective.  Regardless, the dingy yellow lighting and repetition of the words “in a world of human wreckage” imply that we’re supposed to be miserable or angry about something, even if it’s just the existence of this song.


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