365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

T-shirt #261: Ramones

T-shirt #261: Ramones

I have never really been a huge fan of the Ramones, and yet I own a shirt. It's a relatively recent purchase, within the last ten years, and the shirt has not been worn that often. Note that I am linking many of these subjects for your convenience and edification if you so desire. Also, for my later reading, as I reread my own blogs. Go figure.

I bought it at the same time as I bought the CBGB shirt that I featured when I said goodbye to Lou Reed in T-shirt #231, which is fitting as the Ramones played their first gig at CBGB in 1974.

I wish I could remember the bands I saw in the show I went to at CBGB in 1985, but these facts are lost in time.

I like punk music, but I never considered myself a punk or a punk rocker. However, in the 1980s, I did go to a lot of punk shows in Kalamazoo, more because of the scene than the music. Black Flag, a local band called the T-Snakes. All sorts. I hit a few shows in Ann Arbor, too, though I hardly remember. I played the Ramones at college dances and in my radio show, but I did not own any Ramones albums. In fact, I may like the Harmones, a Kalamazoo College Ramones inspired  band named for their dorm, Harmon.

I do think the Ramones are a good band, but they were never among my favorites. I think their stuff is fun and a great portrait of the time period. I own much of it. I do not listen to it very often of my own choice, but my step-son Ivan plays it for me on occasion so I keep tunes on my iPod.

Punk is punk. I do not enjoy debating which came first American punk via the Ramones or British punk via the Sex Pistols.

All of my favorite punk songs--if they can be considered "punk" and I don't think they can be--are by the Clash and the Jam. The former I wrote about recently in T-shirt #238. The latter I have not written about yet as I am saving my shirt featuring the Jam for a time when I can really devote myself to what is probably my favorite band and certainly in my top five as also mentioned in T-shirt #238.

I do like what is considered Post-Punk possibly more than punk itself. Bands like Gang of Four, Killing Joke, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and especially Cabaret Voltaire are among my favorites, but they are considered post-punk. I also liked the New Wave bands, such as DEVO, XTC, Blondie, Ultravox, Gary Numan's TubeWay Army, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and most especially Talking Heads.

But this is about punk and the Ramones. And I meant to let the music speak for itself.

This is meant to be a quickie.

I wish to present my five favorite punk songs that are not by the Clash or the Jam. And, hey, guess what. There's a Ramones song. Okay, I am lying. These are not my favorites so much as the first five that spring to mind. Or is this the same thing? If the songs spring to mind, then must they be my favorites?

In any case, enjoy the exploration of my top five punk songs.

Suicidal Tendencies - "Institutionalized" Frontier Records

The Ramones - I wanna be sedated (Official Video - HQ)

The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck

Dead Kennedys - Kill the poor

Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK 1976

Misfits - Astro Zombies live

I could not embed the video for the next one, and though it's from a later period, more grunge, it's true punk in its aesthetic and I love it.

Sleater Kinney - More Than a Feeling

Okay, I lied, that's seven. I couldn't keep it to five and even with two extra I am leaving out some great bands. Still, this is a good sampling.

Now, more true than ever, "I wanna be sedated."

Also, as mentioned in the first video: "All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't bring it to me..."


-chris tower - 1312.07 - 9:34