:: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 ::
A real Detroit punk
As I work through this project of compiling the top 100 albums that have changed my life (update coming soon), I find myself listening to some music I haven't listened to for a long time. And I mean really listened to. The music of Bob Seger is one example.

Spoiler alert: I've got a couple of Seger albums coming up on the list. Stranger in Town is not one of them. It's a mediocre record, best known for one track ("Old Time Rock & Roll") that helped make Tom Cruise a star and a lot of forgettable, formulaic, cookie-cutter rock of the R&B flavor. But there's one song on that album that's been getting into my head lately, and if I ever compile a list of great punk rock songs, this track will definitely make the list (and ruin all my punk rock credibility).

The song? It's called "Feel Like a Number."

Seger is an over-the-hill Detroit rocker who's paid his dues over the years. By the time he gained some notice in the mid-'70s, he'd already been toiling in obscurity for much of his musical career. He's from the region that gave us Iggy and the Stooges, the MC5 and a bunch of hardcore punk bands, but he hardly fits the punk rock mold. I mean, just look at him, there on the cover of Stranger In Town. All that hair! Just like a hippie! And is there anything more detestable to punks than a hippie? Facial hair, too!

To boot, much of his music fit the anti-punk boogie or ballad mode, and his lyrics were more about longing for a teenage past.

Nevertheless, for one shining moment in 1978, Seger wrote a song that captured a punk ethos fitting the Clash.

The lyrics (source) tell the tale:
I take my card and I stand in line
To make a buck I work overtime
Dear Sir letters keep coming in the mail
I work my back till it's racked with pain
The boss cant even recall my name
I show up late and Im docked
It never fails
I feel like just another
Spoke in a great big wheel
Like a tiny blade of grass
In a great big field
To workers Im just another drone
To Ma Bell Im just another phone
I'm just another statistic on a sheet
To teachers Im just another child
To IRS I'm just another file
I'm just another consensus on the street
Gonna cruise out of this city
Head down to the sea
Gonna shout out at the ocean
Hey it's me
And I feel like a number
Feel like a number
Feel like a stranger
A stranger in this land
I feel like a number
I'm not a number
I'm not a number
Dammit I'm a man
I said I'm a man
Lashing out against a system that crushes the soul and reduces people to statistics. If that ain't punk, what is?

Tags: , , , , , ,

:: Andrew 09:06 + ::

bloggedy blog recommends

Save the Net

bloggedy pod (my podcast page)

Independent hotels
in Missouri

Get Firefox!


eMusic's Power Charts: The Most Interactive Music Charts Online.

Never Mind the Bibles

In rotation

What I've been listening to lately. Click album cover or hyperlink to hear track samples and learn more.

Sermon on Exposition Boulevard Rickie Lee Jones, Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

Children Running Through Patty Griffin, Children Running Through

Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Tones of Town Field Music, Tones of Town

The Girl Collection De Bossen, The Girl Collection

Robbers & Cowards Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards

Carinvore Simon Dawes, Carnivore

Until Death Comes Frida Hyvonen, Until Death Comes

Tratore Basics 2: New Brazilian Rock Tratore Basics Vol. 2, Novo Rock Brazil

Modern Times Yusuf: An Other Cup

Modern Times The Beatles: Love

Two Thousand The French Kicks: Two Thousand

Paper Television The Blow: Paper Television

Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler, Vol. 1 Freedom Haters Unite! A Bloodshot Records Sampler

Beast Moans Swan Lake: Beast Moans

Prototypes Prototypes: Prototypes

Violence Is Golden Scanners: Violence Is Golden

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives Voxtrot: Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives

Your Biggest Fan Voxtrot: Your Biggest Fan

Translate Macon Greyson: Translate

Get Evens The Evens: Get Evens

Veruca Salt IV Veruca Salt: Veruca Salt IV

Modern Times Bob Dylan: Modern Times

Look Your Best Pink Tuscadero: Look Your Best

Blue On Blue Leigh Nash: Blue on Blue

I Am  Not Afraid Of  You And I Will Beat Your Ass Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass

Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America

The Longest Meow Bobby Bare Jr.: The Longest Meow"

Hello Love The Be Good Tanyas: Hello Love

The Lemonheads The Lemonheads: The Lemonheads

Ben Kweller Ben Kweller: Ben Kweller

We Are The Pipettes The Pipettes: We Are the Pipettes

Surprise Paul Simon: Surprise

Sev7en Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners: Sev7en

A Hundred Highways Johnny Cash: American V: A Hundred Highways

For the Best of Us The John Doe Thing: For the Best of Us

Runaway Bombshell The Fondas: Runaway Bombshell

Flat-Pack Philosophy Buzzcocks: Flat Pack Philosophy

Citrus Asobi Seksu: Citrus

The Loon Tapes 'n Tapes: The Loon

2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler Various Artists: 2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler (24 free tracks)

News and Tributes The Futureheads: News and Tributes

Zoysia The Bottle Rockets: Zoysia

Let's Get Out of This Country Camera Obscura: Let's Get Out of This Country

Bang Bang Rock & Roll Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll

A Blessing and a Curse Drive By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse

Broken Boy Soldiers The Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers

The Life Pursuit Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit

The Greatest Cat Power: The Greatest

bloggedy tags

from our sponsors

for your viewing pleasure

the Richard Show

where in the world?

Locations of visitors to this page