As winter begins its slow icy slink many of us are less likely to venture out to socialize. While you may not be succumbing to sociopathic traits, if the chill is keeping you in then curl up with these seven cordial songs. Anti-social anthems for those are alone; by option or otherwise.
Afraid of Everyone by The National from High Violet (2010)
The National may have broken through with this year's High Violet, however this is the quartet's fifth effort. Originating in Ohio, the band is made up of two sets of brothers, Scott and Bryan Devendorf and Aaron and Bryce Dessner, along with deep-voiced singer Matt Berninger. I enjoy this album, but it makes me afraid that this track was featured on the show with some of the worst acting ever recorded.
I Don't Want To Be Friends With You by The Shop Assistants from The Shop Assistants (Will Anything Happen) (1986)
Although they produced great tracks like this one and Ace of Spades, Scottish '80s band the Shop Assistants failed to make a lasting impression on music listening audiences. Perhaps this is because their original, terrible, name was Buba and the Shop Assistants. Their self-titled album spent one week at #100 on the UK album charts, giving the band the distinction of being one of the least successful acts to ever hit the national charts.
Get Me Out of Here by The Muffs from Narduar Compilation/Hamburger (1991/1999)
Kim Shattuck and company have been kicking around the pop punk scene for close to twenty years. More punk than pop, Get Me Out of Here is lo-fi, abrasive and was the band's first released recording. The song initially appeared on a compilation put together by curious Canadian journalist Narduar, 1991's Narduar the Human Serviette Presents Clam Chowder & Ice Vs Big Macs and Bombers, and then on the rarities album Hamburger.
"Not bad for a four track recording. I only regret the awful Guitar Center reverb on the vocal," Shattuck wrote in Hamburger's liner notes.
The Muffs recently completed a tour of Europe and are close to releasing a follow up to 2005's Really Really Happy.
Gotta Gettaway by Stiff Little Fingers from Nobody's Heroes (1980)
Frequently referred to as "The Irish Clash," Stiff Little Fingers began as Highway Star until these Belfast boys discovered punk and changed their name in honour of the Vibrators. Gravel-voiced singer Jake Burns is the only "finger" (I assume he would be the middle one) to remain through out the band's history. Many critics have been dismayed by the band's release of numerous live and compilation albums in recent years, however Burns announced in 2007 that an album of new material is in the works. Listen to the album version of Gotta Gettaway here.
Stop Looking At Me by Epoxies from Epoxies (2002)
Roxy Epoxy of the Portland "robot garage rock" band Epoxies may have an aversion to prying peepers, yet it's hard not to look when the music sounds so sweet. Formed in 2000, their self-titled debut touches on subjects such as consumerism, war and futurism and includes new wave-inspired tracks like Bathroom Stall, Molded Plastic, We're So Small and Stop Looking At Me. After the release of the My New World EP in 2007 Epoxies disbanded. Roxy went on to release Band Aids On Bullet Holes in 2009 and the band reunited for a concert in May 2010. After that Portland show, keyboardist FM Static said the audience began to "go nuts now because [a reunion] ain’t gonna fucking happen again!"
I Think I'll Run by Basement In My Loft from See The Rhyme In The Dirt And Grime (2010)
Based out of Singapore, Basement In My Loft have penned a perfectly anti-social, if not somewhat cowardly, song. You can listen to the album version of I Think I'll Run and the rest of See The Rhyme In The Dirt And Grime on their official site.
Far Away by Tricky from Knowle West Boy (2008)
Trip hop icon Tricky knows a lot about being alone. His father abandoned him when he was an infant. Then at age 4 his mother committed suicide. On 2008's Knowle West Boy, Tricky (aka Adrian Thaws) reports and rhymes on many subjects including his terribly tumultuous times. However with all the strife in Tricky's life he manages to emerge with a positive outlook. He acknowledges pain but ultimately looks ahead to the promise life has to offer. His latest offering, Mixed Race, was released earlier this year.