“The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.”
Poppy Z. Brite
I Want To Rock And Roll All Night And Sleep Every Day!
Yes hello once again to 4am, a time for heavy eyelids and nasty thoughts. Anyone who has visited this site or read one of the previous three entries in this sleepy series knows that I am a terrible insomniac. I shouldn’t say a terrible insomniac actually, because insomnia is one of the few things I excel at. I am an excellent insomniac.
So yes, I am sitting at my keyboard at 4am waiting to go to a hospital appointment at 8am. I was hoping to get some sleep tonight but as always a tiny bit of anxiety is enough to spark an all nighter… again.
It’s no secret that I have suffered with my sleep for a decade or so now. I get my sleep pattern into a recognisable shape for a few days only for it to collapse into an abstract thing after what is at most a week. It only takes a tiny spark of anxiety and that’s me ruined sleep wise for a number of weeks, a failing that is far to common an occurrence these days.
In a strange way I’ve almost adapted to this like I’m working shifts. When I was a kid my dad worked shifts and would be mornings one week, then afternoons for a week and then nights for a week. It played havoc with his system but it was something he grew to adapt to, it was either that or lose his job unfortunately. I find myself in a similar situation where my pattern shifts from week to week, barely giving me a couple of days to try to latch on to something to keep it together before the next major shift.
But anyway on to the main event. If you aren’t aware of what the YouTube Trail is I shall explain. When me and my friend used to hang out and listen to music we would often use YouTube, it was free and easy and new songs were just a click away. What we started doing though instead of searching for a new song/artist each time we would pick from the “recommended” section on the right hand side of the screen and this would repeat for hours. We called this system “The YouTube Trail” and here are the rules.
- Pick a song on YouTube (preferably one you like)
- Once it’s finished, pick another song from the recommended section on the right
- Keep going till the trail runs dry or you get bored/sleepy (or until I hit 15, otherwise I’d be typing forever)
- Make sure you are in Incognito Mode so your cookies/history doesn’t influence the Trail too much
So onward for glory! The first song is…
Song 1: Social Distortion – Story Of My Life
I don’t really know why I like this so much if I’m honest. It’s a country hillbilly style love song that on the surface doesn’t seem like it would be any good but for some reason it just works.
The first time I heard the song was when it was included as a playable song in Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock so maybe having to play it quite a bit (No DLC back then, at least not a lot) is what’s got it stuck in the “fun music” part of my brain. I think it’s got a great catchy riff and it just has something kicky to it if that makes sense? It doesn’t? Ok… moving on!
Song 2 (Not That One): Sum 41 – In Too Deep
I usually prefer using lyrics versions of songs as when you get into “official” territory you run the risk of getting caught in a loop.
Well it’s gonna be one of these trips today I guess. Back to a time when I would come home and watch/listen to Kerrang in it’s early (and best) days. The early 2000’s were when I started to switch on as a human being (better than saying puberty right?) and when music is probably most important to you in your life.
This song just makes me smile, especially with the video. That short spiky hair reminds me of so many of my classmates it’s crazy. Skater culture, shit haircuts and newfangled American Punk music. The early 2000s were both shit and amazing.
Song 3: Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag
Good God you start talking about the early 2000s and this song can’t help but show up. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that EVERYONE who was a teenager at the time knew this song. It was in adverts, films and in my goddamn dreams. It was everywhere.
No joke, I knew a girl in school who took the piss of me a lot who would sing “listen to Iron Maiden baby with me” to try and wind me up. And while a lot of what she did and said did wind me up, this just made me laugh.
Song 4: Fall Out Boy – Thnks fr the Mmrs
I still don’t know why it’s spelled that way and I don’t want to know. All I know is it makes me angry and I don’t know why.
This song features quite commonly in my life at the moment bizarrely. I was never a big Fall Out Boy fan when I was younger but my partner absolutely loves them. So every time we play Rock Band now it, and other Fall Out Boy songs, feature heavily being sung at high volume in our living room. By the way you should read my post on Rock Band 4 😉 , the developers responded to me and everything and I’ll never stop finding opportunities to bring that up.
Song 5: Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal
I’m not a big fan of covers, I always treat them with a bit of caution. Sometimes they can change the meaning or tone of a song and that’s great but sometimes… sometimes you get McFly doing Pinball Wizard and no, I’m not linking it. Look up yourself if you want to poison your ears.
I really enjoy the video to this still as well, the dancing on top of the car that explodes and the moonwalking on a flow that glows as you move across it are still quite cool in my manchild eyes. Shiny and Boom.
Song 6: Smash Mouth – All Star
Another classic from my teenage years. Again I’m pretty sure everyone knows this song right? Featuring in the film Shrek this song has left its mark on the world and it is a great song to get stuck in your head.
The “All that glitters is gold” line is a bit confusing to me though. Is it referring to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven or Lord of the Rings? But wait, wasn’t Led Zeppelin referring to Lord of the Rings anyway in that song? So I guess it’s referring to both at once and at the same time double for Lord of th… Can anyone else smell burnt toast?
Song 7: Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
Ok so this trail is taking a very apt turn at this stage. You see other than the upbeat catchy songs that dominated in the early 2000s there was another strong contender, Emo music.
I’ve never really considered myself an Emo even though I got called one at school a lot, as well as Goth actually. I guess that’s what you get for wearing a leather jacket and having long dark hair in a backwards school 😛 . Are leather jackets even Emo/Goth?
I always considered myself a “Rocker” I guess and I just enjoyed pretty much any music as long as it was catchy and good to sing along to. I remember a lot of the Emo style songs of this period very fondly and still listen to a lot of them now so fuck knows. Music is music and you like what you like. Except Justin Bieber, we should all hate him.
Song 8: Linkin Park – Breaking The Habit
I don’t think it’s right (or possible) to talk about Emo bands of the 2000s without talking about the kings. Linkin Park are a band that will stick with most people my age for the rest of their lives. They were a great band with great songs and everyone seems to know all the words to most of the songs.
Not that I want to turn the tone of this dark but it is the inescapable elephant in the room. In 2017 Chester Bennington (Linkin Park’s front-man) sadly took his own life at the age of 41 and there was just something in the air that week. The following few days saw many people my age talking about how great the band were and how memorable so many of the songs were. I got phoned by 3 separate people I know from back home, one of which I hadn’t spoken to properly for years just to talk about him and his music.
It was a sad week for music in general but looking back on some of these old songs and listening to the lyrics, it’s clear that this man was very ill and it is a great shame that he was unable to get the help he needed.
Song 9: We The Kings – Check Yes Juliet
Jesus, really sorry about that but I guess it was inevitable on a list of popular songs from the 2000s. I’ll try to pick the mood back up a bit with this bouncy song.
Me and my partner sing this sometimes as a duet on Rock Band 4 and I don’t really know why. None of us knew the song before it was on one of those games but I guess it just stuck with us, it is really bouncy and catchy I suppose.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed doing this particular list is seeing all the other losers my age clearly doing the same thing as me. At the time of writing the top comment on this video is “I always seem to go on a 2000s rock marathon at late night hours”. Me and you both, friend.
Song 10: All American Rejects – Dirty Little Secret
Another great sing-a-long song from back then. Obviously the above isn’t the official music video but for some reason just listening to it brought the video straight back to me and I don’t even need to check I’m right. The video for this was pretty clever at the time (at least I thought so), it involves people with their secrets or feelings about themselves on post-it notes and I found it really relatable and deep when I was a teenager.
Side note and something I probably shouldn’t share. When me and my partner first met they identified as a lesbian… and I am a man. So at the start of the relationship there was a lot of sneaking around behind our friends backs and for a short while during this period my partner called me their “dirty little secret”.
Song 11: Green Day – Holiday
No matter how much I try I don’t think I’ll ever be able to type up how much I love this song and this album. I don’t think it’s any level of exagerated when I say that American Idiot by Green Day is the album I’ve listened to the most. I fucking love this album, I’ll tell you how much I love it by telling you this. For a while back there I attempted to write up the novelisation for the story that this album tells.
American Idiot is a concept album which means it tells an overarching story with its songs and lyrics. It is the story of “Jesus of Suburbia” breaking from his suburban roots to go to the big city to rebel against the state. He meets “St. Jimmy” and “Whatsername” along the way… and it’s just an awesome album ok. Trust me.
Song 12: The Killers – Somebody Told me
Ok so for the first time this list we are jumping back across the Atlantic to home territory. I used to work in a nightclub type place while I was in London and they played a lot of music that I didn’t particularly like and that made the night drag on and be boring as all hell. Then a song like this would come on and the whole place changed, suddenly it was fun and bouncy and random customers would try to dance with me and sing at me and it was probably because it gave me a massive smile and you can’t help but move and sing along to songs like this.
Song 14: The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
I don’t know a lot about this song and I’m not even this biggest fan of it. It’s another one of those songs that would play at the nightclub and change the whole room. Not so much a sing-a-long as a shout-a-long, it’s just a really fun song and it has the bonus of reminding of my roommate at the time who was a great laugh.
Song 15: Pulp – Common People
There were a lot of classic floor fillers linked to the last song, it was really hard to choose what song to listen to next. But when I saw this the decision was easy, this song is awesome.
I’m really proud of my working class roots despite us being told we shouldn’t be so often these days by the media but that’s a matter for another time. All the messages in this song are spot on. They were spot on then, they are spot on now and they will probably be spot on years from now sadly.
I’ve known well off people who “try to live like working class people” and I hate those people. There have even been “Chav themed parties” for these pricks and no, I am not joking.
I think the simple truth of it comes down to this for me. If you can’t relate to or understand the words of this song I don’t think I could ever be friends with you, not properly anyway. Sorry.
Wake Me Up, Insomnia No No
So now it’s gone 6am and my partner will be getting up before long for us to go to the hospital and when we get back I will feel like shit, sleep all day, be awake all night and be stuck in this waking/sleepy limbo for the next few weeks but oh hum. At least there’s always great music to listen to.
As always thanks for reading and make sure to take care of yourselves. Peace.
Here is a video of students hearing Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time and I love it.