Thursday, February 23, 2012

Alternative Rock
The Replacements - Here Comes a Regular
Well a person can work up a mean mean thirst
after a hard day of nothin' much at all
Summer's passed, it's too late to cut the grass
There ain't much to rake anyway in the fall

And sometimes I just ain't in the mood
to take my place in back with the loudmouths
You're like a picture on the fridge that's never stocked with food
I used to live at home, now I stay at the house

And everybody wants to be special here
They call your name out loud and clear
Here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one here today?

Well a drinkin' buddy that's bound to another town
Once the police made you go away
And even if you're in the arms of someone's baby now
I'll take a great big whiskey to ya anyway

Everybody wants to be someone's here
Someone's gonna show up, never fear
'cause here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one who feels ashamed?

Kneeling alongside old Sad Eyes
He says opportunity knocks once then the door slams shut
All I know is I'm sick of everything that my money can buy
The fool who wastes his life, God rest his guts

First the lights, then the collar goes up, and the wind begins to blow
Turn your back on a pay-you-back, last call
First the glass, then the leaves that pass, then comes the snow
Ain't much to rake anyway in the fall

In the post-punk era alternative rock bands were on independent record labels and were being played on college radio as documented in the song 'left of the dial' by The Replacements in a nod to turning the radio dial to the alternative stations.  Alternative rock was popular with disaffected youth culture and those excluded from conventional society and the Reagan regime, with no prospects for the future, working in dead end jobs and turning to drugs and alcohol as escape.  Alt. rock reflected the alienation of the minorities within the dominant popular culture.  This song captures the real mundane life of humdrum America and the failure of the American dream as they are waiting for someone to call their name and be 'special' but they're just a 'regular' person and also being a regular customer at a bar.  There is also disillusion with the capitalist and consumeristic lifestyle in the lines 'All I know is I'm sick of everything that my money can buy'.  The condradictions of the American dream can be seen in the arrival of 'grunge' in the early 90s (a successor of alternative rock) in the rise of Nirvana, as at the same time as their album 'Nevermind' went to number one the lead singer Kurt Cobain was sleeping in his car with no home. 

This is part of a BBC documentary about Alternative rock:

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