Five Albums to (Accidentally) Assault Old Ladies in the Street

She never stood a chance, as I stoutheartedly strutted forward at a near-jog pace, posture straighter than it’s been in years, muscles tense, arms swinging back and forth like an angry pendulum, facing straight ahead. I was pumped. I was energized. I was rocking out to the music in my headphones, timing my steps perfectly to every beat. I was a walking, breathing iTunes visualizer, my stride aligned with every chord change, a rollicking locomotor of a man chugging along upwards through Santa Fe avenue.

And then it happened.

It was near the corner of Santa Fe and Ayacucho, right in front of the Burger King and an overpriced clothing store. She came out meekly; a small, fragile old lady of at least 70 leaving a shop and sneaking into my periphery. I only caught a brief glance at her before impact; before my large frame came in contact with her frail existence; before my giant swinging ham of an arm forcefully struck her puny little shoulder, knocking her over like a human bowling pin. The cries were immediate, my shocked and embarrassed apologies were, too. I helped her up as her irate daughter yelled obscenities over my shoulder. She was fine, but understandibly shocked. My pleads for forgiveness will never quell the aftershocks and flashbacks that will undoubtedly haunt the rest of her natural life.

Here are five albums that might cause you to accidentally assault old ladies in the street.

Strung Out- “Live in a Dive”

This is the album that I was listening to when it happened. This album is power, energy, speed in the form of three-minute punk songs. Strung Out’s live show is tight and intense and technically accomplished in a way that betrays their punk roots. Skirting the tri-state border line between punk rock, hardcore and metal, this album captures a great band at their prime, before they veered a little too far down one end of the spectrum.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears- “Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is”

While Strung Out’s album is get-out-and-punch-someone music, this lean mean slice of awesomeness is get-up-and-dance music of the best kind. A smattering of blues, soul, funk and rock and roll, “Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is” is a thoroughly entertaining listen from start to finish that will have you hopping along your daily commute like a complete idiot.

Japandroids- “Post-Nothing”

A sprightly and energetic debut from a very promising young band, “Post-Nothing” captured the indie world’s imagination a couple of years ago for its youthful exuberance and anthemic singalongs that somehow managed to be simultaneously reminiscent of mid-70s New York proto-punk and fist-pumping arena rock. This record speeds by at just over half an hour and when you finally get to album closer “I Quit Girls”, you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel 16 again.

Mclusky- “Mclusky Do Dallas”

It makes me sad to write about Mclusky. I wish they were still around. I really do. This band had all the potential to be the next Pixies. And their bended-arpeggio attack and shout-along choruses do conjure up images of a young Black Francis. This album is lively, angry and humorous (the opening track is titled “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues”). On the other hand, you’re kind of glad that they burned out like they did, and left behind four awesome, untouchable albums instead of diluting their legacy with mediocre offerings (take note, Steven Spielberg).

Elvis Costello- “Get Happy”

The Attractions at the top of their game. This album’s energy is just absolutely refreshing and infectious; a mix of Stax and Motown-inspired soul and R&B and post-punk, with hints of reggae and ska. The rhythm section throughout is astounding. This is probably the album I listen to the most when I need a pick-me-up; when I need to gather up enough enthusiasm to get me through some obligatory social function. A thrilling and invigorating listen, “Get Happy” will have you skipping along in the street, bumping and hitting and colliding with all manner of objects and people. What? You don’t flail your arms wildly about as you walk down the street listening to music? Psht.

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