Washed Out

Ana Gabriel, "En la Oscuridad" (Sony, 1990). iTunes

HIM, "Join Me in Death" (BMG, 2000). iTunes

Charlie McAlister, "Blood Coming Out of Your Scalp" (Tape Mountain, 2001).

God Forbid, "Washed Out World" (Century, 2004). iTunes

NoMeansNo, "A Little Too High" (Alternative Tentacles, 2000).

Mount Everest Trio, "Orinoco" (Atavistic, 2000). eMusic

Blacktop, "Planet Earth (@#*!!)" (In the Red, 2003). iTunes

Alpha Blondy, "Sahel" (Shanachie, 1987). eMusic

Don Omar, "Pobre Diabla" (mixtape). iTunes

Barbara Morgenstern & Robert Lippock, "Sommer" (Monika).

Bushwick Bill, "Who's the Biggest" (Rap-a-Lot, 1995).

Anaal Nathrak, "I Wish I Could Vomit Blood on All You . . . People" (Season of Mist, 2004). iTunes

Altered Images, "See Those Eyes" (Portrait, 1982). iTunes

Dio, "The Last in Line" (Warner Bros., 1984). iTunes

Gustav Mahler, "Phantasie aus Don Juan" (Fischer-Dieskau and Bernstein; Columbia, 1971 and 2000).

. . . And in the wink of an eye, it's summer, and a young man's thoughts turn to nuclear winter and whether he might will it into being through the sheer libidinous force of his rage. Or so mine did my 16th year, when all I did was think about death all day. People would ask my girlfriend and me: "How come you're always depressed?" How else might we reply but: "Because it feels so damned good." I wing these songs backward through time to my teenaged self, who loved finding death like a black-turtlenecked Waldo hiding in even the most joyous moments.

1. Up-tempo. In Spanish. Can make ruthless tyrants cry like helpless babies.

2. This is about as cent percent as schmaltz gets, and self-respecting goths would prefer a little subtlety every now and again, but guess what? There are no more self-respecting goths. I feel this, anyway.

3. Sad songs say so much.

4. You know how screamo vocalists want you to feel like they're really right there on the edge, about to totally lose it? The dude in God Forbid is the Brando of this style. As a bonus, the clean vocals are smooth and undersold.

5. From an album that never got the love it deserved, a song that shoots bile from its eyes while nodding its head to a somewhat noodly bass-heavy beat. "Harrowing," as they say, but not looking to earn any merit badges for it.

6. Begins as semi–samba jazz, then freaks out some. Meditative, after a fashion.

7. Mick Collins (the Gories, the Dirtbombs) does his thing. The guitar sound is worth approximately all your money.

8. I am a sucker for a beautiful voice.

9. A dozen great things about this song, but my favorite is that its title is the same as a Mexican soap opera I used to watch, whose theme song was almost as catchy as Don Omar's identically titled reggaeton sweat-fest.

10. What can I tell you, other than that every syllable Barbara Morgenstern utters should be passed into law? This breezy number from her collaboration with the guy from To Rococo Rot rules the universe, like everything else she does.

11. If Bushwick says he remembers recording this, he's lying. Everybody on board here is high on something. The groove: unstoppable.

12–15. Under; around; over; through.


John Darnielle's band, the Mountain Goats, play Neumo's at 8 p.m. Sun., June 19. $12.

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