#99: Existentialism On Prom Night by Straylight Run

I almost took this song off the list because despite reading the entire Portable Nietzsche I still have no idea what Existentialism is – or how Friedrich Nietzsche ate sandwiches with that huge mustache in the way – and I didn’t attend any Proms (you know you can talk about other things then just those mentioned in the song title) oh what a fantasy land you live in old chum. But mostly I almost took the song off the list because this is my least favorite song on the list (then why wasn’t it at 101, or better yet not on the list at all?) I’m sure no one is wondering that, but I’ll answer it anyway. It holds more emotional relevance then the song at number 100 and I wanted to start the list off with a good song, although turns out nobody likes it but me, so that’s why I went with The Writhing South by Say Anything at 101.

If you didn’t know, Straylight Run’s lead singer is John Nolan, former co-singer on Taking Back Sunday’s first album Tell All Your Friends, which I maintain is by far the best Taking Back Sunday album, and also he’s really good friends with Jesse Lacey, lead singer of my current second favorite band Brand New. In fact they were such good friends that Jesse Lacey let his former girlfriend sleep with John Nolan and she didn’t even have to ask for Jesse’s permission because she knew it would be okay (I think that’s called cheating) Oh.

What’s great about this is that they were both in band’s so Jesse wrote a song about it on Brand New’s first album, Your Favorite Weapon, which is one of my favorite albums ever and a few songs from it our featured on this list, unfortunately the song I’m speaking of now, Seventy Times Seven isn’t on this list even though it should be. – of course for all you bible people out there Seventy Times Seven is how many Sons God told Abraham he had to sacrifice for him (wrong, Seventy Times Seven is the number of times Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother for his sins) had it been God he would have told Peter to Gouge his brother’s eyes out 490 times.

In reaction to Seventy Times Seven John Nolan wrote the song There’s No ‘I’ In Team on the album Tell All Your Friends. Okay, first of all I can forgive John Nolan for sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend, but what I can’t forgive is giving a song with such emotional connection to his life a cliché title like that. My only choice is to believe that Adam Lazzara came up with the title. Seventy Times Seven is seventy times seven times better than There’s No ‘I’ In Team (what a complete mess of a sentence). Also let’s look at the contrast in lyrics. There’s No ‘I’ In Team features lyrics such as this:

“I’ve got this $20 bill that says you’re up late night starting fist fights vs. the fences in your back yard,  you’re wearing your black eye like a badge of honor, soaking in sympathy of friends who never loved you nearly half as much as I do.”

While Seventy Times Seven features lyrics that maybe show that the title of the song is more than just a little ironic:

“So is that what you call a getaway? Well tell me what you got away with. Cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish, and I’ve seen more guts on 11 year old kids. So have another drink and drive yourself home. I hope there’s ice on all the roads. And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt, and again when your head goes through the windshield”

Whoa, that’s exactly the kind of over reacting aggression I like to hear in ‘my girlfriend cheated on me with my best friend’ songs. It’s reminiscent of one of my favorite lines of all time featured on another Brand New song on that album, but you won’t get to find out what line I’m talking about until way later in the countdown.

Another thing I like about the little mishap between Jesse and John is that, and maybe this is just lore, the last words Jesse said to John over the phone when discussing the situation were, “You’re as subtle as a brick on the small of my back, so let’s end this call and end this conversation,” in terms of last words spoken to a person those are really good. Just looking at them like that they don’t look that great, but you can’t think about movies and tv shows where writers spend weeks figuring out what the characters should say. In real life nothing ever comes out that good. Had I tried what Jesse did, and let’s all hope one day I get that chance, it would have came out more like, “You’re as subtle as…oh crap, what do they call those things? You’re like one of those things they make chimneys out of on my back small. And you and all your little piggies can’t blow down my house, because it’s made of sticks and stones, and they may break my bones, but words don’t hurt, but you sleeping with my girlfriend did. Uncool man, totally uncool. So let’s stop this conversation. Hang up the phone. No, no, wait, I’ll hang up. I wouldn’t want you to break a nail. I’ll break your nails when I punch you in the face. Except I won’t because I never want to see you again. Good day, sir. I said good day, sir! But could you return my Cursive CD when you’re done with it. Just leave it in the mail box or something. K, thanks.”

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About Danniel

http://closertoclarity.com/
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