Tag Archives: Nerf Herder

Inappropriate Funeral Songs

Recently a friend told me a funny story about a death in the family. The laughter felt just a tiny bit wrong, but it was exactly right.

AV Club wrote an interesting but silly piece about the top 26 inappropriate songs to play at a funeral, called Don’t Taunt the Reaper. In the spirit of the funny funeral story, I have given this topic some amount of thought. But before we get to my nominees, here’s the best of theirs:

I love #2, Ween‘s Push Th’ Little Daisies. That infectious glue-sniffin’ song gets in your head so bad it makes you want to die. And Queen‘s Another One Bites the Dust is freakin’ classic, of course, as is the Blue Oyster Cult tune to which the article’s title refers. I’m also on board with I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight, if we’re attempting the truly tasteless. From the comments section, I like the option of Dress Sexy at My Funeral by Smog.

AV Club also listed a Pixies song, Cactus, and an Eels song, Last Stop: This Town, but I decree they’re the wrong songs from those bands.

My top choice is the Eels‘ It’s a Motherfucker (Being Here Without You). The rest of the lyrics aren’t particularly compelling, but that line and the sound of the song (listen to part of it here) make perfect wake music. Maybe too perfect for the AV Club’s list of inappropriate songs, actually. [To be filed under random awesome quote, E says, “I’m not trying to fuck anyone’s mother here. Let’s just establish that right now.”]

I also nominate Nerf Herder‘s warning to all who consider suicide, 5000 Ways to Die. Lyrics:

“And the bastard you hated the most / Will stand up and give you a toast / He’ll say We were such good friends especially near the end / Then he’ll feel up your girlfriend in front of your ghost.”

The Pixies are an obvious choice. Dead, In Heaven, Wave of Mutilation, Into the White, Monkey Gone to Heaven, Ed is Dead … and there are many that don’t quite make the list like I Bleed or There Goes My Gun … but I have to go with Ed is Dead for the lyrics and mood, combining to be an inappropriate yet apt funeral song. The problem is that any Pixies song (see Dead) that’s about death could just as much be about sex. Or maybe that’s not a problem at all. The Pixies are good like that.

And last but not least, Modest Mouse. They sing about death quite often, with a proper fierceness, insisting that we remember “we are our own damn coffins.” That line is from Satin in a Coffin. Great titles, but not really great lyrics for a funeral, include Bury Me With It or Black Cadillacs. But perhaps the greatest MM song for this project is Parting of the Sensory. Check the lyrics: “Dehydrate back into minerals” and “Some day you will die and Somehow something’s gonna steal your carbon.” And when you listen to the song, wait for the end when it’s swirling you down the drain in manic round after round of intensity.

What are your suggestions? I’m excited to improve this list!

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Nerf Herder

Nerf Herder IV, the newest release from the fun nerd-rock band, has been delayed until April 29, but I couldn’t wait to love on ’em a little bit because I heard the song Jenna Bush Army on college radio recently.

Nerf Herder is named for a Star Wars throw-away line Princess Leia jabs Han Solo with when they’re stuck in the trash compactor: “Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” Listen closer next time. Oh, and Mark Hamill cameos in the video for Sorry.

Please buy their albums … if for no other reason than to keep them in embroidered golf shirts. They’re like Weezer-light with the garage door open on a sunny day; they’re like Bloodhound Gang on suburbanized helium; they’re like what you wanted to listen to when you were 16 and forgot to be angsty. Choice lyrics:

“She’s got lips… lips just like Cherry Coke” (Annalee)

“You bared your soul / You showed us your hole / Courtney Love don’t throw it all away / Courtney Love don’t you go changin'” (Courtney Love)

“I was listening to Rush and trying to feather my hair back / When all that stuff went down / I’m not the one who was in a high school hardcore band / I sat in my room scoring with Ms. Pac-Man” (Golfshirt)

“And she was the kind of girl who you would give up eating meat for / No more salami / No more steak or potatoes / Yeah you would walk on down to the health food store / And buy hummus and tabouli and babaganoush and ricecakes ricecakes ricecakes / Nosering girl I love you” (Nosering Girl (video))

“I bleached my hair just like Vince Neil / Then you made me cut it like James Hetfield / We’re gonna put an end to alternative rock / We’ll find a way to make the Cranberries stop / We went to Sears for pictures at Christmastime / But they wouldn’t let us make the metal sign” (Pantera Fans In Love)

And perhaps the best, the very personal song Van Halen (video here):

“I bought Van Halen I / It was the best damn record I ever owned / TG&Y 1978 / Two hand tapping guitar technique really got me off / Eruption yeah, ain’t talkin’ ’bout love, I’m on fire

Tomorrow may come / Tomorrow may never come again / Can’t you hear Jamie cryin? / She’s runnin’ with the devil

I bought Women and Children First / Fair Warning and Van Halen II / Dance the night away / 1984 my favorite record yeah I wore it down / Might as well jump …

Is this what you wanted, Sammy Hagar? / Sammy Hagar, is this what you wanted, man? / Dave lost his hairline but you lost your cool buddy / Can’t drive 55 / I’ll never buy your lousy records again / Again, again, again, never again…”

And if you’re already this deep in the post (bless you), the lead man for NH wrote some Weird Al-ish jingles while the band was broken up for a while. Look inside Parry Grip’s head by checking his solo album For Those About to Shop, We Salute You here.

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