I used to like punk. A lot. My favorite band was The Damned, I had a mohawk, and David Dove and I spent way too much time at Fender’s Grand Ballroom in Long Beach, CA watching bands like X, TSOL and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Yep, I was the weirdest looking kid in my AP honors classes. Social Distortion, Agent Orange, and fIREHOSE played free lunch-time concerts at the Cal State campuses. Those were the days.
So, in these “later years” when I come across a band that has that same kind of energy, and that I can still tolerate, I get pretty happy about it. That’s what happened when I stumbled across “Spend The Night” by The Donnas a few years ago. It’s not really a punk record, but it’s pretty rough. It’s just right.
According to Wikipedia, The Donnas have been around since about 1993 and started out in Palo Alto, CA. They’re an all-girl band that are heavily influenced by bands like the Ramones, The Runaways, and AC/DC. “Spend the Night” was their fifth release under the name The Donnas, in 2002.
I like music with a lot of layers, subtexts, multiple meanings and a whole range of emotion – but there’s something to be said for music that’s so simple and straightforward you know exactly what you’re dealing with right from the start. That’s what this album is – it’s simple, has a clear message, and as a bonus, packs one heck of a punch.
Here are some of my favorite tracks – you can figure out the meaning of each and every one of them from the title alone, but I’ve added my own short interpretation:
It’s On the Rocks – I am awesome, and you are so totally not cool enough for me.
Take It Off – I’ve been drankin’ and yer lookin’ pretty good. Gimme.
Who Invited You – You are a total loser, please leave my bitchin’ party.
All Messed Up – (my favorite) – Aw damnit. I like you.
Too Bad About Your Girl – You’re girlfriend’s about to be really sorry because you’re going home with me. (Favorite line: “I gotta make you mine but we’re runnin out of time / she’s got you guarded like the Guggenheim / it’s all that I can take / let’s make a jailbreak / and we’ll be doin time in Anaheim”)
Not the One – You? Yeah, not so much.
Please Don’t Tease – Gimme.
Take Me to the Backseat – Just Gimme.
I play songs from this record a lot when I run, and also when I’m in a bad mood. Yes sure, I try to stay centered, always coming back around to the present moment and putting out good intentions… but every so often you’ve got to get a little uppity, blow off some steam and just say F**KIT. This is the perfect soundtrack for it. Girl Power! And everyone else sucks. These chicks can shred, and they’ll get right up in your face.
Good role models, don’t you think?