rock nyc’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration: The Helen Bach Setlist: It’s Fun!!

Written by | February 17, 2019 10:55 am | No Comments



(Helen Bach first sent me her playlist, and then she wrote for me, and then we started dating for what would end up being an eight year run, for a couple of years she was co-editor, and for more than that she wrote with me. We broke up last September but, as you will see later on, it certainly wasn’t due to her writing skills. This is my take on her taste, September 2009,  –IL)

Helen enters your life like a whirlwind of energy blowing away everything before her with a machine gun rat-a-tat-tat of personal lingual gymnastic and a heart felt soft cell of musical admiration. A part of the New York night life scene during the glory days of the 80s she has taken with her the one thing that she most positively should: a taste for skinny rock boys and you’ll find her taste in music is a whose who of “cute is what we aim for” boychicks.

But it is not only that. It is also tons of fun for all the family filled with revelations both small and large. Helen might like Chicago’s Medina Lake because they are cute punk rockers but she doesn’t like Medina Lake ONLY because they are cute punk rockers -the song she chooses is “Now Or Never” a fab punk pop raver that cuts Good Charlotte if not Blink 182. They’re a band in a league of Phantom Planet -so good opening for Paramore last year and “Do The Panic” is a great song, and Cute Is What We Aim For live up to their band name though her choice of song by them is a little weak.

Better than both and I know Helen likes them as well though she chose not to choose them (perhaps because they just split in two) is the great Panic At The Disco and I’m sure if pressed she’d name check Death Cab For Cuties as well. Aiming for cute all these bands aim is true though perhaps the most telling Bach pick is the Fratelli’s “Flathead”. If you check out her annotated playlist a coupla posts ago you will note how Ellen zooms in on the wordless chorus. It is the fun spirit of the Bach and it is why she sometimes becomes a little irritated with the somewhat heavy handed analysts Mike Nessing and myself are more likely to adhere to. I think the perfect Bach review would be two words only: “It’s Bouncy”. And while I would hope Nessing agrees with me at least to a degree when I state that the unexamined music isn’t worth listening to, I think both Nessing and I would like to be able to give into music with Helen’s “hit my pleasure zone and now hit it again” ethos that is reflected both by sound and by visual.

Otherwise she won’t get much of an argument from me if she wants to claim Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” as her own though Kurt Cobain beat her to it on Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged. Tiga is a techno DJ and this song sounds like it was taken off a Louis de Vito mix -that’s a compliment by the way. Weezer we can always agree upon and “Perfect Situation” off Make Believe passed me by at first but I love it now. I love Blue October’s vocalist, he keeps on sounding like his voice is gonna break in two and you feel like cheering when he reaches the end of the song.

Further off the Rudzis track is Queen and Public Image Ltd. -a pair of bookends if ever there were one. I’m a huge PIl fan and considered them very important back in the day. First Edition and The Metal Box were punks death knell though the future Lydon was hoping for never arrived. “Rise” is a great song I’d forgotten about; it almost sounds like a pop move. AT the time Queen sounded pompous and now they sound inclusive but about as rock and roll as Kiss do. Heres the youtube, you decide:

“I’m On A Boat” is Taylor Swift’s and my fave hip hop song ever, and I am guessing Ellen’s as well. The Incredibads are satirists not parodists but they come so close to the line they seem seconds away from Weird Al land. T. Pain is awesome on this song but T. Pain is awesome on “Thug Story” and I recommend to Ellen (and you) the Justin Timberlake remix of “Can’t Believe It” -this guy will change your life.

Marie Lynn was driving me crazy with “Laid” a coupla years ago -they are a real good buncha limeys but the sexiness ML found in them I don’t. The Cure are a great band when they’re on -maybe four songs very five years right now. And I have nothing to say about Ocean Blue.

So there you go: it is funny how the playlist a person chooses mirrors are perceptions of them. I don’t know Ellen Rudzis very well but the few times I’ve interacted with her I’ve found her tremendous fun and, pretty boys not withstand, it is that sense of enormous fun in music i take away from her playlist. I’ve done quite a few of these lists by now but this one was the most enjoyable by far. Anger is not the only energy, joy is one as well. Thank you Ellen!!

The Ellen Rudzis Playlist;

Mind Dimension- Tiga
I’m on A Boat- Incredibad
Laid- James
Never Enough- The cure
Flathead- The Fratellis
Drifting Falling- The Ocean Blue
Rise- Public Image
Edith- The Hot Melts
The Man Who Sold the World- Bowie
Perfect Situation- Weezer
Risque- Cute is What we Aim for
X Amount of words- Blue October
Do the Panic- Phantom Planet
Now or Never –Madina Lake
Stone Cold Crazy- Queen


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