5 Songs for Surviving the Gas Shortage
Cars are lined up for blocks, gas-can-wielding generator owners are queued up around the corner and still there's not enough fuel to go around. With the gas shortage in and around New York City still dragging on following last week's hit by Superstorm Sandy, fingers are being pointed in every direction as frustrated motorists desperately search for a fill-up -- and for somebody to blame. Continuing subway disruptions, power outages and even some price gouging obviously have played a major part in the shortage, but there have got to be other reasons. Is it our nation's overwhelming dependence on foreign oil? Our lack of commitment to so-called green energy? Out stubborn refusal to try out electric cars? Whatever the reason, you're going to want some tunes to listen to while you're waiting in line at the pump, so we picked five of our favorite fossil-fuel-related jams.
"The price of gas keeps on rising," frontman Kele Okereke sings on 'Price of Gasoline,' a tune off Bloc Party's stellar debut album, 'Silent Alarm.' The tune was penned during the early days of the Iraq War, and although it definitely seems to discuss the international oil trade, Kele has denied it. "By the way, 'Price of Gasoline' is not a grumble about high oil prices," he once said. "It's a song about denial and complacency." Close enough, right?
Williamsburg "indies" may have differing opinions on the overall swell-ness of the L Train -- the much-maligned main subway line between Northern Brooklyn and Manhattan -- but with L Train service still down 10 days after Sandy hit the East Coast, we're sure that both the hip and the square would agree that any train connecting the boroughs would be beyond swell.
The politically charged British quintet Sonic Boom Six (not related to Spaceman 3's Sonic Boom) delves into the ugly world of military action allegedly driven by the global oil trade on 'Blood for Oil.' "Sorry to burst your bubble, it looks like Global trouble/ Beards WMD's and chemicals that cause disease/ So step right up, we've got them all on 'Trading Blood for Oil,'" frontman Paul Barnes sings, seemingly equating the Iraq War with a TV drama.
Guided By Voices leader Robert Pollard's experimental side project Circus Devils looks at the environmental impact of oil on 'Oil Birds,' a typically brief ditty on the outfit's 2001 album, 'Ringworm Interiors.' "The ocean is drowning ... Icelandic oil birds frozen," he sings. Perhaps it's time to explore cleaner alternatives?
The U.S. military's original official name for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Operation Iraqi Liberation, was easily shortened to an acronym '(O.I.L.)' that spelled out what many felt was the unofficial reason for war -- a fact that Pittsburgh-based punk politicos Anti-Flag jumped on for inspiration when it came time to title songs for that year's 'Terror State' record. O.I.L was quickly renamed Operation Iraqi Freedom, but it was too late -- the message was already out.