My Cool Robot

Matt’s Top Ten Inuit Jargon Songs (a retrospective)

August 14th, 2009

Andrew and I went to a bar in Orlando with Chris Isaacs and some of our Orlando people last week and pretty much talked about the Jargon for 4 hours. At some point I mentioned that I had recently compiled my tentative top 10 Jargon songs one night. The list of songs and reasons (selfish though some may be) for their inclusion are below.

This ended up being way way way longer than I thought it would. I thought a sentence or two for each song, but the words just kept coming. Set aside like 10 minutes before reading or prepare to take breaks.

In no particular order:

1. Lips [Unreleased]- I think this song is bitchin’. It might be our most blatant penis song — except maybe for “No Like Yeah” where we actually say “I got dick” — and I love it for that. Also, the fact that it never made it onto one of our two CDs despite the fact that we always considered it one of our better songs gives me visions of the Jargon as this hugely successful band that can cut really good songs off of releases because they don’t fit with the rest of the songs. I like that vision. Also, in the song I do this double tap thing with a toy drumstick that I thought was the shit at the time and still am pretty proud of.

2. Pulled Pork [from Hot from the Oven] – Thought this song was really cool when we first recorded it in the dorm on Andrew’s computer. Thought it sounded cooler when we played it live for the first time at Hyde and Zeke’s and yelled “ROCK!” at the end. Thought it was even cooler that it sounded so good on the first CD. This song pretty much was with us the whole way. I think there were a few shows we didn’t play it, but it was always one of my favorites at shows. And it’s about the places we ate at freshmen year. To this day I can’t look at a pizza or a carrot without thinking of carrots on a pizza. Maraca solo.

3. My Cool Robot [from Hot from the Oven] – I was never a huge fan of “MCR” when we were in school. I used to skip it all the time, but now I sometimes skip to it. Since graduation though it has kind of taken on new meanings for me. When I hear it now I can envision Chris Isaacs, Maloney and Beth in the dorm with us (were there more? they were there, right?) and I get nostalgic. Also — and this is where my appreciation for this song has taken an odd turn — when I listen to it now I hear the story of this robot who tries to do right and loves his mom, but can’t help but turn to the vices of motor oil and kiddy porn. He’s a flawed character caught in a downward spiral that’s not even his fault (he didn’t program himself after all), but somehow he’s learned how to love so maybe he can pull through. I’m rooting for him.

4. Nail Clippers [from Hot from the Oven] – It’s “Nail Clippers.” It’s one of the first songs we put a little extra effort into and it turned out alright. Also it was one of the songs for which we enlisted Tim’s bass playing services.

5. Old Testament Christmas [from An Inuit Jargon Christmas] – The gem hiding on the Christmas cd. These songs are not listed in order of preference, but “OTC” is a top 5 track for me if it’s not a top 3. I love the concept; the idea that “Jesus isn’t born yet” but we’re going still going to write a Christmas song. I feel like if we went back through the song and refined the idea a little more we could pitch it Flight of the Conchords or Adam Sandler and they might actually use it.

6. Bloody Wombat Clamps [from Multiplication Table EP] – Really like this song. This one was all you guys and I just remember being really excited the first time I heard it.

7. Pony (Frontier Feelings) [from Pony] – It might be my favorite Jargon song of all time. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is. I love the fact that when we were writing it we wanted it to sound like “Can You Feel It,” but on the album it sounds like a Jargon song. It’s like we discovered what our sound was and learned how to let other songs influence our songs without directly ripping them off (although I would like to hear it all J5′d up). The fact that we all contributed lyrics to it and that in the blink of an eye it went from being a song about a pony to being a song about a pony becoming a horse. The fact that this equine transformation follows the transformation of a song that took over a year to write, follows the transformation of 3 college kids in to 3 college grads. I love how Travis put backing vocals all over it that made the song about 40x better. I can always listen to “Pony;” I’ve yet to tire of it. I also like how we snuck (Frontier Feelings) into the title at the last minute.

8. Ice Cream Social [from Pony] – Our attempt at writing a super sweet song ended up being about a super sweet food. I liked playing it live because I got to whistle. I like how the album version ended up better than i could have ever imagined it would have. Also, the video for “ICS” is easily one of the funniest things we ever did.

9. Yanni [from Pony] – Another one of my favorite song concepts. We see a news story that Yanni got in trouble for domestic abuse with his girlfriend. We decide it’s because she touched his piano. We write a song about it. I think it’s one of the funniest songs we’ve written. It was great to play live because I got to wear a wig and spit blood out of my mouth, but also because it rocked. Remember there were a handful of shows where I wore a naval-bearing wife beater with flowers or butterflies or something sharpied on them? I love that at the last show that the girlfriend finally got her revenge for all the beatings. Also, “they call me 9 Volt for assault and battery” is among my absolute favorite Jargon lines. Kudos, Shaun.

10. Foxy Clown [from Pony] – We try to write a love song of sorts, and it’s about a clown in a travelling carnival. I was slow to warm to “Foxy Clown” and it still bothers me a little that we couldn’t think of a better title than “Foxy Clown” or “Sexy Clown.” Looking back I think “My Clowny Missis” maybe could’ve filled in…maybe, I don’t know. I’ve learned to not only tolerate the slow star but to appreciate it as the somber moment before we say our emotional farewell to the collective clown that was Inuit Jargon. And that last 2 minutes or so is one of my favorite 2 minutes of any jargon song.