While I was writing about these songs the words “stupid” and “dopey” came up a lot and I realized that of this trilogy of albums, this may be the dopiest (I mean, look at the cover). I assume that’s on purpose. We know that Green day was taking a break from their serious albums and operas to make dopey punk rock. But between the lyrics and the riffs, this one is really quite dopey. Charmingly so.
¡Dos! opens with “See You Tonight” a tinny guitar sound that makes me think they’re goin to bust into The Allman Brother’s “Jessica,” but no, it remains a folky song that lasts for 90 seconds before it bleeds into “Fuck Time” a knuckleheaded, big drummed bluesy riff that reminds me of Soundgarden’s “Big Dumb Sex” except that it might actually be serious. And it may be the least sexy song about sex I’ve ever head. “Stop When the Red Lights Flash” ups the speed even further (although they manage to have catchy verses that seem to recall The Who again). “Lazy Bones” changes the tone somewhat, bringing in some nice ringing guitars (sounding more like The Strokes than punk) and a prettier feel (in the verses anyhow). It’s probably my favorite on this disc.
“Wild One” is one of their rockier ballads. It could probably do with being about a minute shorter, but the backing vocals are pretty cool. “Makeout Party” is stupid fun (with some wild solos, and even a bass solo section). “Stray Heart” is a fun boppy song with, yes, a big arena-friendly chorus). “Ashley” is a fast punky song (that plays high guitar notes rather than big chords).
“Baby Eyes” has good harsh sound in the riff (a rare minor chord)–although again those verses are bright and happy. “Nightlife” is the one glaringly odd song. It has a silky bass line and a really interesting sound. But it also feature an extensive rap by Lady Cobra (who I’ve never heard of). The rap is just as silly as Armstrong;s lyrics, but somehow since she is speaking them so clearly (rather than hurriedly singing them) they seem even dumber.
“Wow! That’s Loud” is a wonderful title for a fast spirited song, with a dopey riff and some fun soloing sections (unusual for Green Day). The disc ends like it began with an acoustic type ballad. This one is called “Amy” and it is pretty much the quintessential sweet Green day ballad.
Although I liked this one, I preferred the first disc overall.
[READ: September 6, 2013] “Segmented Sleep”
I’m repeating this intro because of the content of this essay. The timing of this Folio, entitled “Are You Sleeping? In search of a good night’s rest” is quite spooky. I myself have been having middle of the night insomnia. I seem to battle this occasionally. This recent bout seems to be accompanied by a stomach upset. So I have this really unfair cycle. My stomach is bothered by caffeine, so it keeps me up at night and when I wake up groggy and with a headache, I need the caffeine to get me somewhat stabilized (and I’m not a big caffeine drinker—a cup of tea, maybe two a day). But that seems to upset me during the night. I am also really strangely accurate with my insomnia. It is almost always between 2 and 2:30 AM. So, yea, here’s other people interested in sleep deprivation.
[begin new content] Although Julavits’ piece read like a story, Ekirch’s has a much more academic style. Turns out that he wrote about a history of sleep for his dissertation and for part of his book At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past. This short essay focuses on “segmented sleep.” It turns out that in pre-industrial nights, sleep was segmented: a first and second sleep bridged after midnight “by an hour or more of wakefulness in which people did practically everything imaginable.” This second sleep is mentioned in Odyssey and Aeneid.
In the 1990s a sleep study was done. Males were deprived of artificial light at night for a few weeks. They began sleeping in segments as well. This seems to be a natural circadian rhythm to our lives. Indeed, It was in the 1800s that segmented sleep gave way to one longer sleep—when lighting and industry came to dominate our lives. And we felt compelled to be awake when it was light out so we could be more productive.
Ekirch’s book prompted a smattering of news stories about him as well as people contacting to say they were happy to learn that their “middle of the night insomnia” was not abnormal (and I am happy to hear that as well). I don’t know if I will grow to welcome this insomnia, but at least I can feel better in knowing that I’m not the only one it happens to and that it’s actually probably more natural.
Paradoxically, the author himself began having disturbed sleep beginning with restless–legs syndrome and moving on to REM sleep behavior disorder (punching things in his sleep (!). Both of these are treatable with drugs. I guess I shouldn’t complain if I only wake up in the middle of the night.