Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alphabet Soup: The Letter Z

1. Ziggy Stardust — David Bowie
One year, my high school’s Homecoming theme was space-related. I don’t know who decided that sort of thing year to year, but compared to other themes throughout the four years, it wasn’t the worst. For the Friday we were supposed to dress according to theme, I joked that I was going to show up as Ziggy Stardust. I think the only thing that prevented me from doing it was my massive amount of blonde hair. Where was I supposed to stick all that and still have the red Ziggy hair? Instead, I ended up with a massive blonde and silver mountain of hair atop my head, anchored by an aluminum foil covered headdress-type thing that was at its base, a disguised Burger King crown. I’m not sure what exactly I was going for, but why not just go for it? Why not make use of that hair and embrace my inner weirdness for a day?

Most frequently asked question that day: “Is that all your hair?”
Yes, and yes I know it’s approaching a foot tall.

A few years later, I ended up having that Ziggy Stardust hair, albeit a bit by accident. I happened to have short hair around the time I decided to go from black hair to bright red. My hair’s tough, it could take it. However, paying for a haircut is usually the last way I use my money, and that short hair got a bit shaggy. As a result, I had this odd fading red hair that led my favorite 7 foot-in-heels drag queen I knew (or the only one I knew) to comment, “It’s a bit Ziggy Stardust and Annie Lennox combined.” I just had to make the best of it and own it until I bothered to get a haircut, but it wasn’t my best look.

I do like this song a lot, but mostly, it makes me think of my hair, and that I should probably get a haircut more than once a year. Or as of right now, eighteen months.

2. Zero – The Smashing Pumpkins
When I hear this song, I think of a guy who sat in the row next to me and up one seat in my 8th grade social studies class. He would wear his t-shirt from their 1997 Billings concert all the time, and I would either get this song or “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” stuck in my head — the shirt had the lyrics from one of those songs printed on the back, but I don’t remember which. The songs would play on a loop in my head, and I don’t know how much actual learning I did in that class.

She’s the one for me... She’s all I really need oh yeah... She’s the one for me...
Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and God is empty just like me

“Zero” is one of the catchiest songs on the album — the guitar is perfect. Listen to it when refreshing your memory of the time when The Smashing Pumpkins played actual instruments, before Billy Corgan started looping everything with software. I end the list with the band that started it, giving me a unintended satisfying sense of order.

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