The Dunce Cap: July 12, 2010

Ralph Wiggum - Image courtesy of Fox

The Dunce Cap, Vol. 16: I’m a pop sensation! I’m a pop sensation! (mix via 8tracks)
^^Click the link to listen to the mix.

Names
1. “Jason Lee” – All Girl Summer Fun Band
2. “Michael” – Franz Ferdinand
3. “Ralph Wiggum” – The Bloodhound Gang
Cars
4. “Bitchin’ Camaro” – The Dead Milkmen
5. “El Caminos in the West” – Grandaddy
6. “Survival Car” – Fountains of Wayne
Colors
7. “Sixteen Blue” – The Replacements
8. “Everything is Green” – The Essex Green
9. “Red” – Elbow
Numbers
10. “Thirteen” – Big Star
11. “83” – John Mayer
12. “#27” – Marvelous 3
Places
13. “New York, New York” – Ryan Adams
14. “ATL” – Butch Walker
15. “Chicago at Night” – Spoon
Careers
16. “Rich Wife” – The Long Winters
17. “Heavy Metal Drummer” – Wilco
18. “Fred Jones, Pt. 2” – Ben Folds
Homes
19. “House of Books” – The Pop Project
20. “Treehouse” – I’m From Barcelona
21. “Love Shack” – The B52s

Prepare yourselves for an epic Monster MASH of a playlist. The idea came to me during the long drive home from my journalism internship; as song as after song played, I plotted my next Dunce Cap, and The Long Winters‘ “Rich Wife” came on random. “Huh,” I remarked (to myself, alone in my car). “I wish I could be a Rich Wife.”

And so this Dunce Cap was born. What else do I want out of life? How many kids? What kind of an abode? Married to which teen heartthrob? What was my life to be? And who can tell me now what I am to expect? Duh. MASH!

In the spirit of youth, planning for my future and that fun ol’ game, this playlist came about. It is my Barbie Dreamhouse and my Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink dress disaster all at once. If that failed to make sense to you, don’t fret. It’s my ultimate fantasy against my worst nightmare.

So, this playlist, 21 tracks long, includes three songs for each category of MASH. MASH (or Mansion/Apartment/Shack/House) was a game beloved by adolescent girls at slumber parties who aimed to marry dreamy (if crazy-eyed) Andrew McCarthy and wanted to be beauticians and models. I didn’t really play MASH at all until I was post-adolescent – it was, at that point, certainly less cutesy and more forced irony. But this playlist is more a reflection of the life I want now, more or less, from artists I love and adore.

There’s Wilco, with a dream job that, for me, was inspired by the drum track on the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.” And there’s the far underrated Long Winters with the aforementioned dream job of wealth without work. And there’s I’m From Barcelona with a song that goes straight to my own Ducky, and The Dead Milkmen with a great song about a damn great car. And, maybe most notable of all, there is Big Star with one of my favorite tracks of all time, a song so good that it was covered by everyone from Garbage to Wilco to Elliott Smith. Absolutely gorgeous. I don’t want 13 kids (or 83 or 27), but the songs certainly deserve a place on this chart.

Happy listening.

Oh, and, for the sake of play: I did this little MASH all on my lonesome, and my future’s pretty grim. Turns out I’m married to sweet but dim Ralph Wiggum, living in a Treehouse in Atlanta with 27 rotten youngsters. I drive a Sixteen Blue El Camino(s) (in the West) to nowhere, as I am simply Fred Jones, Pt. 2 – an unemployed newspaper woman.

I certainly hope your future’s brighter.

(editor’s notes: I apologize for the many splendid ’80s film references. Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and Better Off Dead are all on television tonight. I’m going to OD on nostalgia, I guess. Also, the rules of MASH, for posterity, are below.)

To play MASH:

1. Write down five each of the following: names, types of cars, colors, number of children, places, and careers.

2. Then, one person starts drawing a spiral on a piece of paper and the person whose fortune is being told tells her when to stop.  Then, you count across the spiral top to bottom to get the magic number for the game.

3. Alright, now all you do is count through your lists of items AND the letters M-A-S-H, eliminating the ones that you land on with your magic number.  The last one left in each group is your winner.  Keep counting through until you have only your last choice in each category left – et viola – your future. [Like Totally ’80s]

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