Sunday, February 17, 2008
Talk about unexpected bedfellows; how about William Shatner and
That would be Capt. Kirk and the lead of the hardcore punk band Black Flag (who, it turns out, is three weeks older than me). Rollins is now a spoken word artist.
Together on Shatner's album Has Been (2004), they perform a funny rant about things that bug them:
"I Can't Get Behind That".
(I don't know if this link will stay live, but as of this morning, I could listen to the entire song here.)
The things they "can't get behind" include the usual modern annoyances and woes:
cell phones, leaf blowers, dying polar bears, getting fat, etc.
(Makes me wonder about our friend Bill's life--I have a hard time believing he doesn't hire gardeners who use leaf blowers.)
But their little riff of outrage on religious inanity is the highlight (it's funnier to hear Shatner's overblown delivery, of course):
BILL: I can't get behind the gods who are more vengeful, angry, and dangerous if you don't believe in them!
ROLLINS: Why can't all these gods just get along?
I mean, they're omnipotent and omnipresent, what's the problem?
BILL: What's the problem? I can't get behind that.
I would never voluntarily have listened to anything Bill Shatner recorded--his unrestrained schmaltz usually makes me cringe with embarrassment.
Lee and Faith basically forced me to listen to Has Been, and I was surprised. I never thought of Shatner as a self-reflective guy who could laugh at himself, but in songs like "Real," he is, and he laughs at--not with--us too:
"...the next time there's an asteroid or a natural disaster,
I'm flattered that you thought of me,
But I'm not the one to call.
Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm real."
Shatner may be a real-life has-been television star, but it seems everyone wants to work with Captain Kirk. At least, he pulls in some surprising people on this album, besides Rollins. Country-Western star Brad Paisley backs Shatner up on "Real."
This is "Real" set to a slide show of Shatner's life: