Recommend songs for a shitty world
November 14, 2016 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Help me rock out to how terrible everything is. Looking for uptempo songs of general disgust with the world.

At the ass-end of the Reagan/Bush years I made a mixtape entitled "Life is Shit." I lost it years ago, but I know it started with the song "Life is Shit" by the Dead Milkmen, and included "Everything's Ruined" by Faith No More, and I'm not sure what all else (Probably NIN). The point is, it was upbeat music for terrible times. Not sugar-coated like "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)," more angry and disgusted, Jello Biafra-type vibe. I'd like to make an updated playlist. General is better than specific. I'd love to expand it beyond punk and grunge. Thanks.
posted by rikschell to Media & Arts (72 answers total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
World Destruction. Sorry, it is punk but it's completely perfect for today. (Actually I just looked it up and Wikipedia calls this "electro" so there you go.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:34 AM on November 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

Today I Hate Everyone by The Killjoys
posted by glaucon at 7:36 AM on November 14, 2016

I've been getting a lot of mileage out of Donald Fagen's delightfully sarcastic I.G.Y - "Get your ticket to that wheel in space while there's time"
posted by STFUDonnie at 7:37 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lord Kill the Pain by Red House Painters
posted by cakelite at 7:44 AM on November 14, 2016

(These are all rap songs.)

Fuck Your Stuff by P.O.S. [lyrics]

Hostile Gospel, Pt. 1 by Talib Kweli [lyrics]

Uncle Sam Goddamn and Mourning In America by Brother Ali [lyrics, lyrics]

CLAPP'D by Mike Mictlan [lyrics]

Grand Ol' Party Crash by Cage [lyrics]
posted by amnesia and magnets at 7:44 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

California Über Alles by the Dead Kennedys. A new Chief Executive (Governor) for California had cowriter Jello Biafra comparing his administration to Nazi Germany.
posted by Homer42 at 7:47 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

style-wise it isn't what youre asking for, but A Tribe Called Quest's new album is currently on repeat for me. I missed the SNL performance this weekend, but cannot fathom how it would feel listening to this album had last week gone differently.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:54 AM on November 14, 2016

I don't know if it can be called upbeat, but: the Fugs' Nothing.
posted by bertran at 8:01 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know, E_H. Lizzo on Sam Bee was heartbreaking. Sad music can send me into a downward spiral, so I need to activate a different response. And nothing wrong with recommending classic punk. Great suggestions so far!
posted by rikschell at 8:01 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sabotage by the Beastie Boys is my "Fuck you, world." song.
posted by workerant at 8:10 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ship of Fools by World Party.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:10 AM on November 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

Beyond punk and grunge? I think you'd enjoy Jarvis Cocker's Running the World
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:10 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh hey,
Ich Bin ein Ausländer by Pop Will Eat Itself
Nobody Speak by DJ Shadow
posted by workerant at 8:13 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ooh, I've got one for myself Fugainaiya by YUKI.
posted by rikschell at 8:29 AM on November 14, 2016

Star Fucking Hipsters - The Broken Branches
posted by General Malaise at 8:41 AM on November 14, 2016

Tender Defender - Fuck Everyone Fuck Everything is exactly what you are looking for.
posted by littlewater at 8:44 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you're interested in hip hop, I think the Dead Prez album "Let's Get Free" might be a good addition to your list.
posted by stillmoving at 8:48 AM on November 14, 2016

The Taxpayers might fit the bill. Especially "God Forgive These Bastards: Songs From The Forgotten Life of Henry Turner," which is heartbreaking and angry as hell.

Also, everything Chumbawamba ever recorded. . . though you'll have to wade through large floating hunks of sugar to get to the non-ironically angry bits.
posted by eotvos at 9:01 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hüsker Dü - Divide and Conquer
Bob Mould - Surveyors and Cranes
posted by usonian at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2016

You definitely want some Steve Earle on there (alt-country/rock):

Ashes To Ashes - Someday even man's best laid plans/Will lie twisted and covered in rust/Well we've done all that we can but it slipped through our hands/And it's ashes to ashes and dust to dust

Amerika v. 6.0 - I remember when we was both out on the boulevard/Talkin' revolution and singin' the blues/Nowadays it's letters to the editor and cheatin' on our taxes/Is the best that we can do

There is also a lot of mid-century protest folk that's exactly what you're looking for. First one who comes to mind is Phil Ochs:

Outside of a Small Circle of Friends - Oh, look outside the window/There's a woman being grabbed/They've dragged her to the bushes/And now she's being stabbed/Maybe we should call the cops/And try to stop the pain/But Monopoly is so much fun/I'd hate to blow the game/And I'm sure it wouldn't interest/Anybody/Outside of a small circle of friends

Love Me, I'm A Liberal - Sure once I was young and impulsive/I wore every conceivable pin/Even went to the socialist meetings/Learned all the old union hymns/Ah, but I've grown older and wiser/And that's why I'm turning you in/So love me, love me, love me/I'm a liberal

These next two are also from the 60s and by black artists Jimmy Collier and Nina Simone:

Burn, Baby, Burn, Jimmy Collier: I went outside, the middle of the night/All I had was a match in my hand, but I wanted to fight/So I said/Burn baby burn/Burn baby burn/Nowhere to be, and-a no one to see/I said-a nowhere to turn/Burn baby burn

Mississippi Goddamn, Nina Simone: Yes you lied to me all these years/You told me to wash and clean my ears/And talk real fine just like a lady/And you'd stop calling me Sister Sadie/Oh but this whole country is full of lies/You're all gonna die and die like flies/I don't trust you any more/You keep on saying "Go slow!"/"Go slow!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:14 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Police and Thieves punk.
Police and Thieves reggae.

The complete discography of Public Enemy.
posted by athirstforsalt at 9:14 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Propagandhi - Bullshit Politicians
Frank Zappa - Cocaine Decisions
Ramones - Bonzo Goes To Bitburg
Rammstein - MEIN LAND
Ice-T - Freedom of Speech
The Dead Milkmen - V.f.w.
Frank Black & The Catholics - Back to Rome
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:15 AM on November 14, 2016

You mentioned Jello Biafra. Older now, but everything on Prairie Home Invasion still applies.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:22 AM on November 14, 2016

How do you feel about metal? I usually don't care much for it, but Spotify has had me covered for the last six days with an all-angry-metal mix, which encompasses everything from Rammstein (AMERIKA definitely strikes the right tone) to System of a Down (start with BYOB, maybe, and then imagine that it's about the war in Iran we all know is coming) to Babymetal. Maybe sprinkle in some older Metallica (oh hi, "One"), and turn that frown... well, not upside-down, but I'll take angry over despondent right about now.
posted by Mayor West at 9:22 AM on November 14, 2016

Just to be clear, not looking for political songs, or just anger songs in general, but specifically songs about how EVERYTHING sucks.
posted by rikschell at 9:27 AM on November 14, 2016

"Ignoreland" - REM
"Minority" - Green Day
"Land Of Confusion" - Genesis
"Hammer To Fall" - Queen
posted by SisterHavana at 9:28 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

How could you miss this one?

"Everything Sucks" by Reel Big Fish.
posted by Slinga at 9:38 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Shit Luck by Modest Mouse helped me through the Bush II administration
posted by pullayup at 9:40 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Always thought Oliver's Army fit this category.

Start looking at Thatcher-era British music, oodles of songs along these lines.
posted by N-stoff at 9:41 AM on November 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

Fuck Shit Stack by Reggie Watts. On mobile, can't link but should be on YouTube.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hole - Awful
posted by dizziest at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Indelicates are consistently excellent on this, but Bitterness is the Appropriate Response is probably the baldest statement they've got.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:20 AM on November 14, 2016

The Coup's 5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO always makes me feel better. It doesn't exactly fit "general disgust" but is more "things are fucked, here's the solution!"
posted by rtha at 10:36 AM on November 14, 2016

Craig's Brother Lullaby comforting nihilism perfect for screaming along to in the car.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:45 AM on November 14, 2016

Pearl Jam - Do the Evolution
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:46 AM on November 14, 2016

I hope the sun explodes today - The Hex Dispensers
posted by rodlymight at 10:46 AM on November 14, 2016

This is an oldie from my teens, but how about Lou Reed's Busload of Faith?
posted by Frowner at 11:26 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I suggest the entirety of "Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy?" by Nomeansno. And if that suits you, also check out "0+2=1" and "The Day Everything Became Isolated and Destroyed".
posted by Vervain at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2016

Whatever, by Godsmack. 10 minute live version totally mandatory. :)
posted by joycehealy at 12:13 PM on November 14, 2016

Down In It by Nine Inch Nails
Kiss Off by Violent Femmes
Disappointed and Every Day Is Like Sunday by Morrissey
Good Ship Lifestyle by Chumbawamba
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:33 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, I was put on this sin earth to answer your question. This only scratches the surface on my angry songs but this is stuff I've been listening to lately.

Mobb Deep is always a good start

All +HIRS+ albums

The Body, "I Shall Die Here"

Also The Body, "No One Deserves Happiness"

K'naan has some good ones:
I Was Stabbed By Satan (kinda chill)

posted by beefetish at 1:17 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ghost Town by The Specials.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:26 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mother Mother by Tracy Bonham is a pretty good one for angry chorus yelling
posted by Sebmojo at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

The Stooges - No Fun
posted by Gotanda at 2:17 PM on November 14, 2016

The Clash - London Calling.
Almost anything by The Minutemen
I've been digging into Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.
And Nina Simone - who does fury fantastically like maybe even better than most punk rock.
(Also, insanely, Chopin - but it's that time of year in Northern Europe, the dark months and its like cognac and caramels : things you need to get by. )
posted by From Bklyn at 2:29 PM on November 14, 2016

The Young Fresh Fellows - I Hate Everything Catchy power pop about how everything sucks.
posted by pdb at 2:33 PM on November 14, 2016

Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire from 1965 is the all time classic of this type of thing:
tell me over and over and over again my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
posted by coleboptera at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

To gently extend the DK vibe, may I suggest some fortified Lard.

Gwar is also a reliable fallback. After the events of September 11 2001, I offered a local rock station $5 to play America Must be Destroyed. They didn't take me up on the exchange.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:02 PM on November 14, 2016

Also Napalm Death is here for us in those dark times.
posted by beefetish at 3:07 PM on November 14, 2016

Lights out tonight,
Trouble in the heartland...

Forty-year-old song with lyrics that couldn't be more timely: Badlands.
posted by she's not there at 5:08 PM on November 14, 2016

I bet God Save the Queen was on your original tape.
posted by Rash at 5:33 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

The The - Good Morning Beautiful
posted by Hash at 5:41 PM on November 14, 2016

Panic - The Smiths
All She Wants To Do Is Dance - Don Henley
Party At Ground Zero - Fishbone
posted by SisterHavana at 5:56 PM on November 14, 2016

Everything is Broken - Bob Dylan (lyrics)
posted by sockpup at 6:03 PM on November 14, 2016

Oh! Dear Landlord - Three To The Beach
Barking along with this chorus is really fun:
We're not that hopeless / we're not as fucked as you think

And I listened to Rancid Out Come The Wolves tonight and that might have something for you too.
posted by littlewater at 6:31 PM on November 14, 2016

I Hate You from Star Trek IV (full song)
posted by JohnFromGR at 5:33 AM on November 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

An old favourite of mine... Ugly Kid Joe - Everything About You
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 5:49 AM on November 15, 2016

Smash It Up - The Damned
(I'm) Stranded - The Saints
Man Overboard- Do Re Mi
Fucking Up - Neil Young
Greg! The Stop Sign!!! - TISM
Everything's Fucked - Frenzal Rhomb
All Torn Down - The Living End
What the Fuck - Machine Gun Fellatio
Mass Destruction - Faithless
Walk Idiot Walk -The Hives
posted by h00py at 8:08 AM on November 15, 2016

World O Morons - Pop-O-Pies
Ball of Confusion - The Temptations, slightly more upbeat Love and Rockets cover
I've Had It - Black Flag
The Dickies cover of Eve of Destruction
posted by Room 641-A at 8:21 AM on November 15, 2016

Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit
posted by doctord at 8:59 AM on November 15, 2016

^^^ Break Stuff- Limp Bizkit
posted by Amalie-Suzette at 9:31 AM on November 15, 2016

My go-to is that British Christmas classic, "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine. Which was written about the Rodney King verdict, IIRC, and is sadly now even more relevant than it was then.
posted by oblique red at 10:13 AM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not hardcore punk by any means, but maybe these can help:

Of course, my man Wesley: Shut Your Ass Up, Fucker
You talk too much shit.
You are a no good son of a bitch.
You are a crazy asshole as I speak.
You need to talk nice to people.

Shut Your Ass Up Fucker
Shut Your Ass Up Fucker

You are getting out of hand.
You are a low life mother fucker.
You need to be in jail locked up.
You need to stop being an asshole.

Shut Your Ass Up Fucker

You are a crazy motor mouth.
You mouth off too damn much.
You talk lots of profanity to innocent people.
Why don't you shut your trap.

Shut Your Ass Up Fucker

also the timeless Shit and Fuck. for a primal scream with a vaporwave-ish soundtrack.

I also second "Awful" by Hole; I played that a lot during the election.

Stranglers' Who Wants the World (plus this is the most awesome video ever, complete with Nihilistic Teddybear)

"President Gas" Psychedelic Furs

Rallying cries: Patti Smith Till Victory and some say this is corny but I really like it People Have the Power
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 12:55 PM on November 15, 2016

Late to this answer, and an enthusiastic Yes! to many of the suggestions, especially the Thatcher-era British punk rock: from Gang of Four to Elvis Costello, amazing rage- assuaging (and -inducing) guitar rock. I also suggest:

Bad Brains, live stuff especially (readily available on YouTube);

Stereolab! the album "Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements" is a great place to lose yourself in the groove, with delightful bursts of guitar and noise.

Sonic Youth. I've been listening to "Hold That Tiger" , a 1987 live recording; and to Goo (but *especially* to "Kool Thing", a song that enrages and soothes me all within its energetic four-and-a-half minutes).

On top of my listening to lots and lots of loud records to drown out the horrible cataclysm continuing outside my windows, I have been enjoying live music in small venues: seeing musicians play instruments they like, making music they love, carries me away from worries for a little while. Bar rock, improv jazz, anything where you can see the musicians plucking at the strings and whacking at the cymbals.
posted by lasagnaboy at 6:57 AM on November 16, 2016

My friend Altaf suggested Bigmouth strikes again - The Smiths
posted by Hash at 10:29 AM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

By updated do you mean recent? If not, I Wanna Destroy You and Only The Stones Remain by the Soft Boys are a couple of my angry go-tos.
posted by jabes at 7:28 PM on November 16, 2016

I Just Can't Be Happy Today - The Damned
posted by Room 641-A at 12:52 PM on November 17, 2016

Late to the party, but seconding Shit Luck by Modest Mouse
posted by mabelstreet at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2016

You might also like cortex's one-minute Everything is Fucked (Keep on Going) that he posted yesterday on mefi music.
posted by rtha at 6:15 PM on November 21, 2016

Grey Day - Madness
posted by h00py at 3:40 AM on December 2, 2016

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