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Top Seven Anti-Consumerist Songs

Top Seven Anti-Consumerist Songs

As we lay heavy in recovery from our overindulgent ways during this Thanksgiving season, we can't help but sneer a little at the hysteria occurring across American malls today. So USA, do you really prefer to spend this most American of holidays camped out in front of a Wal-Mart in order to save $100 off a plasma-screen TV? We know you're stressed, but has this country sunken so deeply into mindless consumerism that it's preferable to save a few bucks versus spending quality time with the fam? With retail stores now opening not on Black Friday, but on Thanksgiving night itself, we'd say the answers to those questions are

yes

All these ridiculous people trampling over each other for deals on boxer briefs tie our stomachs in knots. Join us as we jam our collective pointer finger down our throats and puke all over the ever-expanding over-consumption ideology. Give a middle finger to the trappings of capitalism and check out this collection of the top seven anti-consumerist songs of all time.

1. "Buy, Buy, Buy" - the Slits 
"You could be addicted?," questions Slits lead singer Ari Up (Ariane Forster) in her quavering vocals. This seminal, late-'70s, pre-Riot Grrrl group hits the consumerist nail on the head here. 


The American's incessant need to save as much money on a smoothie-maker, while maxing out all your credit cards in the process, is certainly an addiction. "I want to satisfy this empty feeling," blurts out Ari Up as a response to her previous question. Makes us wonder if that's what's on out there on this Black Friday... Emptiness.
 

2. "The Valley of Malls" - Fountains of Wayne
On this chunky track off Fountains of Wayne's 1999 album Utopia Parkway group frontmen Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood tackle the world of the suburban soccer mom. They present to us a slice of life: Traveling in a minivan from suburb to suburb, scoping out the best deals. To us, it feels vapid. We'd rather sink deeper in our couch and pack in turkey leftovers. 


 

3. "Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock" - MC Lars 
Attention parents of disengaged teenagers with facial piercings! Self-purported originator of post-punk laptop rap, MC Lars, makes your holiday shopping list that much easier on this track from his 2006 album The Graduate. Take note 'rents, Misfits candle tins, ICP throw blankets, and Beaded Elvis curtains are not punk rock. Got it? If your kid has a soul, avoid Hot Tropic entirely. 

4. "The Busy Girl Buys Beauty" - Billy Bragg 
Scathing-folk Brit rocker Billy Bragg takes a stab at the advertising industry with this alluring sing-a-long off his '83 debut EP. We wouldn't expect anything else from this outspoken singing socialist. 


Mainly, he probes at the notion that happiness is for sale, and the reality that companies tell us what to buy. Are the deals really that amazing folks? Are we really that mindless that we need to jostle throw the hordes this Friday? Why not wait until Saturday (or Christmas Eve like we do) to begin your Holiday shopping? We wonder what skeptical criticisms Billy Bragg would have of our country's massive Black Friday delirium? 

5."Merchandise" - Fugazi
"What could a businessman ever want more than to have us sucking in his store," yelps Fugazi singer Ian MacKaye. The DIY D.C. band captures the punk ethos in this anti-consumerist anthem. This track succinctly address the corporate masses, with the the idea that the youth will not be sold to. We can't say that rings true, however, when we think of how many 'tweens out there have coerced their parents to wait in line for hours in order to buy them the newest
Playstation Vita.
 

6. "Shopping" - The Jam
Cheeky and equally feisty British mod rockers The Jam present us with this gem that examines the bourgeois fascination with spending its money. Paul Weller sums up Black Friday madness with this line: "I'm trying to pick up a friendly bargain, but it's not like the adverts all make out/And there's no one to greet you as a friend."  Truer words have never been spoken. 

Sorry, the bargains are severely overrated on Black Friday. You wasted your time in that line. Wouldn't it be better spent with your kids? Listen to Mr. Weller. Considering his status as a chieftain of the mod movement, this man knows of fashion -- and can probably sniff out the best deals on threads.

7. "Empire of the Senseless" - the Mekons

We end our list with another late '70s British punk stalwart, The Mekons. This group hints at our message with this noisy, Celtic sounding, no wave-track. Has our fascination with saving and spending turned us into a nation of senseless buffoons? When we went to Target on Tuesday and saw people already camped out for Black Friday, we couldn't help but think we are headed down a real road of sadess. 

The Mekons sum up our abhorrence with the last line of the song: "Afraid of being swamped by selfishness and greed." Let's not lot let greed dictate our holidays people. Hope you enjoyed your turkey and remembered what these few days off are actually about, having to have conversations with annoying family members and an excuse to overeat.




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