Arts Desk

The Pragmatist: Three Songs for Feeding Your Paranoia

Too many X-Files episodes, that's what you should blame. All those conspiracy theories swirling around can't be good for your psyche. It probably started long before that—hippie revolutions, refusing to trust anyone over 30—but you've only gotten older and bought more locks for your door. You're terrified that everyone is out to get you; the world is falling apart, and you want to hide out as best you can. Well, there's no sense in trying to convince yourself otherwise, so here are a few songs to heighten all your concerns.

Having lived such a strange life, Bob Dylan has always been hard to pin down. He provoked a certain anti-authoritarian sentiment in both his words and his mannerisms, and he penned the all-too-accurate lyrics, "Don’t follow leaders/Watch the parkin’ meters." That just about sums up life around here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J4O2-nsFBA

The persistently dark Radiohead might be at their most fearful in "Wolf at the Door." The always-paranoid Thom York doesn't just riff on some mythical social monster,;here he actually gives a semi-autobiographical account of a mugging he experienced a few years prior. It's enough to make you want to avoid walking through alleyways and maybe stop leaving the house altogether.

Local crooner Benjy Ferree brings it all together with "Fear," a somewhat apocalyptic track about so many bad things. Of course, with such a sweet voice it's hard to believe he's singing about anything so heavy, but that's the charm of it all. Be sure to catch him perform with Danielson on Saturday at Red Palace.

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