We all make them.

We couldn’t verily live without them.

Things we need from Rite Aid.

Demands we want met before submitting to a lie detector test.

Questions we don’t want to forget to ask our parole officer.

This month signaled the release of what I would term the Beastie Boys’ “comeback” album. With the exception of “Ch-Check it Out,” To the Five Boroughs managed to fall flat on the ears of even the most devoted Beastie Boys fans. The album was overly-political in nature and seemed to be more of an album rooted in protest than one dedicated to the celebration of music itself. Furthermore, it was just not “fun.” In a BBC review, Stevie Chick reiterates what every Beastie fan already knows: “Beasties albums, at their best, are immense amounts of fun.” Their lyrics are always clever, and often intoxicating; but, one thing the band can never be accused of is taking themselves too seriously. Yet, in To the Five Boroughs, Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA all seemed to be lacking in creative energy and exuberance as their main focus was critiquing our former political leader (which I applaud them for), rather than collaborating to create the innovative and experimental beats that we, as their fans, have come to expect from them. With their first release off of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (“Make Some Noise”), it is clear that the Beastie Boys have returned with full force.

It would have been maybe ’95. ’96. I was in the early years of high school, I can remember that much. My brother, five years older, was driving the piece-of-shit car that all older brothers are required by law to drive. It was a Ford Telstar, old and battered and probably held together more by the speaker wire than anything else (none of us were to know that it would eventually take up a two-year residence on the front lawn, where it would bleach and rust in the sun and rain until eventually someone decided to move it… but really, we should have).

At the time, the car was still running, and my brother, in a rare display of fraternal camaraderie, invited me with him to run some errands. The five-year gap between us was more obvious in those years – I was just entering my teens as he was leaving them. But the sun was shining, the windows were rolled down, and we were having a good time. And then… then this came on.