Karen O – “If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough”

With Matador’s 21st birthday out of the way and the Pavement reunion coming to a somewhat acrimonious close therein, the gaze of pop cultural nostalgia shifts a few years to the right on the timeline with the pending release of the Jackass movie. Yay? Not really, for me, though watching Steve O and Johnny Knoxville electrify their testicles while wearing flammable mohair vests or whatever was very formative for some new millennial adolescents. Those two guys have already crashed into our pages with starring roles in the video for Weezer’s “Memories,” and now their film is here again, this time with Karen O’s cover of the MTV show’s theme song, for its official soundtrack. And that’s where the dismayed tone of this post ends, because the cover (and the song, really) is pretty nice.

Penned by Roger Alan Wade, cousin to Knoxville and host with him of a Sirius XM show Big Ass happy Family Jubilee, “If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough” has the puffed chest posturing of all the great country songs I like to never listen to, but also a certain vulnerability at its core, like Roger’s trying to remind himself to man up in the face of stupid decisions, rather than offering a purely one-dimensional rallying cry to coke-soaked jackasses looking to ram their heads into brick walls via hydraulic springboards or whatever. Staying tough despite a nagging sense of utter emotional vulnerability? You won’t be surprised to hear Karen O handles that, and this song, really nicely. Karen solO has never really disappointed. Hear it:

(via Some Kind Of Awesome)

The original: