Du Hast

The song playing in car Christopher’s car when he turns the sound system up. It’s a song by German electro-industrial metal band Rammstein, from their 1997 album Sehnsucht. The song was a #5 hit in Germany, and went to #20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in the US.

The song’s title translates to “You have” in English, but in German is a play on words with the homophone Du hasst, meaning, “You hate”. Possibly a slightly threatening song to arrive with, although it’s another reminder that Lorelai and Chris are both heavy metal fans.

Neil Young and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

DEAN: It’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
RORY: And doesn’t Neil Young look cool? … If you’ll notice, he’s wearing a tux.
DEAN: Neil Young looks cool because he’s Neil Young, not because he’s wearing a tux.

Neil Young (born 1945) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, musician, and activist. His career started in the 1960s, and includes membership of critically-acclaimed rock band Buffalo Springfield, folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and solo work backed by his band Crazy Horse. His distorted electric guitar playing has earned him the nickname “Grandfather of Grunge”. He has won several Grammy and Juno Awards, and been named one of the great musical artists in history, defined by his guitar work, deeply personal lyrics, and signature high tenor vocals.

Neil Young has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – in 1995 as a solo artist, and in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield. He has served to induct others into the Hall of Fame six times: The Everly Brothers (1986), Woody Guthrie (1988), Jimi Hendrix (1992), Paul McCartney (1999), The Pretenders (2005), and Tom Waits (2011).

However, Neil Young doesn’t seem to have worn a tuxedo for any of his appearances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, preferring a more casual (and occasionally more cowboy) look. When he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1982, he did dress in evening wear: not a tuxedo, but tailcoat, ruffled shirt, waistcoat and bow-tie [pictured].

It seems awfully unlikely, but just possibly they are watching an old video of this somehow (or it appears in a documentary or clip show???), and Dean mistakes it for the Rock and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. It feels as if Rory and Lane might have put it on expressly to persuade Dean that men can still look cool in formal wear.

Helsinki, the Girl Band, and the Nordic Set

CHRISTOPHER: Where are you?
LORELAI: Helsinki.
CHRISTOPHER: Really.
LORELAI: Yeah, I finally got the girl band together and after a week opening stateside, we headed across the Atlantic and now we’re huge with the Nordic set.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland with a population of over 600 000, although the greater Helsinki urban area is over 1.5 million. It is the most northerly metropolitan area with more than a million people, and the most northerly EU capital city. It has one of the world’s highest standards of living, and has been rated among the world’s most livable cities.

Lorelai told Max that her dream was join The Bangles, and this is another reference to Lorelai forming a girl band. The Bangles did tour Scandinavia in 1986, but never played Helsinki.

“The Nordic set” is a media phrase, more common in the early 2000s, for the fashionable Scandinavian crowd (such as Danish supermodel Helena Christensen).

“The drummer in Spinal Tap”

RORY: I went out onto the patio.
LORELAI: Ugh, Rory, that’s like accepting the position as the drummer in Spinal Tap.

Spinal Tap is a fictional English heavy metal band created by American comedians and musicians Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer. They first appeared on a 1979 sketch comedy pilot called The TV Show, but are best known from the critically-acclaimed 1984 mockumentary film, This is Spinal Tap, considered one of the best films of the 1980s. The heavy metal fan and comedic Lorelai must surely love it.

Spinal Tap’s fictional history includes a succession of drummers, all of which have died in strange circumstances, such as a “bizarre gardening accident”, “choking on someone else’s vomit”, two suffering spontaneous combustion on stage, and one death a mystery police thought better to leave unsolved.

Lorelai’s saying that Rory was doomed the minute she went out on the patio.

“Gross shirt”

LUKE: Hey, part of the deal of you staying here is that you work here, and when you work here you will wear proper work attire, and that is not proper work attire. Now go upstairs and change into something that won’t scare the hell out of my customers.
JESS: Whatever you say, Uncle Luke. [goes upstairs]
LORELAI: Gross shirt … good band.

Luke has made good on his promise of Jess having to work in the diner when not at school. Jess is obliging, but still teases Luke by wearing one of his heavy metal tee-shirts to work. This is the Metallica tee-shirt that Jess joked wouldn’t get along with his Tool tee-shirt.

Lorelai immediately makes a note of the fact that she and Jess share a favourite band, both being fans of heavy metal.

Nick and Nora, Sid and Nancy

LORELAI: Rory, this was a bad one, okay? This was not Nick and Nora, this was Sid and Nancy, and I’m not going in there.

Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) are the protagonists of the 1934 comedy-mystery film, The Thin Man, based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. They’re a wealthy married couple who enjoy drinking and flirtatious banter, with plenty of free time to solve mysteries. It was the first time in a Hollywood film a married couple were shown still able to enjoy sex, romance, and adventure together. The film was such a success, it spawned five sequels, and in the 1950s was made into a television series starring Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk.

Sid and Nancy is a 1986 British biographical film, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb in the title roles. The film examines the destructive drug-fuelled relationship between Sid Vicious, the bassist for British punk band The Sex Pistols, and his American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, which ended in tragedy when Sid stabbed Nancy, either accidentally or deliberately.

Lorelai is saying that she and Luke weren’t just having their usual comic flirting, but actually went for each other with a genuine intention to hurt each other emotionally. She clearly sees herself as the main victim in their interchange, and this is the origin of this episode’s title.

Tool

JESS: You know, I think I hung my Tool tee-shirt next to my Metallica tee-shirt and they don’t really get along.

Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1990 by Maynard James Keenan and Adam Jones. They had a heavy metal sound on their first album, Undertow (1993), and became a dominant force in the alternative metal movement with their second album, AEnima (1996). Their musical experiments combining the visual arts and a message of personal evolution continued with Lateralus (May 2001).

Tool has won four Grammy Awards, performed worldwide tours, and produced internationally chart-topping albums. Defying easy categorisation, their music spans progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and art rock.

Metallica, previously discussed as one of Lorelai’s favourite bands. It seems as if she and Jess have more in common than she currently realises. Jess’ sarcastic remark about certain clothes not getting along sounds suspiciously like something Lorelai would say as well.

Presumably, Jess says Tool and Metallica wouldn’t get along because they have completely different styles of metal.

This is Hell

Jess leaves Luke, after the briefest tour of their living quarters, refusing to say where he is going. For Luke, this must remind him of Liz, who was always “off doing God knows what”. Slightly worryingly, Jess claims he doesn’t need keys to get in, suggesting Lorelai’s idea of him as a petty criminal may not be so wrong.

He steps outside the diner to be confronted with a typically charming Stars Hollow street scene. Townsfolk carry sheaves of wheat to the harvest festival in the park, while volunteers decorate lamp posts with garlands of autumn leaves. In the bright sunshine, happy couples stroll together, families walk in harmony, children skip merrily.

Yet this song by Elvis Costello plays, with the lyrics, This is hell, this is hell/I am sorry to tell you/It never gets better or worse/But you get used to it after a spell/For heaven is hell in reverse. Stars Hollow in early autumn looks like heaven, but to Jess, it is a season in hell.

The song is from Costello’s critically acclaimed 1994 album, Brutal Youth.

Mojo

LANE: Well, Mojo says.
RORY: So it must be true.

Lane is shown clutching a copy of The Mojo Collection: The Greatest Albums of All Time, edited by Jim Irvin. It contains a detailed list of six hundred albums.

The book was published in August 2001 – just a month previously, as an indication of how eagerly Lane rushed out to buy it. She is using it as a guide as to what records to buy next. You can see that Lane is doing her best to give herself a solid grounding in the history of popular music.

Mojo is a British music magazine, first published in 1993. It focuses on classic rock and is aimed at a mostly boomer readership, but has covered new and alternative acts as well. It was the first mainstream magazine in the UK to feature The White Stripes.