Huh. So I’ve never listened to this album until now. And it’s been just sitting here hidden in my iTunes for who knows how long. Pixies’ Surfer Rosa + Bossanova = perfect soundtrack for my day at work.
I wonder what else I have hidden on here.
(and nope, not dead—just haven’t been feeling very tumblry lately, I guess).
I spent the majority of last week in Athens, OH for my dad’s birthday. Man oh man, I really love it there, despite all the college kids. Good ol’ small town Appalachian Ohio.
We did a variety of things, but I seem to have mainly taken pictures of this chicken place (I have real pictures on film I need to get developed):
The best place for fried chicken, family-owned Miller’s Chicken.
The birthday party ended exactly as I had hoped. Practically all of my dad’s friends are musicians, so clearly music had to happen before the night was over. I haven’t heard my dad play with other people in probably 10 years. It was terrific. He’s there on the left.
Let me introduce you to the limited-edition print you can only get by donating to my good friend Kara’s brand-new play, The Brothers Kassel, HERE. Only 29 hours left! Take a look-see and help a girl out!
I’m really dragging out this Cheer-up Albums run, huh? Here’s another one. Hopefully somebody somewhere has really been looking forward to each of these. I’ll pretend that’s true. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Or the longer you wait the better the reward? Something like that.
Cheer-up Album #5:
I have recently been listening to this album on repeat. I like songs that have spoken introductions, such as X Offender, which begins with Harry stating:
"I saw you standing on the corner. You looked so big and fine. I really wanted to go out with you, so when you smiled, I laid my heart on the line.”
But the best song for cheering up is this one: The Attack of the Giant Ants. So goofy.
Debbie Harry’s the best.
"Giant ants from space. Snuff the human race. Then they eat your face. Never leave a trace. La la la-la-la."
This suggestion is kind of a 2-in-1 because I like to listen to a mix of both Mesopotamia and Party Mix! by the B-52’s when I’m down. Both are great, so take a listen together if you haven’t yet (god forbid). What better way to get happy than listen to a song about making cake? Everybody likes cake.
“‘It says in this cookbook it takes a long time for it to rise.’
"There’s nothing left wrong with me that money can’t cure, but…I don’t want to be somebody else’s learning experience."
Cheer-up Album #3:
The Waitresses, Best of the Waitresses.
I mentioned my deep love for The Waitresses and their inexplicable powers for healing before, so it should be no surprise that this band makes the list. Their lyrics are funny and clever, I can’t get enough of Patty Donahue’s sass, and there’s saxophone. All good things. Plus, most of their songs are about toughening up, being alright on your own, and that it’s ok to be weird. All most helpful for cheering up.
"My goals—my goals are to find a cure for irony and make a fool out of God."
Blood, Sweat & Tears – Somethin' Goin' On (2 plays)
Whoops! This week has been going much better (knock on wood), so much better that I seem to have forgotten to keep up with my Cheer-up Albums run. Those feeling blue, hopefully you’ve hung in there until today. Welcome #2 to the mix:
Blood, Sweat & Tears, Child is Father to the Man. I usually listen to this after a break-up or some other kind of rejection. I figure, if Al Kooper is all bummed out about his problems with the ladies, it’s ok that I am too. Misery loves company, or something. Plus, the theatrical/over-the-top compositions with the electric organ and trumpets kind of crack me up. So melodramatic! How wonderful.
"I want you to blow for all the people who have to face an empty bed tonight…[trumpet]. Go ahead and blow one for yourself now…[more trumpet]. Blow one for me tooooo! …[even more trumpet]."
Hi all! My dear friend Kara has written and is directing a new play called, The Brothers Kassel. She is trying to raise money by offering a variety of wondrous perks, including a limited edition print by yours truly. Watch this adorable video! And give them money! And go see their play in the fall!
Sometimes you really just want to revel in feeling low, to really wallow and roll around in your sadness, so you might listen to a bit of Cat Power or Elliott Smith or Chad VanGaalen (gosh, he could even kill one of my sunshiny good moods with his lingering songs about sleep and death), but I am usually the kind of person who wants to snap out of it.
This is often achieved by one of the songs I’ll share over the next few days. Weird lyrics, melodrama, and pop are what do it for me. Maybe these albums will help you out too on some blue Monday.
Number 1: Frank Zappa, Absolutely Free. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, this album makes me laugh out loud even with my headphones on. He rambles on in a sort of goofy stream of consciousness, his instrumentation bursts in and interrupts him while he’s speaking, each song bleeds together like a trippy, bizarre, little cheer-up train. LOVE it.
"I don’t know, sometimes I just get tired of ya, honey…. …it’s uhh, it’s your hairspray or something."
After some punctuation for the string of bad news I received this week (the good news at the start seems light years away now—but it’s still good nonetheless), I awoke from yet another nap on the couch at 5am with the small and hazy inkling that it has been a dream. But hey, it could always be worse, right? To the gods of luck, please note that this is not a challenge.
What better time to start that aforementioned “Cheer-up Albums” music run? Let’s start now.
ps—to the asshole who did this to my dear friend’s car while it was in my possession and just drove away like a selfish coward: