There are several go-to albums that reside in my rainy day record repository. Yes, I said albums – as in a full, cohesive work rather than a song or single. I don’t care how old and crotchety I sound, I miss albums. Why, back in my day….oh never mind.
It’s a Shame About Ray from the Lemonheads is one such album. It’s got just the right jumble of upbeat and downbeat songs, snarky and profound lyrics, originals and covers. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Evan Dando makes my ovaries ache (note: that’s a Pegger the Kegger saying – copyright pending).
I could listen to their cover of Frank Mills until the end of time. In fact, when the cast recording of HAIR sneaks up on my iPod, I have to fight off the disappointment in hearing Crissy sing rather than Evan. I like that version, too. It just doesn’t have quite the same sprinkling of pixie dust in my book. Hopefully my 10″ vinyl recording is still somewhere in the bowels of my parents’ storage unit.
Today, as the cool breeze ruffled the box of Kleenex’s on the window and drops of rain bounced off the back of my printer, I craved one of the lesser know tracks, Hannah and Gabi. The song is depressing as hell. The twangy slide guitar only makes it all the more tragic, but I still grin ear to ear when I hear it. My favorite line: “Though it wasn’t hard or far, I walked you to your car.” Yum.
So I fired up iTunes and listened to the track…repeatedly. But (and here’s where the love of albums comes into it) rather than move on to whatever track the shuffle gods might choose to inflict upon me next, I decided to listen to the entire album. Once upon a time, albums weren’t two singles and another half hour of filler. Sometimes the most magical tracks were the ones that never hit the airwaves, like Hannah and Gabi.
I think I heart the originals more, just because I so enjoy the lyrical style. Here are a few more of my favorites from the album:
- “Thrilled to be in the same post code as you.” – from Kitchen
- “She’s the puzzle piece behind the couch that makes the sky complete.” – from Allison’s Starting to Happen
- “He kinda shoulda sorta woulda loved her if he coulda.” – from Confetti
- “I just want a bit part in your life, a walk-on would be fine.” – from Bit Part
There’s not a single track I skip when listening to this record. I can’t say that’s true of anything I’ve bought or downloaded this last year.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I need to go walk uphill both ways to buy some cream for my wooden dentures.