Sunday, July 3, 2011

Squeezing the Tedium - Lemonheads-Style

Incredibly bored.  That’s how I woke this morning.  At five a.m. on a Sunday morning, insomnia jerking my chance to sleep-in from under my feet.  I played a computer game for a while; that didn’t relieve the monotony.  I thought about going to smoke a cigarette.  Problem.  I quit a couple of months back.  So I surfed the net awhile, came across an article by Jocelyn Anne on ProBlogger entitled “What to Do When You’re so Boring You’re Boring Yourself,” and laughed.  My mind jumped to Evan Dando.

Evan Dando, the leader of The Lemonheads, released a solo album back in 2003 called Baby I’m Bored.  I don’t own this … yet.  But I immediately wanted to listen to some Lemonheads.

I got turned on to the Lemonheads by a co-worker, when I worked at a record store back in my early 30s.  This co-worker was a long-haired intense rocker named Darren, who volunteered to make me a mix tape by a group that he thought I would like.  I cringed inwardly but said “Sure!” politely.  I imagined death metal with screaming satanic vocals and wailing guitars.  To squash my prejudice, Darren was incredibly insightful and sensitive.  The Lemonheads, with their mix of alternative rock and pop punk sounds turned out to be one of my favorite bands. 

The mix tape included the bouncy “Down about It,” the edgy “Alison’s Starting to Happen,” and a punky cover of Suzanne Vega’s “Luka.” Plus a totally different kind of song.  Although Evan Dando is straight, he wrote a song named “Big Gay Heart,” included on the CD Come on Feel the Lemonheads.  The song is a country-styled song, tenderly crooned from the point of view of a resigned gay guy directed at a hostile homophobe.

The steel guitar, weary singing and overly earnest lyrics make the song seem sincere to the point of being almost tongue in check, until the end of the first verse eases in and drops:

I don't need you to suck my (whoa!)
Or to help me feel good about myself
Well, all right…

"Big Gay Heart"  The Lemonheads

The bridge of the song goes like this:

Why can't you look after yourself
And not down on me
Just a few simple words, in the vein of "take care of your own business," that many can recognize.

I ended up listening to The Lemonheads for the remainder of the morning, enjoying the wry lyrics, the poppy rhythms and the odd surprises (what other group would cover “Frank Mills,” sung by the Chrissy character in the musical Hair?). I didn't need a cigarette, a game or the internet. The boredom had been squeezed out of me.

No comments:

Post a Comment