It might be apocryphal but anyway... "You know, underneath our raiment, our nipples are erect. How 'bout you guys? It's something that happens... This is a song about a girl. [Checks setlist.] Well, it might as well be about a girl, what the hell..." https://youtu.be/klvIFm6ZSMs That, ladies and gentlemen, is the sort of witty banter and riveting showmanship that made me almost quasi-famous for about a minute there in the mid-90s. Anyway, 'tis Wodnesdæg, to my slight surprise -- so welcome to Miðviku and Song for Odin, which, as you will have gathered is "My Stupid Life," live at Emo's in Austin Texas, November 4, 1995. This was, I believe on one of several short tours we did with the Dickies in that general time period. They were always one of my favorite bands and remained so even after these tours (which shows you how committed I was, because, honored though I was to be in their presence and such, these tours weren't all fun and games.) I'll probably have more to say about that situation in future installments. I spent much of the downtime hanging out with Leonard Graves Philips whom I regard as a sort of genius, and who was quite a gentle soul in the midst of considerable chaos and much reason for dispiritedness, dispensing bizarre avuncular wisdom like a cartoon yogi. I value that experience quite highly still. And they were, of course, great. As for the MTX, there are three songs in the set announced apologetically as "on our new album we just recorded which isn't out yet" -- that would be Love Is Dead which was scheduled for release in January 1996. The assumption that that would make any difference whatsoever to the crowd is rather sweet. That said, they seem to be having a good time in the video, which is my recollection all these years later as well. Emo's was always one of the best venues for us, and Austin was always kind and welcoming. (Speaking of which, did you know we're playing there with the Queers and Capitalist Kids on Saturday Dec. 7 at the Barracuda? Well, we are.) As I mentioned in a previous write-up about ...and the Women Who Love Them, "My Stupid Life" was the closest among those songs to have resulted from the chaotic songwriting “method” I tended to use in the past, which was "basically free-associating on a general topic and hoping it came out all right. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t (I think it does pretty much work on MSL) but the rest of the songs [on the e.p.] were more carefully planned." Not coincidentally, probably, it's the oldest of those songs as well. And it's is a good, solid tune, unusually focused, I'd say, despite being so lyrically chaotic. In this case, all those non sequiturs randomly seeded throughout -- something I used to do a lot back then -- kind of work. (They sure didn't always.) The intended effect is to evoke a mildly twisted, puerile-precocious "stream of consciousness." I'd done it so many times inadvertently, I suppose, that it had developed into a sort of "style," ill-advised though that might have been. As I've noted before, clumsiness and inarticulateness can be quite effective when your subject is clumsiness and inarticulateness. And I suppose this was kind of a transitional phase where, for better or worse, I was at least doing it on purpose to at least some degree. In so many of those situations I feel I could have done so much better had I focused more intently on the composition (as I tended to do, arguably to a fault, later on.) In this case, though, I'm not sure it would have been all that much of an improvement, at least in the area of getting across the "stupidness," if not necessarily the "life-i-ness" of a stupid life. While I'm at it, here are a couple more quotes from the aforementioned ATWHLT write-up as they are apt: 'My guitar rig at the time emitted constant out of control feedback (and picked up radio signals) whenever it wasn’t actually being played. I used to ride the volume control on the guitar to mute it, but inevitably the feedback slipped out. We wound up “using it” rather than trying to hide it on lots of tracks, going all the way back to Big Black Bugs… It didn’t always work, but I think it did on "My Stupid Life".' And: '“…it might be apocryphal but anyway…” I remember, while doing the vox, having to counter Kevin Army’s skepticism that “apocryphal” was a word. That’s right: our recording sessions were much like playing Scrabble. And yes, I really did hear a story about a guy who chopped off his own head, and it might well have been apocryphal. Boredom is just my guess as to the reason, but why else would you do that?' And speaking of another allusion, that's Maurice Sendak's Pierre popping up there, the boy who could only say "I don't care" even when his parents offer to let him fold the folding chair. If you've followed my scattered comments on these matters, you may have gathered that the album that became Our Bodies Our Selves in the end was originally planned (in my head only) as a sort of concept album oriented around children's literature. It was far too ambitious a plan to execute in the circumstances and it was abandoned as soon as the reality of actually composing the songs (and recording them here and there on almost no budget when we could get away with it) set in. Anyway, the bare bones of this song do stretch back into that abortive OBOS project and that's mostly why Pierre is in there. Way back when, our old comrade Paige O'Donoghue made a shirt of it as a sort of gift, which I still have (see link in notes.) Finally, that's Dallas Denery of Sweet Baby (Jesus) / Bomb Bassetts fame doing the back-ups on the studio recording. He knew what "apocryphal" meant, I'm sure. And that'll about wrap it up. Happy Odin's Day to you all. Like, subscribe, comment, and share, because you might as well and it allegedly helps, somehow. notes: --studio recording: https://youtu.be/o2a50Bxxw6k -- discogs: https://www.discogs.com/The-Mr-T-Experience-And-The-Women-Who-Love-Them/release/2916262 -- that ...and the Women Who Love Them post: https://medium.com/@drankf/some-old-notes-on-the-mr-t-experience-and-the-women-who-love-them-4cc139f0883f -- Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters https://amzn.to/2OV5AF0 -- that shirt: https://www.minds.com/newsfeed/1031241451842056192?referrer=frankportman -- MTX / Queers / Capitalist Kids play Austin Dec. 7: https://posts.google.com/share/xAKsPX7k/iVy8CY #music #songs #video #exegesis #minds
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