Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars :: Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
A Little History:
Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars is the debut album by the American alternative rock band Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, released in 1988. The album went 2 times platinum in the United States.
The album comes together with a slight southern twinge in Edie’s voice, and a laid back, sometimes blues-ish, sometimes folk-ish, sound to the songs. Each song tells a story brilliantly, painting the characters and the settings and the emotions behind each one, sung stories that stay with you long after the album is over.
Edie is backed up by the New Bohemians, made up of Kenny Withrow, Brad Houser, John Bush and Brandon Aly.
Edie’s simple observations within her lyrical refrains offer deep contemplations for the listener, painting philosophies with the seedy parts of a city as the background.
Songs like What I Am, with lyrics like “I’m not aware of too many things, I know what I know, if you know what I mean” play like “Zen and the art of songwriting”, and are the perfect soundtrack for college aged discussions post-Literature Criticism and Philosophy classes.
Miss Edie Sedgwick gets another song sung about her on Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, this time with the song Little Miss S, who wears mini-dresses, flirting with death, misunderstood by the lovers that cling to her cool disregard, and cooler associations.
Circle and the vulnerable last song, I Do, have always been my favorites. They feel like confessions of the confusions and insecurities that one sometimes feels within relationships – both of the intimate and the friendship variety. I felt those songs so deeply in my mid-twenties, and I still feel them now in my mid-forties. The songs transcend and become something more to me as the years pass by.
What Makes This “Quintessential” In Three Sentences:
At the start the album greets you with familiarity, even in its questioning, there is something comforting and free feeling in the melody, it makes me immediately want to spin around and let my hair fly around my face. As the album progresses it traverses the emotional landscape of growing up, falling in love, failing in love, self-destructing, healing, feeling alone, and feeling together. Without sounding too contrived, the album has a bit of everything in it, every mood, every high and low, and it ends in a lullaby kind of soft, sweet kiss goodnight, a vow of some kind of love, and hope.
1. I Do
“I want someone to follow,
who doesn’t lead the way.
I want someone to listen,
who won’t repeat what I say.”
“Everything is temporary anyway.
When the streets are wet,
the colors slip into the sky,
but I don’t know why that means you and I are.
that means you and I.”
3. Little Miss S
“Day glo paint on an electric chair,
electric dye in her lover’s hair,
a pretty sight,
in the middle of the night,
made up for everyone to see;
swingin’ on the branch of a broken family tree.”
4. Air of December
“You stood by the lake,
I wanted to take you for granted.”
5. What I Am
“I’m not aware of too many things,
I know what I know,
if you know what I mean.”