Let’s hear it for a new month and for a new set of Top 5 Music Obsessions that includes 3 out of 5 new to me bands. Following suit with a musical obsessive friend of mine (who shares my first name), I’m trying to incorporate more new music into my May. She’s doing all new music to her all month. I’m not going that far. But, I am challenging myself to more new music all month. Starting off with 3 out of 5 for today is a pretty good start, I’d say.
Track 1 I heard on an NPR Podcast this morning (“All Songs Considered“). They are also responsible for introducing me to Track 3. Track 2 came from a story that the bassist from Patio told about writing Track 1. The band Washer is was a costar in a dream she had that led to the song, and they are also name-checked in the song itself (“Boy Scout”, today’s first track). The last two songs for today are from two favorite bands of mine that I fell for in the ’90s. Since the three new-to-me tracks remind me a bit of the ’90s it seemed fitting to add in some favorite ’90s bands of mine.
It’s always a good time to listen to The Lemonheads and The Breeders, I think.
Today feels like its rushing by a bit too fast. I’d like a few more moments to breathe. I’m grateful though that I took time for mediation this morning, that the sky is a beautiful blue, and that I’m going to the movies tonight with my boyfriend. Mid-week date night is a nice way to start the month.
I’d love to know what you are listening to, and obsessing over, on this first day of May. Please share in the comments, if you are so inclined. I will give every song a listen, and may even obsess over them myself.
Bonus points if you introduce me to something new (or new-to-me) so I can keep on with my May new music goal.
1. “Boy Scout” by Patio
from the album, Essentials (2019)
“I went shopping the other day.
I can afford to feel better.
I still wear all the same clothes.
Maybe by Friday,
I’ll feel better.
Maybe I’m just under the weather.
Maybe, I’m just.”
Discovered Patio, and their latest album, Essentials, this morning. I’m at once reminded of the late 70’s/early 80’s New Wave/Punk and 90’s female fronted bands, as well as both alt (think Breeders, Throwing Muses) and riot grrrl ’90s sounds/sensibilities.
“Boy Scout” is my first listen favorite, and the track that was featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered. During the NPR segment, they featured a short interview with Loren DiBlasi (vocalist and bassist) who said the song came to her in a dream.
She went on to describe the dream. That in it she dropped her guitar pick down a hole and when she reached down it to grab it and pulled it out, it had the words BOY SCOUT scrawled on it, in all caps. Also, in her dream, she and the band were playing with Washer, a band who is name-checked in the song with the lyric “I think I’m gonna go home and listen to Washer/ Instead of spending any more time with you.”
2. “Elbow” by Washer
from the album, All Aboard (2017)
“When you get angry,
scream into this bag and bury it.
From its place will grow,
a tree of everything you fear,
that you hold dear “
Talk about ’90s reminiscent, and of post-punk/punk. Something about Washer reminds me of Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr., and Sebadoh. They also remind me of Patio, the band that led me to them (see above).
I can picture these two bands playing together, like in Loren DiBlasi’s dream. Can’t you?
The lyrics to “Elbow” really resonate with me. They remind me of some of the mindfulness practices I’m doing. They also remind me of how I would bury artwork I made that I filled in with wishes, dreams, and fears when I was a kid – decorated with glued on leaves and flower petals and sprinkled with glitter. I used to think they were magic spells. That I was magic.
Maybe I was.
Maybe I still am.
3. “Drunk II” by Mannequin Pussy
from the upcoming album, Patience (2019)
“And everyone says to me,
“Missy, you’re so strong”.
But what if I don’t want to be?”
Those lyrics above hit right in the gut, and the heart, all at once.
I’ve been told by so many people in my life – all my life – “you’re so strong”. But, yeah, not only “what if I don’t want to be?” but what if I’m not? What if I need help? What if I fall from all that strength once in a while?
I sometimes think its a cop-out for people to say that. It’s justification for them to not help me, to not be strong for me, to lean too hard on me, to not be strong themselves. She’s strong. You’re so strong. That way no one has to show up for me. Not really. Not completely. Sometimes not at all.
Maybe that’s not what it is. Maybe that’s not what it is, at least not all the time. But, a lot of the time it really feels like that.
The strongest of us need things and help and people. And, we need a good post-punk song like this, too.
4. ” Hannah and Gabi” by The Lemonheads
from the album, It’s a Shame About Ray (Expanded Edition) (1992)
“I’m out wandering around.
You’re but one thing I’ve found.
I don’t mean to bring you down.
I’m out wandering around.”
There are certain bands and artists that I will forever associate with my twenties and the ’90s. Evan Dando and The Lemonheads are part of that associated twenties/’90s list, for sure.
I’ve been revisiting The Lemonheads lately, digging into some of the deep cuts that I’d forgotten about, or at least haven’t heard since I first owned the albums. It’s been a fun audio-ride filled with memories and nostalgia. That said, I’m also finding myself relating differently to some of the songs, making them more a part of my life now, and not just part of “thinking about the past” recollections.
“Hannah and Gabi” has been one of those seeing, and hearing, in a new light kind of songs which has led to a music obsession with the track (and inclusion into today’s Top 5).
5. “Divine Hammer” by The Breeders
from the album, Last Splash (1993)
“You’re the rod,
I’m just looking for the divine hammer.”
Maybe its because I saw Avengers Endgame a few days ago, but the first thing I think of with this song today is Thor and Thor’s hammer (along with a few other spoiler-things that I won’t mention here).
Beyond that, though, I’m reminded of dancing around my apartment to this song, my baby daughter in my arms, dancing with me. Or playing this song, and the album Last Splash, on many drives to-and-from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Do we ever find our “Divine Hammer“?
Do you ever not want to dance to this song?