Strange mood today… weird week… Just one of those weeks where everything was a bit off and I find it hard to put things in their proper perspective.
So with all that mishigas (Yiddish for craziness), my inclination was for comfort music. For me, this can take many forms: either something that is more depressing than I am, which can be dangerous… something that can soothe me and mellow me out… or something from my youth that I absolutely adore and that will just rock the literal shit out of me. I went for the latter.
The first choice, which is an amazing album on its own, but plays into my emotional core if I listen too hard to the lyrics is Tears for Fears – The Hurting. I discovered this in college and it really shook me up. I’m sorry, but “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had” is a bit of a… umm… well… downer!
The soothing leads me into classical like Mahler or Brahms… or Morricone’s soundtrack to Cinema Paradiso… Well, even that album is a tear jerker. Soothing can really be anything, it just depends on how it hits you at the time. Hell, Bruce often soothes my weary soul.
But no… I needed something I have not heard in a while… something different… Something to just shake up the status quo.
The Kinks – Low Budget was just the cure.
For some reason, in my consciousness, this is one of those albums I remember as being perfect. For me, that simply means that I love each and every track. There are quite a few albums I can say that about… like almost every Bruce or Beatles album. I really don’t know why THIS ONE stands out as the first I can remember. It wasn’t my first album… that was Hair, swiped from my parents… It wasn’t even one of the earlier ones like Bruce’s Darkness on the Edge of Town or Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk… both birthday presents… I do recall that…
Low Budget came out in 1979. I know, I seem to be a bit stuck on this year, this week. Perhaps that should be my theme. The band’s history is rife with infighting and brother on brother warfare… Oasis anyone???… but one cannot deny the genius of Ray and Dave Davies.
We open with the great, rollicking Attitude, which is full of the title, and the album just flies from there.
Catch Me Now I’m Falling. One of my favorite tracks. Piano, horns, this has it all.
Pressure. A little nod to Chuck Berry and then it’s all English attitude.
National Health. A little punk, a little Island, a little ditty.
(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman. Where is Charles Atlas when you need him? I love this song! And yes, I’ll get to the gym later for sure.
Low Budget. The title track may be my favorite.
In A Space. I love the way this song builds in the middle and ascends into near-punk goodness.
Little Bit of Emotion. Mmmm!
A Gallon of Gas. Okay, really??? How many of these songs are completely on the nose and vital for today’s messed up economy? I love this near traditional blues tune. Definitely a fave.
Misery. Maybe this album is not lifting me out of my funk like I thought it would… Shut up and stop thinking so much, Marc!
Moving Pictures. Here we go. “Life is only a moving picture. Nothing in life is a permanent fixture.” So go, son, make your own movie… and change your own script if you need to! A great closer!
It’s times like this I realize how happy I am that we were invaded by the British!