I wouldn’t call myself a fan. I think I’m more interested in being kind to the children I have been, in my life. Trying to ignore entire parts of your life doesn’t really get you very far, so whenever a new one comes I like to honor my past by giving it a decent chance. This is something that used to be really important to me, and now it’s more about husbandry of my past — so it doesn’t run wild and fuck me over. We are all of us the people we’ve been before, still, somewhere in there. Somewhere, it’s still all happening.
Well, that’s not the whole story. I’m trying to train myself not to be embarrassed about bullshit everybody knows anyway. New X-Men. FarScape. Firefly. Battlestar Galactica. You know, the awesome shit we all lie about. Maybe it’s just me. I’ve got this voice in my head I call the Mall Factor and it constantly admonishes me not to talk about Yoda or Alan Moore. It’s how I stay cool.
Final analysis is that I don’t want to be tied down to anything. You find out a person’s queer and all of a sudden you’re asking them to critique your outfit or decorate your apartment, because they’re resolved down to: FAG. You find out someone likes FarScape and all of a sudden you’re assuming they know all about fucking Frodo or Beverly Crusher or whatever, because they’ve resolved down to: DORK. You find out someone likes a certain songwriter and all of a sudden you’re making secret cutting dates with each other or assuming they’re abuse survivors. Or whatever. You know what I mean.
I’m none of these. I’m all of these. I prefer it that way. I think she’s a kick-ass songwriter. The End.
Anyway, this time around I’ve been lax. I have had this for two weeks and just now got around to actually, you know, liking it. And make no mistake from what follows: I really, really like it. Finally. After listening to it in the background about 12 times, I finally got the lyrics up onscreen and put on my headphones, and lived the orange as they say. And it doesn’t disappoint, but that’s both good and bad: it’s as good as you think, but it’s also bad as you think.
All the tics I hate personally — the thousand oceans hit single approach to writing, the pointless obfuscation, the preciosity, the recycling of uninspiring tricks just because they’re “epic” sounding, the Peter Pan apostrophe, the coyly hidden but still seething hatred of and smothering obsession with queers — are fully at the party. They’re all there. I’m not even going to say her name because I don’t want the spiders to get me.
But like, you knew it would be there, so fuck it. If you can ignore it with Eminem, you can sure as hell ignore it for her. Suck it up and jump into the garden.
Anyway, so here’s this, a review or something.
I often pretend to be a Renoir painting. Sometimes for hours at a time. Sometimes people are so mean I would prefer to stare at the wall. I better keep staring and pretending to be a painting. I’ll let you know. PS: I’m still gonna talk about blow all the time. B
Random lyric generator: “Since the cocaine I have not moved.”
Edit: it’s actually, apparently, “Since the call came…” which is about one one-thousandth as cool. Making my point, kind of. Even though I dig this song.
- “Sweet The Sting.”
Cocky dudes are sexy, if a bad idea. Also sexy? Insects.
My vaginal fluids taste like Dentyne Fire. I will call it a “warming sensation.” C+
Random lyric generator: “I am inching ever closer to the tip of this scorpion’s tail.”
- “The Power Of Orange Knickers.”
Somehow I have ended up in the Damien Rice demographic. Next stop: Norah Jones. I like wearing fucked-up underwear and singing along with dudes who sound like the reanimate dead. Where’s Maynard when you need him? I am still not over how I married a gay man. Women, additionally, are still bitches. I haven’t mentioned that yet. A+, baby, because I can still totally write awesome songs with fantastic lyrics, like so:
Random lyric generator: “A matter of complication when you become a twist/For their latest drink as they’re transitioning.”
- “Jamaica Inn.”
Sometimes even I can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about. Isn’t that reassuring? I’m a boat. Somebody else is a lighthouse. Maybe Jesus. Even though I am a billionaire, I still split my jeans just like you. However, in my case, it is a metaphor. D+
Random lyric generator: “Can you patch my jeans, Peggy Ann? Just a little stitch to mend the hole he has torn.”
- “Barons of Suburbia.”
I really like that show Desperate Housewives. Anyway, here’s what I think: the more you ignore something, the more you depend on it. What nourishes you also destroys you. Not that I’m pro-ana or anything. But so the more you depend on something, the more likely it is to eat you whole. Because you made it evil with your fear. You did that. If you hate your mommy and all women, then it is Mommy that is going to devour you, from beneath. Imagine The Giving Tree going all Poltergeist and you’re half there. Also, George W. Bush is an assclown. Also, men are bitches. Oh, and again, I can still write awesome songs. Don’t leave me! A
Random lyric generator: “I am piecing a potion to combat your poison.”
- “Sleeps With Butterflies.”
Misguided gay boys! Straight girls with low self-esteem! I have not forgotten you! You paid for my house! Listen closely: there is something totally honorable about waiting around for that boy of incompatible sexual orientation. Get old and crazy with cats, if you have to! One day, he will love you!Until then, keep ignoring the love staring you in the face, and keep making little cuts on your legs where nobody will see them! Not that I’m pro-cutting! And if he lets you give him a handjob one night after the movie, that means you are Officially An Adult! Do not grow! Do not change! You’re quite cosmopolitan, having it off with non-self-identifying-bisexuals!
I’m putting my faith in you, and this is my first single. You can tell because it mentions butterflies, balloons, acrobats, carousels, kites, and all kinds of utter bullshit that makes Jacob hate himself for being my fan! It’s okay to die alone! As long as you are not a whole person and still waiting for that theatre major-slash-quarterback to finally figure out that he’s entirely head over heels in love with you! I mean it! Don’t you dare get on to living your actual life! Buy my records and nurse that pain til it grows big and strong and has album babies of its own! C+
Random lyric generator: “I’m not like the girls that you’ve known, but I believe I’m worth coming home to!”
- “General Joy.”
My tinfoil hat has been crushed and I am now picking up signals from boring sources. I think birds are involved and may come swooping in at some point to save us from Robert E. Lee. Who is no longer a threat, being dead. Sometimes I am so boring I don’t even believe it. Yeah, I know I did a whole album about this like a year ago, but I’m still not done. Just be glad I didn’t haul the 911 horse out for another flogging, bitches. Austin is my spiritual home because my bloodless, self-important political opinions are worth hearing there, since everyone there is just like me! I live in a crazy rich-person bubble and have become Sharon Stone! D
Random lyric generator: “To dye, to perm, to change your hair or your wife: the posssibilities are there.”
- “Mother Revolution.”
My faggot ex-husband couldn’t get me pregnant. Now I have a baby! IN YOUR FACE! I thought it was because I wasn’t really a woman, but turns out it was because you weren’t really a man! I am still deeply ambivalent about my own fan base! D-
Random lyric generator: “A wife on loan in a cafe in old El Paso — Next, I go to Seven Gates and my sister’s Bass Bonanza.”
(I did not make that up.)
- “Ribbons Undone.”
Speaking of, here’s my daughter now. I hope she’s not a bitch like most women are. I know one day they will come after her, because they are a hoard of bitches, but in the meantime she’s pretty cute. I am capable of constructing songs with no melodic line whatsoever and the same chorus as every other song — but this one, it’s different. More repetitive. Like a lullabye! Don’t listen to it in the car or you might die! C-
Random lyric generator: “She’s a girl rising from a shell, running to spring.”
- “Cars And Guitars.”
I wrote this song like 13 years ago that used china to describe our relationship, and it was awesome because it was about six different kids of symbols at once, and everybody liked it. It was quite literary, and also it actually fucking made sense. I haven’t really attempted anything like that since then. UNTIL NOW. It’s about cars and relationships as cars and my vagina as cars. It’s horrible. Well, actually I didn’t write it. Shawn Mullins wrote it. It was his only big hit, and I figured that it worked for him, so I’d just steal the entire song and write some “lyrics.” I’ve also begun stealing from myself, because it is additionally : “Taxi Ride” :: “Bang and Blame” : “Losing My Religion.” It’s all about key progression. Fuck it, I don’t remember. Have I mentioned coke again yet? Damn. But anyway, at least people will stop asking me to write another song like the one about china. Michelle Kwan will not be skating to this one, ya’ll. C-
Random lyric generator: “‘Yeah that whip has skirt.’ You said it proud.”
Did you know I like Led Zepplin? Have I mentioned that lately? Additionally, I like to get “funky.” Yeah, I meant this to sound like a lost number from Hair, thanks for asking. Man, I can’t stop thinking about cocaine. Or the men who done me wrong. Men are bitches, you guys. Can I get a “Hail Sisterhood?” I thought I could. B-
Random lyric generator: “Feldspar and Mica, then you thought that you would own my temple of gold.”
Runner-up: “You left me burning in your petrol emotion!”
- “Original Sinsuality.”
It’s time once more to bitch about God, because really, does that ever get old? Stupid old patriarchy. I will never get over it and take back my power from the paternal theocracy of my childhood, because secretly I still believe that there are actual superheroes in space who want me to be good and hate my genitalia. (Don’t tell, guys.) I thought I’d write an actual love letter to Satan in order to prove my point: accepting and celebrating the othered feminine is so old hat. The hot new thing is accepting and celebrating the othered SATAN. It’s like the Goddess but even more demonized, due to being an actual demon. And then I’ll kind of talk about fucking him and calling him “Baby.” You hear me, God? SUCK ON THAT! I totally dumped you again! When will you learn? Chump. A-
Random lyric generator: “Yaldaboath, Saklas, I’m calling you! Samael, you are not alone!”
I’ve read a book about the history of Ireland. What a perfect metaphor for the supression of Goddess religion — better write a song about it. Luckily, the same thing happened to me! My inner Goddess has been quite quelled, over the years. Did you know? Do you have a minute? D-
Random lyric generator: “Driving in my Saab, on my way to Ireland.”
- “The Beekeeper.”
You know who rules? The Postal Service. You know who can be fucking creepy when she puts her mind to it? ME. You know who died? My brother. You know who else? My baby that miscarried. I know I wrote a whole album about it. Still not done. Would you have it any other way? PS — I’m still pissed at my baby that miscarried. I hope constantly talking about that doesn’t fuck up my daughter.
At least I stopped singing “Me And A Gun” every single fucking night. Looking back, that wasn’t really so healthy of me, was it?
PPS — I still totally like The Sandman. Don’t you wish this whole album sounded like this? Yeah, I liked To Venus and Back best too. No, I don’t actually know why I didn’t… don’t question me, retard. A+
Random lyric generator: “Call Engine 49! I have come with my mustard seed!”
- “Martha’s Foolish Ginger.”
I just woke up. I’m sorry. I don’t know. I think I’m still drunk. I might be a little gay. Man, this album is long. I better come up with some precious but unsupportable way to divide it all up and make it a concept album. Just like I’ve done with every other album. F
Random lyric generator: “My hands reached for Martha’s foolish ginger/We talked until the moon came up.”
- “Hoochie Woman.”
So after cheating on me and ripping me to shreds, like men always fucking do, he calls me up and said, “She has needs!” So I was like, “Yeah. I think you’ll find ’em on the fourth floor at Barney’s.” BURN! So he goes, “I, um, I need a loan,” and because women are bitches and deserve to be deceived, especially if they cheated on me with my man, I loaded up on some cornflakes and then I go, “Yeah, that’s not a problem. I’ve got LOADS of money thanks to singing about what a dick you are. Also my gay ex-husband. I’m going to give you some money but it’ll be our little secret. Okay? Don’t tell that whore about this. I still need a feeling of control of this situation and have fallen so far as to imagine myself as some kind of shadowy Kingpin figure like a mom from a Tennessee Williams play.”
Anyway, point being: I GOT MONEY, BITCHES! I BUY MY OWN DIAMONDS AND I BUY MY OWN RINGS! THROW YOUR HANDS UP AT ME! PWNED, BITCH! A
Random lyric generator: “I went to work, and the office girls were all burning their poetry. It wasn’t good.”
- “Goodbye Pisces.”
This is a kickin’ track! I love this! The awesome guitar! It’s so Death Cab! I feel like a fifteen-year-old girl! In love with Seth Cohen! Rock ON! The pseudo-Asian flavor is tres Cio-Cio San! But wait, it’ll need words, right? No prob. Whatever. I’ll spin some deal about how I’ve cried a thousand oceans of a thousand teardrops of hyperbole and mixed metaphors or something you’d find in any young girl’s diary.
Then I’ll throw in some astrology and talk some mad theory about how men are from Venus and are sloppy and dickheaded bitches. But there’s a twist, because I’ll implicate myself. Yeah, for the first time on this entire fucking album, I’m going to take a miniscule amount of the blame on myself. But even that, I think, might be your fault. A+
Random lyric generator: “I cried and I watched my tears [Dude, we know.] that turned into diamond/Ice into ice, and if it could freeze, my heart wouldn’t float away.” For real.
- “Marys of the Sea.”
You know that book The DaVinci Code? That dude totally bit that shit off me. On the upside, I now no longer have to hide my Sangrail Rennes-Le-Chateau Magdalene Black Venus White Goddess Golden Bough stuff under a thin layer of gobbledegook. I can just say it out loud, and call it a song. Wait, what? Music? No, I was thinking something spoken-word. They’ll buy it no matter what. I’m like Oprah to these people. No seriously, like, with some mispronounced French, and lots of lists of things having to do with Gnostic apostasy. It’ll be insane. Well, I can see your point… Maybe like a metronome in the … No?
Okay, how about we just use the entire instrumental track from “Jackie’s Strength?” You’re right, it is the same exact song, lyrically. Only instead of identifying with Jackie O, I’m now identifying with the female face of GOD HERSELF. That’s called taking it up a notch, baby. Also: George W. Bush? Is still an assclown. B+
Random lyric generator: “In all of Gaul, is there safety?”
Bonus unrelated update in song form: My brother? Still dead. Also, “Mr. Bojangles” adds a certain something to almost any line, doesn’t it? Lots of fun sounds and textures there. Better just make the chorus the whole song and some TS Eliot-sounding vague-outs for the verses, and mention Mr. Bojangles a few times. I love the Oldies station. I listen to it in my Saab. Damn, I forgot to talk about cocaine. Well, it would be rude to do that here. Let’s call that a wrap. B
Random lyric generator: “In the winter, butter yellow: The flames you stirred. Yes, you could stir.”