Grab Your Life Jackets

We have not had the greatest ten days or so in our extended family. But the very same day we hit that iceberg, I got something in the mail that I turned out to be a life raft of sorts.  My new album Art Angels from Grimes arrived.

Now, Grimes is, to me, an awe-inspiring genius, but she’s no Adele in terms of appeal.  So I fully expect most people to be saying, who?” Or, if you know her stuff, maybe even, “hmm.” And you know what?  You are fine with that.  I am not pushing her. She’s definitely not for everyone.  Bless her, she doesn’t want to be.  I love that about her — she is singular and she is true to herself.

To give you an idea of Grimes, what’s probably the best song on her new album is called Kill v. Maim, and she said she wrote it from the perspective of Al Pacino in The Godfather Part 2 except he’s a vampire who travels through space. So.

You like to think she’s just playing with people there.  However, the video lends some support to that concept, since it’s so bloody that I wouldn’t link innocent people to it.  Tarantino fans, though, could Google it. And I think it’s great — especially before the rivers of blood begin to run down people’s faces and necks.

But, while it’s perhaps not as fantastic as Kill v. Maim, my favorite song on the album might be another song, called California. Grimes has explained this one as an f-you song, aimed at a music reviewing site.  However, what I love about California is its irresistibly happy pop beat.  It’s an upbeat f-you song.

My favorite part is  when she sings, “And when the ocean rises up above the ground / baby, I’ll drown / in Ca – al- al – al – al- California.”

Okay, maybe that sounds … not upbeat.  But when you hear it, it’s a happy, even triumphant, drowning.  (I mean, she is in California.)

I took a meditation class last year with an awesome teacher who said when things get difficult, remember to ride the waves. Don’t try to fight what’s happening — you can’t change it any more than you can change ocean waves. Just ride the waves. I’m going to say that it’s nice to do that with a smile on your face.


9 thoughts on “Grab Your Life Jackets

  1. Oh, here’s another, and another oldie: Steely Dan, Reelin’ in the Years.

    It’s even pen-related, since it occurred to me as in connection with a post I may write about the demise of Omas.

    Upbeat f-you songs! Good fun!


  2. Here are some final choices from father afield, but I think they kind of qualify.

    The very upbeat “It’s the End of the World and I Feel Fine” by R.E.M.

    “Radio, Radio” by Elvis Costello.

    And The Smiths’ “Frankly Mr. Shankly.”


    1. Let’s start with the CeeLo Green song actually named “F*%& You,” which doesn’t beat around the bush. Bonus for the excellent video. There’s also a “clean” version called “Forget You,” but I can’t vouch for that. I go right to the extra strength, myself.

      And then, for the other side of the gender divide, I humbly submit the unparalleled “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé.


    2. Political? Among those that come to mind are the Clash’s “White Riot” and “I’m So Bored with the USA,” and the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the UK.” And anything by the Housemartins — but “We Are Not Going Back” is very upbeat.


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