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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Stories About Songs: "California Shake" & "Yes I Am" by Margo Guryan
(L to R: 25 Demos by Margo Guryan is required listening for everybody everywhere; Laura "Jughead Jones" Jane Faulds in her Haircut Hat; I told you Astrology Granitas were real!!!)
The entire world has been the colour peach for days on end and I am in love with everything.
I think this is a very funny and sweet trait in me. I fall deeply in love with music nobody else cares about, and then passionately self-identify as "the person in the world who loves it most." I do wonder why. I think it's as simple as I am attempting to compensate for how I'll never smoke hash and share a butterscotch sundae with John Lennon. I'll never get to ask him his Village Green opinions. It kills me, but I've accepted it. One day, I swear it, Sir Paul McCartney's home phone number will make its way in here. I'll Twitpic my address book and tell you I told you so. Start small, Laura Jane.
Adelaide is the patron saint of everything cool. Every day I shower and sleep. Contemplate the Beatles, consider converting to Roman-Catholicism so I can take on Adelaide as my Saint's name. I have "Everything Synaesthesia." Every single day, I wear my hat. My hat is my haircut. I'm Mike Nesmith. I'm Jughead Jones.
Every single day, I listen to "California Shake" and "Yes I Am" by Margo Guryan dozens upon dozens of times. Her sweethearted genius flavours the entire world, and if I am to be a part of it (the world), which I am, it will flavour me too. It does, so that explains the "peach" thread. Life is on an upswing and I'm happy. Listen to the psychic; ignore your therapist. I am writing this sentence as a memo to my future self, the one scowling her way through the downturn. Upswings happen! Obviously upswings happen; the happening of upswings explains itself within the actual word it is. It's why they invented pendulums. If you want to argue about physics:
Your money's no good here.
I. CALIFORNIA SHAKE
You feel like this song is going to be about dancing, but it's not. It's about earthquakes. This song is so cool and perfect, I don't know how I ever lived without it. I love it more than all but thirteen Beatles songs.
I don't mind you at all, Sixteen Year Old Laura. You taught me some stuff. You taught me that my voice sounds like a "raspberry milkshake on battery acid," which it still does and always will sound. It's gotten raspier with age. Maybe you should throw a shot of Campari in there. I've gotten Camparier with age.
I want this song to be about milkshakes. This song is a milkshake. "Everything Synaesthesia," you know?
I want a California Shake to be a real type of milkshake, and all I want to drink-eat are California Shakes forever. They would be like a Strawberry Julius mixed with a Creamsicle, only with mango, and some peach of course, and melon, like the sun in the song. Maybe you could throw in a shot of Campari, or- who am I kidding- Malibu! Yes. Throw in a shot of Malibu. Of course Malibu.
Squeaky kid February screeches into March. There was this tea-stand at the "classy mall" and they sold twelve flavours of granita, one for every zodiac sign. I'm not even bullshitting you- it was Japanese or something. I wanted to buy my own, but Cancer was "chocolate-banana" and I didn't feel like it. And I would have felt like such a stupid fraud, ordering a Libra Granita. I wish there was astrology-themed everything.Toothpaste, tampons, flowerpots, mattresses, bookshelves. Pisces-scented cigarettes. Coca-Cola Capricorn.
I wish all my horoscopes would stop telling me I should travel to foreign countries. Thanks for rubbing salt in the poverty wound, Astrology. I want to visit France and go meet that man who made Plum Sykes her dream fragrance in Vogue two years ago. Isn't it weird? The memories you retain? "A peach smashed into a newspaper," I'll say. And maybe a little bit of butterscotch sundae, eaten with John Lennon. And a little bit of hash smoke swirling off hot knives. Inhaled with John Lennon.
II. MIDDLE EIGHTH/"THE GREAT OLD SPICE PARADOX"
The scent of Old Spice is the sexiest thing in the world but I could never love a man who bought it at the drugstore. That's gauche.
Yesterday I treated myself to a can of Dr Pepper and asked the Universe, "Would true love taste like Dr Pepper?" The answer was so obviously "Yes" that I immediately deleted the sentence. Today I found out: While he was recording "Imagine" in the early 70s, John Lennon had his favorite drink, Dr. Pepper, shipped to England from the U.S.
True love, in addition to tasting like Dr. Pepper, would inspire me to ask the question, "If I asked you to die, would you die for me?" It would be a joke. True love, to me, will be the sentence, "I love you more than the Beatles."
One of the major differences between men and women is that a dude would never care when the Beatles' birthdays are.
III. YES I AM
I don't mind you at all, Sixteen Year Old Laura. You taught me some stuff. You taught me to gun for the epic. I commit to that. I am gunning for the epic.
Your prize, for teaching me to gun for the epic, is that you are allowed to inhabit my Twenty Four Year Old body for exactly one (1) week. Let her loose upon my life. Wreak all the havoc you want.
Here is your "What Life Is Like When You Are Twenty-Four" primer. What do you do? I know exactly what you would do.
First, you would hate me. Second, you would sass me. "Why the fuck aren't you as famous as John Lennon yet, you dumb bitch failure?" you'd ask.
"Oh, shut up," I'd say, and then I'd slap you. "You don't know shit about shit. Just give me two years."
You are twenty-four years old. You have long since learned the lesson that no song means anything about your life; rather, your life means everything about these songs. But sometimes, still, I just don't have it in me to believe myself. "Yes I Am" by Margo Guryan means more about my life than any song ever has, and I don't mean "literally" figuratively.
My life is somewhat glamorous and exciting. It's just how I roll, a cool side effect of "gunning for the epic." Thumbs up/goony face. Derisive half-smile. I take it beyond for granted. What I care about for real is limited and unglamorous. The most exciting moments of these days are the countless two minute and seventeen second intervals spent leading up to the part of "Yes I Am" by Margo Guryan when she sings, "I'm astounded by your circumvention."
Astounding! I am dying of anticipation to find out Margo Guryan's zodiac sign. I could find out right now, if I wanted, but I've gotten pretty disciplined with age. Astounded by your circumvention. What are the chances? "Circumvention Astoundment" is a rare breed of astoundment, but it's the common denominator. Between the person who wrote the song, and the person who loves it.
It's terrifying to think of what Sixteen Year Old Laura would have done with this information. I don't think she knew what "circumvention" meant. And those were the days before thesaurus.com.
I was walking home and waiting for the stoplight by 7-11 I thought of how I no longer fantasize about throwing Big Gulps at strangers' heads. "That's called growing up, Laura Jane." I listened to this song. The tune doesn't match the words and I understand why.
It's like "Girl" by the Beatles- that song isn't fair to Girl. She's misrepresented. It's only one shady and long-since-forgotten subplot out of Girl's whole life. Girl actually feels really guilty about what went down that time she dated John Lennon; she learned her lesson and regrets it. If we're speaking strictly of the "circumvention-astoundment" arena of my life, yes, it's true- I am a little dejected. But if we swerve suddenly into the general peach everything- I'm happy. Life is on an upswing.
Back at the 7-11, I stared out at the good old sky. In all of twenty-four glamorous years and eight exciting months of sky-staring, it was the hottest sky I'd ever seen. A fox of skies, a babe of skies. My true love of skies. I loved it so much more than the Beatles, it's barely even worth saying. I deleted the sentence immediately.
The top four-fifths were quietly navy blue, maybe not navy. Maybe cornflower; accurately, somewhere in between. And then there was the clock, and beneath it, the sky turned- what are the chances???-
The sky pales everything, turns the orange of music down to peach. The truth was that I started to cry. I'm the hugest crybaby in the world. I cried because the sky was beautiful. I wondered if maybe I wasn't crying because the sky was beautiful, if maybe I was just using the beautiful sky as an excuse to openly cry for everything else. For all the days I've ever lived, for how hard it used to be, how easy it's become. But, I sighed, "I wasn't."
I was crying because the sky was pretty.
There is no better reason to cry.
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