"American Jukebox Fables," Ellis Paul. Our wonderful local NPR station brought him to play free in the riverside park this summer, and we bought the CD.
I keep hitting 3 on the little stereo remote over and over so I can obsessively listen to this catchy chorus:
"If you want to run/I'll pack my suitcase/
And if you want to stay,/I'll make a front door key/
and if you need space/To fly free,/
take all the sky you need"
I liked it better before I checked the liner notes and understood that a woman was speaking, because although it is very nice to give your partner of any sex some space, I'm more impressed when a man does it for a woman. Others have written this song before, notably Todd Rundgren, perhaps the underrated musical genius of the 20th century; but good themes bear repetition.
On the same album I'm liking the very catchy and upbeat (unusual for me to obsessively repeat an upbeat song)* "Alice's Champagne Palace," despite this incredibly cheesy rhyme:
"Alice will pour you a cold one,/You go ahead and ask her,/if you're running away to Alaska."
It actually makes you start to feel that it would be fun to run away to Alaska and work in a cannery...unless, of course, you had three children a marriage and a whole life on the East Coast. Yeah. Also, and this seems so unfair, even when I was footloose and fancy free, for a woman (and especially a woman from a family like mine) something like running away to Alaska never seems to be on the list of options. Anyway, to redeem itself the song also has this great line:
"I guess sometimes you gotta go/to the end of the earth/just to turn yourself around."
And sometimes you just have to get the youngest kid off to school. :)
*Edited to say: actually not so unusual, thinking about it. About two years ago I was obsessively repeating "I Don't Know What It Is" and "14th Street" from Rufus Wainwright's "Want One." They are still awesome. Too bad "Want Two" pretty much stank. I really prefer my music's sexual content to be sufficiently veiled that I can play it in front of my children. Is that wrong?