I did something stupid this summer. I bought a CD. I know, crazy shit.
I picked up Dan Mangans’, now almost immortalized album, Nice Nice Very Nice (2008) at Backstreet Records in Fredericton. Since my parents’ car didn’t have a USB hub, I had to buy a CD to fill my hour long car trips to my grandparents house. I had heard most of the tracks on NNVN over the past three years and quite liked most of them, so I figured this was a safe way to spend $20.
The thing about CD’s is that they have liner notes and unless you actually buy one, you are missing out on this part of the musical experience that the artist intends you to have. Inside the CD jacket of Dan Mangans’ album, right above the lyrics, is a brief statement about each song. These comments, although short, are very charming and personal statements about the songwriter, the song, or life in general. I enjoyed reading them so much, I feel compelled to share some of them with you, my downloading mp3 friends.
Road Regrets – In March of 2007, driving from El Paso to Austin, I drank 64 ounces of cheap gas-station coffee in a day; it was disgusting.
Robots – My cell phone died and I went for five days without a mobile before a new one arrived in the mail. The first day was terrifying – the other four were glorious.
The Indie Queens Are Waiting – I don’t think I’m the only person who feels that waking at 10AM to the promise of eggs over-easy and a newspaper, good company and a general sense of wellbeing sounds like a good start to the workday.
Sold – I played a gig for an advertisement agency awards gala – they asked me to play some upbeat material, and this was all I had. It was a laugh/cry moment.
Fair Verona – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is about many things, I think. Sure it’s about romance and love, but it’s also about the impending influence of history in the present, reputations, grudges and fear. People who ostracize those who wander outside the status quo often do so because they don’t have the cahones to be so bold.
Tina’s Glorious Comeback – One day, they tore down all the old rain-worn wooden bus shelters that visually defined, for me at least, the way Vancouver felt when I was a kid. It occurred to me that those bus stops, place every two blocks along every thoroughfare in the city, were like strategically scattered reminders of life on the west coast. They replaced them with futuristic looking metal bus stops with handles built into the benches so homeless people couldn’t use them to sleep on.
Et Les Mots Croises – There are many things my friends make fun of me for. One of them was the time I got screwed by Ebay – another is this song.
Set The Sails – Eventually, we’ll all turn off the televisions and hide in the woods.
For a listen to the new Dan Mangan album, Oh Fortune, head over to CBC3 for the podcast where Grant Lawrence talks to Dan about the album and plays it track for track.