Developing

I was pretty lucky in my youth. As a teenager, when I began to show an interest in photography after a Saturday morning course at a school the next town over (and another class in a local community college), my dad bought me secondhand photo developing equipment. I set it up in the room of our house that used to serve as an in-law apartment. There was a sink, plenty of counter space and a closet that worked a charm as a darkroom.

I don’t think I was talented in photography. I might have an eye for composition, but the trickier aspects of the art – tweaking settings and dilutions of chemicals – didn’t hold my interest. Plus it’s a rather expensive hobby given the cost of the special paper and fluids, not to mention film itself. But to think back now on how my dad made that investment in an interest of mine is really profound for me. I’m not someone who excites easily. I think when he saw my interest in taking pictures, he was hoping it would last with a little support.

Anyway, I remember listening to this Aimee Mann song on repeat in that little workspace of mine. I had the Red Vines CD single, an import I think. All of this came to mind as I heard “Save Me” at the end of a show the other night. I’m not sure why I find this song so powerful. I don’t really believe that another person can save you. As Courtney Love said, “Nobody’s gonna pull up in a limousine and say they’re going to save you. That’s not how it happens. You save yourself from drowning, that’s how you do it”.

I think the tone of the song is what digs at something so deep inside me. Aimee sounds so forlorn, but even as she makes her plea to be saved, she doesn’t sound pathetic. It’s not begging. It’s almost like she’s daring the person to step out of himself and have anything to do with her.

Plus it’s always comforting to hear someone acknowledge the “ranks of the freaks,” and sort of validate how difficult it is to fit in or find people you really relate to. It’s a hell of a consolation prize if it means being in her company.*

 

* Though I wish I were truly in her company so I could get a little closer to that Ted Leo.

me-with-ted-leo

My one fleeting moment with that vegan dreamboat.

They’re still there, he’s all gone

When these uber patriotic holidays roll around, I tend to think of this classic. Maybe it’s best I don’t go into my personal politics and stick to Bruce adoration.

The lyrics, for those who think it’s just a fun sing-a-long about pride:

Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says “Son if it was up to me”
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said “Son, don’t you understand”

I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They’re still there, he’s all gone

He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I’m ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I’m a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I’m a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.

Letterman Gets It

In fact, he’s on his way to his therapist tonight, which in part explain the overalls. “I like them because they’re comfortable and they’re comforting,” he explains.

Rolling Stone interview with David Letterman May 21, 2015

For more overall inspiration, visit my Pinterest board.