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I don't want to give you the impression that I've been taking this February lying down. I have made attempts, some major, some minor, to "reverse the curse" of this month that I hate so much.
Today I downloaded the new Morrissey album, Years of Refusal, because really--what better way is there to cheer yourself and others up than to listen to some Morrissey?
If it sounds like I am joking, I assure you I am not. I'm deadly serious.
I've always found Morrissey's songs immensely cheering. His ability to mine his own apparently deep wellspring of pain and make it somehow universal--and often comic-- has always impressed me, especially when he expresses that pain with a somber lyric over a jaunty, jangling piece of music.
Love the Smiths, love his solo recordings--which by now far outnumber those of the Smiths. Of the albums that bear his name, Vauxhall and I is my personal favorite. The first Smiths album I bought, when I was in high school, was Meat is Murder. My favorite book named for a Smiths song is Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo.
If you were to call my cellphone, you would not hear my voice if I didn't pick up. Instead if my voicemail picked up you would get a short clip of Morrissey singing "Suedehead"..."Why do you telephone?" (Funny that you should hear Morrissey's soft tenor, because what I hear--my ringtone--is the harsh "Raining Blood" riff by Slayer).
If I had to create a playlist of my twenty favorite Smiths/Morrissey songs, my already already unstable brain would explode, sending nasty brain-juice squirting out of my ears, ruining my one good shirt. Either that or the mere contemplation of an imponderable like narrowing the Smiths/Morrissey canon would collapse my mind, creating a black hole that would suck in even more air and all of the contents of my tiny office, even my tiki playing cards and my Power Girl action figure. Only Twenty?? What about Rubber Ring? What about Hairdresser on Fire? Urrrghh! Blatt! Arrrgh! (And all of Danny's tiny universe disappears within the black hole at the center of his rapidly deflating head).
So I'm not joking around at all when I say I'm ecstatic that there is a new Morrissey album and it is now on my iPod. To prove it, I'll send an arc of Kiss of Life to one randomly chosen person who correctly identifies a Smiths or Morrissey song title that I've used either as a blog entry title or as a quote within the blog itself. Send your entries to WatersDan at aol dot com. Good luck!
I think I'll go have a listen.