After a really rough start to the week (bad enough to make several jokes about having a “careless mistakes” curse put on me — it had to do with that Stephen King novel/movie Thinner — nevermind), things have calmed down a little. Mostly it’s been thanks to one particular song I’ve been listening to on repeat in the office to keep myself from driving my little mental car off that mental cliff into that deep mental ravine. The song in question is “I Like Giants” by Kimya Dawson.
I first heard Kimya Dawson via Contributor Matt, though I don’t remember the circumstances past that it was one of those “Hey, listen to this, it’s pretty great” or “Hey, this is pretty great, what is it?” type of things, probably in his car or in our dorm room junior year of college. I remember that it was the Moldy Peaches song “Steak for Chicken” in which (the female) Dawson sings the line “Who mistook the steak for chicken?/Who’m I gonna stick my dick in?” which we both thought was really absurdist and funny. She’s a girl! She doesn’t have a dick! And so forth…
Then, a month or so after I moved to New York, I became obsessed with the song “Hadlock Padlock” from one of Dawson’s solo albums. At the time, I was new to the city, unemployed, knowing no one, my mood alternating on an almost daily basis between despairing and hopeful. And I was listening to “Hadlock Padlock” on repeat. Which may not have been the best idea, since it’s got the nice little “fuck you and your rat race” lyric:
I wonder if this climbing that you city people do
ever leads you to a place with such a pretty view.
I spent a long time turning that lyric over in my head, as I was actively scrambling to get into a job and into city life. I’ve never been the type to be really eager about “climbing” (socially, economically, job position, etc), but I knew I was living in a place where that pretty view was not going to be so readily accessible, and that didn’t make me feel great. On top of the unemployment and all that. But the song was such a beautiful little piece of rambling folk, I couldn’t stop listening to it.
Kimya Dawson – Hadlock Padlock
“I Like Giants,” however, is twice as joyful as “Hadlock Padlock” is despairing. It’s lyrics are transcendental and feminist and just … happy. And the perfect thing to combat the stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed that I was dealing with this week. It’s a good reminder to take a step back every once in a while, to take a breather and rethink things, with a little bit of absurdism mixed in. And we all like things better when they’re a little bit absurd.
Kimya Dawson – I Like Giants
Here’s a live version that gives a little more insight into the lyrics:
Kimya Dawson – I Like Giants (live)
Oh, and Will Forte’s dancing in this SNL sketch. Something else to make you happy.
posted by Adam