A Song for Mila

September 12, 2011 § 8 Comments

I flatter myself a sophisticated enough man to be beyond guilty pleasures. But I’ll admit, it’s a little embarrassing how much I do like that Frank Sinatra song about how he does things his way. (I imagine he always used his shoe as a hammer to hang a picture and insisted his cakes be baked with fresh lard from a baby’s fat thigh.) Or the one about when he was 21 for a little while before he was 31.

And What a Wonderful World with Louie Armstrong’s throat?! Man, I really did swell with emotion like an autumn grape when that song would come on as the station-identification of a local Chicago channel when I was a kid.

Those songs really make you think, you know, about how a man becomes all kinds of things he never imagined he would and like, you know, life and shit. (As an aside – shout out to Think About Life – best band name ever!) Those songs are like that great scene in Husbands when Harry, Gus and Archie talk about the major shift in a man’s life – and it isn’t his wedding day or the day his first child is born or his first parent dies. The big shift is sometime around 35 when a man really accepts that he’ll never grow up to be a professional baseball player.

And, Dear Reader, my simple point is only that I never expected to grow up to be the weirdo uncle, bachelor and deadbeat, cartoons drawn all over my arms and forgetting to not smoke around the kid, etc. It’s a role I’ve fallen into quite easily and enjoy greatly, The Weirdo Uncle. But it just never occurred to me that it might one day be one of my roles.

And when I see that goddamn beautiful little wonder, it’s so weird, makes me feel like Whitney Houston. Most of the time I creep about like Serge Gainsbourg meeting Whitney Houston for the first time. But around that kid, I dunno, I’m like Whitney herself.

And so I just wanna do what little I can to help this children of the future get ahead, whatever small gestures I may muster to offer. And in that spirit, I have written my young niece a song.

The Keyboard Alphabet. (Educators please contact Polyvinyl Records for Fair Use Negotiations, some restrictions may apply.)  QWE’s






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§ 8 Responses to A Song for Mila

  • justin says:

    i could see that on a joan of arc record

  • bryan duffy says:

    Husbands has got to be one of my favorite Cassavetes films for just that very reason- the whole, I’m an adult that will never accomplish X, Y or Z. I loved how good Cassavetes was at translating that onto film. Same with Love Streams when he brings all the animals in from the rain…so great.

  • George says:

    I’m missing Joan of Arc by a few days in Chicago. Thanks for the giving me the opening time of the Rainbo though. I should’ve told you in person what your music has meant to me for my entire adult life. Seeing Haymarket Riot was great though; Kevin’s very sweet.

  • commaperiod says:

    I don’t know what it is about that Louie Armstrong song. To tell you the truth (and I’m not entirely sure if I have every said this out loud or even written it out until now) I get very teary eyed when the song plays.
    When I was in ninth grade a friend I used to skateboard with mother passed away. Up until that point I was okay with the song and the message it gave, but at her funeral they played it. It wasn’t until they played it that it hit me, she was gone. I remember very little about her now other than the fact that whenever I was at the house she had that song going. I thought it was weird that she listened to that song so much. I think it’s even stranger that she never showed much emotion towards it. She said it was her favorite song and it made her happy to hear it.
    To this day only a few songs evoke the same emotions. The number one being Chuck Mangione’s Feels So Good.

  • Julie Sokolow says:

    Your alphabet song is as disturbing as Lynch’s alphabet film, but more succinct.

  • Julie Sokolow says:

    hypnogogic* I appear to still be in it.

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