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S is for SoCal

March 27, 2009

Something Corporate

I may be cheating a little because I’m using the S slot for Jack’s Mannequin, which is really just Andrew McMahon, because Something Corporate doesn’t really exist anymore. As a kid I was a big fan of Anne of Green Gables, and I loved how she described people as kindred spirits. I can’t really explain it, because I’ve never even met the guy, but if there were a band that was a kindred spirit, it would be Andrew McMahon.  Leaving Through the Window is, to me, a quintessential high school album. “If You C Jordan”, “I Woke Up in a Car”, “Drunk Girl”, “Cavanaugh Park”, and my personal favorite, of course, “Punk Rock Princess”….there are so many great tracks on that album!  North is pretty solid, with “Me and the Moon” being really the only track that I’ve never really gotten. A song about a fed up housewife offing her husband? Maybe he got inspired by Dolores Claiborne, who knows.

As Jack’s Mannequin, Everything in Transit would certainly be in my desert island discs. You’ll definitely hear the southern California- Beach Boys inspired tunes. Mostly it’s about finding home again, that home being Los Angeles (huh).  Fun factoid: Tommy Lee did drums for this album.  My favorite song is probably “I’m Ready” with the spoken bridge: “I wake up to find it’s another four aspirin morning, and I dive in. I put on the same clothes I wore yesterday. When did society decide we have to change and wash a t-shirt after every individual use? If it’s not dirty, I’m going to wear it.  I take the stairs to the car and there’s fog on the windows. I need caffeine to the blood dream, I take caffeine to the blood stream. I grip the wheel, and all at once I realize: My life has become a boring pop song and everyone is singing along.” Shortly after they wrapped this album, Andrew was diagnosed with leukemia. He made it through, and his latest release, The Glass Passenger, is mainly about recovery, though he claims not from cancer (whatever). There are several tracks I’m not too fond of, but “Drop Out – The So Unknown” and “Miss California” are probably my faves up there with vintage SoCo. (Edited to add: Check out this interview on CNN with Andrew about his charity, Dear Jack).

Official video for Dark Blue from Everything in Transit (Tommy Lee makes a cameo, which I confirmed via web search, which saves you yourself from any Googling involving the terms “tommy lee” and “video”):

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