Ramona & The Swimsuits – Make a Splash

Yo, I have to tell y’all about this woman at work today. For those unaware, when I am not procrastinating about being a blogger, I am a manager for a prominent retailer. It has been a little hellish lately, and since no one cares about stories from corporate retail, I will not go into details here. In the last week, I have been struggling to be successful at a certain task and have dealt with some just horrible people because of it. One guy essentially called me an identity thief because I wanted his email. Not my company, me personally. But today man, today was just a stand up comedian’s dream.

A fat woman came in with her fat friends and fat kids and probably fat mom. At the very least it was a fat old woman who got sucked into the fat family’s gravitational pull. Or maybe they were just stuck together by a thin film of caramel and couldn’t get unattached. Now, I’m not one to pick on someone just because they have weight issues. Some of my closest friends are fat. I’m not using that as an excuse, I’m just saying that I normally only pick on them for it, not complete strangers. Hell, I ain’t exactly svelte, myself. I’m a long ways removed from being a 170 hockey player. Anywho, she was fat, but that’s not the point of the story. She was fat and she screamed at her kids and she poured this sort of yellowy discharge that was likely sweat, but it didn’t appear to be the right color. Plus, it wasn’t all that warm today. Heck, for all I know it might have been Pam. She may have had to spray herself with it just to get out of her mini-van. Like jaws of life in a can. Did I mention she was fat? I also mentioned that wasn’t the point, so I will move on, but yeah, fat. She was also a horrible person. She stomped around verbally abusing people at a Spinal Tap 11 level. She also thought it was prudent to spank her probably near teen children for daring to ask for something and she was just being an overall horrible person.

So anyways, at one point after she was done screaming at her children and striking them in public like they were a malfunctioning appliance, something in my head just clicked. For every problem in my life that has weighed me down (dwindling bank account and an unfortunate, go nowhere career being the big two) and ruined my time on this here planet, things could be worse. I mean, I have a good family, an awesome kid, two dumb cats almost 400 Facebook friends, many of whom I have actually met in public and everything. I could just be a miserable fat person beating children in public and dripping of non-stick cooking spray. And I ain’t. So, now I’m in a better mood.

I got home and decided I was just going to pick a fun album and listen to it and write about it, and this is what I picked. Ramona and the Swimsuits. I like this album, but not in a musicianship way. I don’t listen to this the same way I do, say, Pet Sounds. Now, I know these folks are all talented musicians. Drummer Kate Kennedy is one of my favorite songwriters in the world. Derek Lambert is super talented and in a bunch of awesome bands, including his own, Derek Lambert and the Prairie Fires. Also, they are the Lys, of Leslie and the Lys fame. So, the pedigree is there.

But what I like most about them is that it is clearly just four friends having fun singing silly songs about markers, and drawings of cats and baby juggling and cable television. It is hard to not just smile at the lyrics and the low-fi warble of it all. I just know that they had a blast making the record while eating spaghetti at Leslie Hall’s house.

I think the thing I like most about this album is that it exists. I feel like the whole thing was maybe even just written and recorded completely on the fly, and that makes me happy. But it still really, kind of good. I mean, “Karen’s Dad” is easily my favorite song ever about a father who tapes over a talent show for an episode of Cops because he works too hard and just wants to watch Cops and feels bad about it. But the song is right, it is kind of funny. And, I straight up adore “Come On Man”.

While they feel like something a group of friends did one night while hanging out, they are a real band and everything. In fact, tonight they open for the great David Liebe Hart, best known for his work on Tim and Eric. Vaudeville Mews, tonight at 7pm, so you don’t have a lot of time. So, go, smile and at the very least remember that things could always be worse. A lot worse.

Click the banner image to listen to the album or go here for more info on tonight’s show.

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