Thought You Saw A Body On The Beach

Some notes about this past weekend: I worked! I felt good. Had birthday fancy dinner and smoked too many cigarettes and got to see some of my friends. Did some cleaning. Feel active, pretty, free. I had a really great date, I feel romantic. I'm working on a new show. I was ashamed to say anything about it because I didn't want people to make fun of me. But now I can tell you that I am working on a show about working in a government-run housing facility for at-risk homeless queer youth, ages 0-2 years.

(I'm onto something).

I love Tanya Donnelly. Belly is tremendously important to me. Let's be clear, though: it is a completely commercial kind of music. It tries to make the jangly guitars of 1980s 4AD records palatable in a Top-40 way. Belly's first record sort of references grunge music, but not really. I mean, they wear flannel and torn bluejeans, but it's so safe. That's Gail Greenwood playing bass. She quit when L7 called, and who could blame her? The lyrics are kind of creepy, in a totally nonthreatening, vague and dreamy sort of way. Violent imagery, but harmless. I think there are multiple times on Star when Donnelly refers to herself as a squirrel. The title track's only lyrics are "Sweet sweet sweet wind, Burn off this skin. I can never win with this body I live in." Which at 14 summed my life up. Come on, "Feed the Tree"? What the fuck is that? I think it is sort of about dying, but couched in these insane acid flashback diary metaphors. Whatever. What I'm saying is that there's this kind of kernel of weirdness underneath all of the admittedly tight and dated 90s pop gloss.

I always sort of forget that Tanya Donnelly started Throwing Muses. Maybe it's because she gets to sing lead on like five songs over the course of her time with them.

And then: she also started the Breeders. It's telling that Tanya thought of the Breeders as a side project, and wanted to make a mainstream disco dance record.


This is to say that when I listen to Tanya Donnelly I project the hopelessness and mania of her songwriting partners onto whatever I'm listening to.

Bodhisattva Courtney Love, speaking about her career: "I don't think if I had been Tanya Donnelly and put out
Live Through This anybody would've cared." I mean, I would've. Listening this morning to the single from her first solo album, Lovesongs for Underdogs.

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