Monday, June 29, 2020

Holly Humberstone | Lefsetz Letter

Overkill Spotify
Overkill YouTube

A couple more tequilas
And I’ll tell you how I’m feeling

Actually, I no longer drink. It has to do with being stopped for drunk driving on the night John Lennon was assassinated. Getting a suspended sentence and not being able to drive within eight hours of having a drink. And a new girlfriend biting me much too violently and me being unable to leave her house and drive home, afraid to risk getting stopped and losing my license for two years, before the days of Uber, when it was unfathomable in Los Angeles.

But I’d love to tell you how I’m feeling.

Then again, I’m a big believer in Jackson Browne’s “The Late Show”:

Maybe people only ask you how you’re doing
‘Cause that’s easier than letting on how little they could care

I want to talk, but they don’t want to listen. So I stay quiet, so I internalize, kind of like Tori Amos’s “Silent All These Years.” Not that I’m gonna spill my guts right now. Do that online and get ready for the blowback. People don’t know you, but they hate you anyway, and need to let you know it.

This music thing is funny. They’ve been making it for an eternity, and everybody purveying it says it’s the same, that you’re too old if you don’t get it, it’s just as good…

But it’s not.

Or maybe it’s the feeling I’m looking for.

Music can engender many responses, but the one that resonates most for me is the one wherein I’m elevated, floating above the surface, in a bubble with just the music and me, it’s set me free, to a space where I can be myself, understood for who I am and happy.

Most of the people making this music are damaged. Not open and understanding, instead they’re off-putting and difficult. I’ve met the household names. But when they speak from their souls, it resonates with mine.

Funny thing about music, if you’re in the wrong mood it’s like nails on a chalkboard, you need to stop it immediately. But if it’s right, you don’t want to turn it off. I’m capable of playing the same track ten or twenty times in a row, literally, I want to bask in the feeling, I don’t want to let it go, I’m anything but a playlist guy, they’re buzzkills.

Don’t wanna kill your evening
Don’t wanna be a buzzkill
If I’m coming on strong

I like to come on strong, I don’t like to hold anything back, no hidden agendas, I want to make my message clear, do you agree with me, that’s what I’m looking for, someone who feels like I do.

Maybe this time I’ll say something
Something a little wild, out loud
Maybe this time I’ll say something
I’ve been feeling for a while, out loud

But I’m not gonna. It’s too tough, I feel it, but I can’t verbalize it, maybe I want to own it, if I reveal it it’ll be cheapened.

I guess I’m different.

I didn’t go to the gig to get drunk and meet people. I went to sit and bask in the sound, connect with the performer one on one.

But that paradigm seems to have evaporated. First and foremost, there are no longer any seats, who said you have to stand to enjoy music, it just takes energy away that I need to create the bubble and drift.

Now doing research, I see that a Vevo video of Holly Humberstone’s “Overkill” has been released. So, there must be a backstory, even though she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, even though she only has three songs on streaming services.

So the truth is I discovered Holly Humberstone from an e-mail I did not want to get. I hate mass e-mails. Personalized, are cool. But too many are self-promotional in some way, there’s an agenda, and that turns me off, what I like most are the ones that reveal truth back.

And you don’t have to say it back
I jus wanna know where your head’s at

I want to know where everybody’s head is at.

So, as I deleted this e-mail with a playlist, debating whether to e-mail the sender to take me off his list, I decided to check it out, because it came from the U.K.

Which is a very different market.

And the first cut on the playlist was Holly Humberstone’s “Overkill.”

I’d like to tell you the remaining twenty-odd tracks were just as good, even worth listening to again, but that would be lying, there was a good change in this one Haim song, “Gasoline,” but when I checked out the rest of the new album it was not as good.

But when I played “Overkill” again, it still reached me.

And then I took a break for lunch, some business, and when I sat back in front of my computer to write about it, “Overkill” sounded awful, I had to stop it. Was it really not that good, or was it me?

It was me.

When I was a teenager, there was no internet, you could be bored, your music was all you had. Now there are so many distractions. And I’m so busy. And I’m not complaining about that, but I must admit I miss the feeling of going deep into something that may not appeal at first, today I just click through.

But right now I’m frustrated. My dermatologist prescribed five days of 20mg of prednisone to address my skin problem. An interim step while we wait for approval of the multi-thousand dollar net to me IVIG which requires five hours five days in a row in a chair. The prednisone worked. The itching went away, the spots mellowed, but prednisone works differently from IVIG, and it doesn’t last as long, will it carry me through until the Rituxan kicks in, obviating the need for said IVIG?

So I think I’m crashing.

I retreated into my lair. I was deciding what to do.

And that’s when I pulled up Holly Humberstone’s “Overkill.”

All three Holly Humberstone tracks are good. Well, “Falling Asleep At The Wheel” is close to “Overkill,” but “Overkill”…

Going up and down the country

“Overkill” is the kind of cut you listen to driving up PCH with the sunroof open and the A/C on. When you feel like the luckiest person in the world, when you feel like your life works, when you’re happy.

And I’ll get e-mail saying it sucks. In more ways than I can even conjure.

But no one likes everything.

But if you’re looking for something that speaks to your head and heart, as well as your hips, that elusive elixir that makes a hit song…

“Overkill” may reach you.

Live on Vevo


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