Everyone bums out from time to time and I'm no different. I know that after emerging from a few crazy days, I tend to find my head more than just a bit jumbled and barricading myself away from everyone and keeping only the company of records is the best way for me to clear my mind.
It probably goes without saying that I was going through just that exact situation today, and when I was having trouble settling on an LP to either lift my spirits or console my sad-sack heart, I was just finding myself getting even more bummed. That's when I remembered a song I heard once, about a year ago, while sitting in the parking lot of a Dunkin' Donuts, with a fella who knows just about as much about obscure folk music as I do. We were exchanging songs with each other (Seminal favorites Okkervil River struck a proverbial chord with him and I was nothing short of pleased) when he asked if I'd ever heard of a gentleman called Adam Balbo. I hadn't. But naturally, that changed.
The Balbo track that was played for me was called "The Girl At My Pity Party" and I was reminded of it because, well, I was sort of having a pity party of my own today. I couldn't remember Balbo's name but a quick googling helped me track down the singer of the tune, the only lyrics to which I remembered were "No one showed up at my pity party; Except for you. And you even brought cake." If that's not charming, I don't know what is.
"The Girl At My Pity Party", which barely clocks in at a minute, tells the tale of two lovely screw ups who you can't help but root for immediately. The lyrics aren't particularly poetic but they're honest, in the vain of Kimya Dawson or Paul Baribeau, with a slight dash of Andrew Jackson Jihad's spunk that keeps things from ever closing in on bland.
I'd forgotten about Balbo until today, when I needed someone to be the audible cake at my own private pity party but upon jogging my memory, I realized that "The Girl At My Pity Party" was too much a gem for me forget about Balbo again so I procured myself a copy of his LP Fix. The album clocks in at a lengthy 18 tracks but the fact that only three of them extend to pass the two minute mark makes Fix an easy and fantastic listen, an album anchored on realistic storytelling, easy going guitar, and the twangy voice of Balbo that would have fit right in with the forefather's of country at the turn of, you know, the last century.
The best part about Fix, however? The whole thing's up on Balbo's Last.fm for free. So really, there's no excuse to not check the d.i.y. folk punk out for yourself.