From Big Notebook for Easy Piano, Soaking in the Center of the Universe, Vol. 2, and Remember Cassettes, Vol. 1
Cigarettes. Drugs. Caffeine. I think there are more references to drugs in this one song than the entire rest of the canon combined. Everywhere else, the references are kind of in the background, but here the speaker relishes in all of them as only a student (or former student) at a party school in a college town could.
And what’s more, this song is fun, like more-fun-than-“Have Fun” fun. We get a quick piano intro, and then the bass exclaims, “Whoopee!” as we dive in for a three-and-a-half-minute romp that includes some of my favorite vocal harmonies to be heard on Big Notebook. In between references to various vices, we get a glimpse of a common relationship trap to plague kids in high school and college: the relationship fueled by substance abuse. From chorus to chorus, the speaker goes between wanting company and not wanting the company of his girlfriend, as if the amount of alcohol or weed or mixture thereof determines his tolerance of the girl and his willingness to pursue the relationship.
The video is from the porch of the Red Rose Coffee Shop from August 24, 2001. After the song is finished, there’s a fine example of how to conduct a sound check at a venue where you have to bring your own PA system.