Monday, November 5, 2007

What the Hell?

From Awkward Middle Phase: Seth Timbs' Home Demos, Volume One

Many songs have proven that Seth Timbs is a romantic at heart, but this song stands out to me as it is the only Fluid Ounces song that takes that romanticism to the level of being—get ready for it—conservative. Normally we find Fluid Ounces songs to feature a moral ambiguity to them, but here is a song taking the moral high road.

This is one of many Fluid Ounces songs in which we are shown scenes from a party for college-aged people. This “army of Katies and Heathers” is wowed by any cute boy who can play a few guitar chords (a little bit wrong) as they,
cling to the wall like Helen Keller,
wondering which lucky boy’s gonna be their
Anne Bancroft
And teach them all that they know.
(in a delicious double reference to both The Miracle Worker and The Graduate, though the second may have been unintentional). The song laments their laissez-faire attitude toward new-found college freedom in a sexually-charged world they may not be ready for. It even takes a step further in mentioning their haste to dismiss church as a time for luring boys (“Sunday go to meet in dresses/ open button for playfulness”). The closing lines best sum up the whole song as a girl asks a frat boy/douche bag,
“Play me a song that makes a girl into a lady
I know the image won’t portray me well
It’s nice to think it’s true
There’s nothing to lose
So what the hell?”

The song was written as Seth Timbs was pulling double duty in both Fluid Ounces and Spike and Mallets, and I always thought this one sounded more like a Spike and Mallets song. I don’t know what factor made it a Fluid Ounces song. It was played during Sam Baker’s second stint with the band and retired when Seth left for Los Angeles. The live video is from the porch of the Red Rose Coffee House on August 24, 2001, and it features one of the most hilarious examples of classic Fluid Ounces stage banter afterward as Seth discusses on of his first trips to Japan.

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