Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy
Acquired: Love Garden Shotgun Room, Used, 2008
Warren Zevon perpetually sounds like an old man, and it works to his advantage. I knew this was his, you know, “Classic” record and for $1, I think it's pretty much a steal. This is a fantastic record and triggers the sensors in my brain that have a firm fondness for Harry Nilsson. AND it's got “Werewolves of London” on it, which has always been a jam for me since I was a kid. I listened to Zevon's final record (before his death in 2003), The Wind, at work the other day and while I didn't like it much on an aesthetic level, I thought it was pretty awesome. There's something about looking death in the face and saying “well, bring it on” that makes that record really powerful. And getting all your famous friends to pitch in, it's almost like a tribute to yourself before you're actually dead. A way to go out on top, sort of. But Excitable Boy, fuck this is a good record. I mean, the title track pulls of a sax solo and the only other person that pulls off sax solos (for me, at least) is Springsteen. “Accidentally Like a Martyr” is one of the best songs I'd never heard until just now, when I listened to this record. It's like the song you hear in a movie during some huge, transformative moment and you're like “Who the hell is this?” It captures heartbreak without being melodramatic. There's something so matter of fact about it that captures the feeling perfectly. That “what the hell do I do now” feeling after someone's gone. Honestly, this song feels like a touchstone for Jason Molina, and come to think of it, I remember him doing a cover of “Werewolves of London” at one point, so that makes sense. But yeah, this is like classic rock for nerds without muscles and trans ams, and that is helping me love the shit out of this record. And closing with the righteous jam “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” well, you can't really go wrong.