It’s August (Wake Me When It’s October)

August 4, 2009

Of course, it’s been August for several days now, but I’ve been in denial. August might be my least favorite month of the year.

(February is in the conversation, but, at least it’s a short month)

I have no doubt that my dislike of August is deep-seeded and is rooted, like most everything, in childhood when it was the month that summer ended and another year of educational incarceration began.

It was also an August twenty-five years ago when I was hired for my first job. I had performed tasks – mowing a lawn, scorekeeping for a women’s softball league, etc. – for money, but McDonald’s was the initial venture into the land of real employment.

I found the experience lacking.

(actually, it wasn’t a bad gig as I worked with several friends and we did all that we could to flout authority at every turn)

Years (and several jobs) later, my friend Eric and I spent the better portion of a work shift declaring to anyone who would listen that we were not recognizing August. Instead, we would continue to add days to July until September hit.

We could have renamed the month Penelope and it would have been irrelevant as we were working in a large record store with a staff of (mostly) twenty-something slackers. To be honest, what day of the week it was hardly even mattered so long as we made it in for our scheduled shifts within a forty-eight hour window.

So, I’m going to suck it up and just deal with writing August on my checks for the next few weeks. It will soon enough be September…another month which I find rather uninspiring.

Bebel Gilberto – August Day Song
from Tanto Tempo

The daughter of “The Father Of Bossa Nova,” I heard Bebel’s debut playing in a used CD store and snagged it. I think I listened to it a couple times and promptly moved on to something else.

(I need to revisit it)

I know as much about bossa nova as I do about basket weaving or Bulgarian cooking, but August Day Song is a delightful little number. It’s mellow but with enough pep to keep you from forgetting it’s playing.

Murray Attaway – August Rain
from In Thrall

I know nothing about Murray Attaway except that he was a member of Guadalcanal Diary (he was lead singer and guitarist). I remember hearing Guadalcanal Diary a few times on 97X back in the late ‘80s, but I don’t really recall their sound.

Apparently In Thrall was his one and only solo album after the band split. That’s too bad as I do remember liking the album when I got a promo (I haven’t listened to it in a decade or more now).

August Rain is a smoldering, slightly trippy song. I think Murray has more issues with August than I do.

Peter Himmelman – 5th Of August
from Skin

Singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman put out a number of albums on major labels in the ‘90s and Skin was one of the more rocking ones in the bunch. He also happens to be the son-in-law of Bob Dylan (you know, Mr. Zimmerman).

I saw him in a small club during those and, afterwards, some friends and I hung out with him for a bit. He referred to Dylan a couple times, with seeming affection, as “the old man.”

Can you imagine spending Thanksgiving with Bob carving the bird?

Robyn Hitchcock – August Hair
from You & Oblivion

Speaking of Bob Dylan (see above), there was often a strong influence of John Lennon, Syd Barrett, and Dylan in the music of Robyn Hitchcock. It’s there in the dreamy August Hair.

The district manager for the record store where Eric and I temporarily banished August from the calendar told us once about an in-store appearance he had hosted for Hitchcock. He claimed that Hitchcock had drawn comments and cartoons on a bunch of photos hanging in his office.

OK, I don’t advocate defacing someone else’s property, but I hope our district manager’s tale (told with righteous indignation) was true. Robyn wrote classics such as My Wife And My Dead Wife, One Long Pair Of Eyes, If You Were A Priest, and Madonna Of The Wasps.

Our district manager was a pompous, mean-spirited jackass.

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