MMM 3 — They toked, they joked, they croaked

Every once in a while, I discover a band on my own. That feels good, since it seems like I’ve relied on others to evangelize to me in most cases. And even with the band I’m writing about tonight, I had to ask a ringer to identify them.

I heard them in my car one night in the late 90s, listening to the local college radio station on my way to an improv comedy show. They were playing a funny song about a hapless pothead’s failing attempt to shop, while stoned, for the ingredients of a tuna fish sandwich — “tuna fish and bread, for toast!”

By the time I got to the club, I’d already forgotten the main chorus, but I figured Brian would be able to help. He was my go-to guy for music knowledge, and a good sport about making a guy in his 30s feel comfortable in a club mostly run by college kids. And he came through that night, telling me the name of the song (Too High for the Supermarket) and the band (The Uninvited). I bought their CD the next day.

The Uninvited were an L.A. alt-pop band who were equal parts power guitar, rockabilly, post-punk, mandolin, banjo, and amusing/ironic lyrics. They released several CDs on indie labels, hopped into a van, and toured the nation until they caught the eye of a major label — Atlantic Records.

They released another CD, most of which was updated and/or re-engineered versions of their songs from their indie days, and that’s what fell into my sweaty little hands the next day. I’ve barely put it down since.

The band, meanwhile, parted from Atlantic, released two more CDs on indie, and called it a career. Today, it’s as if they never existed. In fact, there are other bands by the same name, making it even harder to find out anything about them. But their self-titled
Atlantic release is still available, as is their indie follow-up, It’s All Good. I recommend buying them as soon as possible, before they disappear, too. You can’t have my copies, though.

The only reason I no longer listen to them all the time is, I don’t do much improv anymore, and therefore don’t require them as my show warm-up music. I used to play them every week on the way to the club, chuckling at the funny lyrics and trying not to get choked up over the poignant ones.

What God Said has both. It’s also a litmus test of the state of mind of the listener. It’s easy to assume vocalist John Taylor is being intentionally disrespectful when he sings, “I talked to God and God said…nothing special.” Then he explains, “I talked to God and God said… nothing that we shouldn’t already know.” He’s not being disrespectful to God; he’s scolding the rest of us. As for what God said, I don’t want to spoil your fun. You’ll have to find out for yourself:

Lyrics:

I talked to God and God said, “Hey,
I’ve got a lot of things to say.
Write it down this very day,
And spread the word in every way.”

I talked to God and here’s the deal:
He said to floss between each meal,
Drive with both hands on the wheel,
And on the first date, don’t cop a feel.

I talked to God and God said…nothing special.
I talked to God and God said…nothing special.
I talked to God and God said…nothing that we shouldn’t already know,
Shouldn’t already know.

I talked to God and here’s what he said:
“Wear a helmet on your head
When you ride a bike instead,
Or you’ll crash and end up dead.”

I asked God for the Holy Word,
Ageless wisdom never heard.
He just said to feed the birds,
Love your pets, clean up their turds.

I talked to God and God said…nothing special.
I talked to God and God said…nothing special.
I talked to God and God said…nothing that we shouldn’t already know,
Shouldn’t already know.

I talked to God and God said, “John,
I let them kill my only son.
My creation’s so undone
That I can’t help out everyone.

But if you’re looking for advice,
You don’t need to ask me twice.
Start with the basics — just be nice,
And see if that makes things all right.”

I talked to God and God said…nothing special.
I talked to God and God said…nothing special.
I talked to God and God said…nothing that we shouldn’t already know,
Shouldn’t already know.

I talked to God and God said…
I talked to God and God said…

—–

Also-rans:

  • Too High for the Supermarket, The Uninvited
  • Is That Me?, The Uninvited
  • Velcro Heart, The Uninvited
  • Young and Beautiful, The Uninvited
  • Bottle of Thunder, The Uninvited
  • Box of Nails, The Uninvited
  • That’s What You Get, The Uninvited
  • I Shoulda Been an Astronaut, It’s All Good
  • Not So Supermodel, It’s All Good
  • It’s All Good, It’s All Good
  • Leaving Trains, It’s All Good
  • When I Was Superman, It’s All Good

—–

Time to spin….

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About Dan Bain

Dan is an award-winning humorist, features writer, emcee and entertainer from Raleigh, NC. His collection of humor essays, A Nay for Effort, has earned him fans from one end of his couch to the other. Why not join them and buy one? (You won't have to sit on his couch.) Dan will donate 10 percent of the book's proceeds to education. You can check it out at www.danbain.net; thanks!
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