So recently, I was put on to this artist, Mike Doughty.
He had been mentioned to me as the lead singer to the band Soul Coughing. He had a good run with that band but then things sort of went haywire in his life and he took a little while to get himself back together. Fame does that to people. Especially when over indulgence in drugs is involved. In any event, I have become addicted to this guy’s sound. So much so, that I’ve pretty much spent the last 2 weeks jamming out to him and him alone. I was blessed by someone special to me with 7 of his solo albums (sorry Mike, I didn’t pay for them!!!) and I’ve literally just been playing them over and over again on random since I first gave them a listen.
Now, I wasn’t completely out of the loop to this guy’s music before two weeks ago, I just didn’t really remember him. You see, I first heard of him when he was with Soul Coughing. I remember being about 12 years old at the time, riding the city bus an incredibly long distance to get to school in the morning. We were poor and moved around a lot and my school was in the Bronx even though I was living in Washington Heights. My mom just didn’t want to transfer me schools so she left me in the Bronx forcing me to commute about an hour to and from school daily. On these long rides to school, my bestfriend was my $15 Coby walkman. It played the radio and tapes and since I was too poor to buy albums, I mostly listened to the radio. On these long rides to school and back, I would listen to z100 and hot97, but mostly z100. It was the early 90s and alternative music was actually good back then, or at least my untrained 12 year old musical ear thought so. Soul Coughing had that song “Super Bon Bon” and I remember jamming out to it hard. Head bopping, staring out the window of the bus, mis-hearing the lyrics and having no way to look them up because the internet was something I had, up until that point, never used before. (Come to think of it, I was about 15 before I got online ever!) Mike was a young man when he put out those albums with Soul Coughing (he’s 10 years older than me) and his lyrics and voice showed it. I remember thinking he sounded like Cake. I have always been into hip hop being a true NYC kid, and my leanings toward alternative music at the time usually meant the artist had hip hop-ish sound to them. Mike Doughty definitely was influenced by hip hop as his music is riddled with hip hop sounds, despite being labeled as an alternative/indie artist.
Years have gone by since then, 20 to be exact (gosh I feel old). Today, I’m 32 years old and I get put on to his music again and obviously, he has not disappointed me. Mike Doughty has matured vastly since Soul Coughing. His life has brought him down enough roads to allow for him to compile a collection of songs that portray his deepest emotions. He has no problem channeling inspiration from his experiences. Song after song after song of his is awesome! I can’t pick a favorite because as soon as one “favorite” song ends and the next begins, I can honestly call it my favorite too. It’s impossible for me to pick a best! Absolutely impossible!
He covered Mary J. Blige’s, “Real Love” and blew her version straight out of the water. Now, I love me some Mary J. Blige, and I swear since 1994 that song was one of my favorites. Her song was one of those songs I’d find myself singing in the shower because I knew all the lyrics to it and the acoustics in the bathroom are great; I swore I sounded awesome!!! (I’m a terrible singer and the shower is the only place I hold concerts! Tickets are free, get them while they’re hot! haha!)
His song “I Just Want The Girl In The Blue Dress To Keep On Dancing” makes me want to buy a million blue dresses! I own none!!!
His song “Wednesday” is amazing too, I especially love his white boy accent singing “don’t lean on the door” in spanish.
I love “Unsingable Name” as I can identify. There have been people who captured my heart in such a way throughout my years that the mere mention of their name slaughtered me.
I like to think of myself as a “Tremendous Brunette” (brushes dirt of my shoulders- yeah I’m that dope).
His song “Ossining” makes me want to pay that town a visit. I’ve never been up there despite being a New Yorker because I’ve never had a need to and I bet it’s a town like any other town but it means something to him and I’d like to go breath the air there and see if I can’t catch that feeling he had when he wrote that song.
I could go down my entire playlist of his songs one by one and have something good to say about each song. I do not have a least favorite. I can not pick one song of his that I don’t like! No- correction, that I don’t love because I love them all!
So, me being the curious cat that I am, had to run countless google searches on him so that I could learn more about him. Come to find out, he has a WordPress account, Immuatable/Inscrutable, from which he posts happenings in his life and music! JACKPOT! He even left an email address on there for people like me to drop him notes. Best believe I wrote him an email telling him how much I adore his music. He has yet to write back and even if he doesn’t, I really just hope he reads my note. I’m sure he receives tons of fan mail from die hard fans of his daily so if he even just reads it, it is enough for me.
I had to write him. I felt compelled to do so once I found that address. I just had to let him know how his music affected me. I had to let him know how thoroughly blessed I feel to have access to his sound, lyrics, and heart because that’s what musicians are really doing! They are giving us all a little piece of their heart when they produce music for us to enjoy. (I can’t say that for all “artists”, only the REAL ones like him.)
So my sweet heart, happy and impressed by my reaction to Mike Doughty has gone out of his way to find us a show to go to. This month, on the 24th, I will be among the lucky sons of bitches who will be watching him do his thing at the City Winery. It’s a pretty dope place from the pics I saw online. It will be a somewhat intimate show which are always the best kinds of shows, in my humble opinion. My anticipation is at an all time high! I’m so excited. I’ve already planned my outfit for the night all the way down to my underpants!!! That’s how excited I am to go see him perform. Live and unplugged!!! I love acoustic music!
So yeah man, I’m pretty excited! Excited enough to write this post. If you’re unfamiliar with Mike Doughty, become familiar. It’s not hard! Just google him. You will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy the links I posted below.
Rolling, Soul Coughing
Circles, Soul Coughing
I Miss The Girl, Soul Coughing
Looking At The World From The Bottom of a Well, Mike Doughty
Fort Hood (Live), Mike Doughty
(I even put one of my nephew’s friends, Avery, who is 17 years old onto his music only to receive text messages from him begging me to make him copies of his cds today! Sorry Mike, I’m bootlegging you but it’s for a good cause, the advancement of your music to new young ears. Who wouldn’t want new fans who weren’t even born when you started making music? You can’t get mad at that, can you?? XOXO)