[identity profile] amethysting.livejournal.com

I'm 28
Toni Basil
Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found (Disc 4)
2005 (1966)

I'm 29.

The first time I heard this song, sometime after turning 28, I thought it was hilarious.
But, I loved it.

I wanted this boxed set so badly when it came out in 2005.  I remember it being advertised in the back pages of Rolling Stone.  The four discs came packaged in a black and white striped hatbox and all original recordings had been remastered.  It was sort of really expensive--and there were so many new CDs coming out every Tuesday that I couldn't bring myself to blow a ton of money on this set.  Fast-forward to a Monday night Media class when, instead of watching short films on the NFB website, you taught me all about the music-sharing communities on LJ.  That is seriously the most useful thing I learned in that class.  Well, that and the many differences between a scientist and a prostitute.  

When I saw Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found posted, I squealed with excitement; finally, I would count it as part of my collection.  I didn't listen to it with much focus...I loaded a few of the discs onto my iPod and liked when these short 60s flashbacks occasionally popped up on shuffle.  So, it was only after more than a year of cycling songs from the boxed set on and off of my iPod that I heard "I'm 28".

I like to think that this song is a parody of the doomed spinster, and the lengths women go to to be "attractive" in order to secure themselves a man (How to Shop for a Husband comes to mind).  This girl is doing everything the magazines tell her to do (i.e. "lacquers, lotions, sprays and lotions [...] lipstick, pancake, shadow for the eyes, it's all been advertised, but it's getting me nowhere") and even the things they tell her NOT to do (i.e. being the opposite of "respectable, saintly, sweet").  Yet, despite her best endeavors, singledom--and the positively anxiety-inducing threat of "finish[ing] up alone in a rocking chair"--persist.

You're probably wondering, how could Stephanie even like this song?  Sure, the lyrics pretty much go against everything I believe in.  But there's something darn catchy about it.  For a throwaway 60s pop song, I think it's pretty well-written--I mean, the rhymes don't make me nauseous or anything.  I love that steady smash of the cymbals...it makes me think of a a heavy-footed march forward or soap bubbles just blown from a plastic wand bursting over and over again.  I suppose it's stuck with me because, deep down, I sense that there is a baseline of truth hidden in there somewhere.  That aging in your twenties comes with this sense of pressure; the feeling that time rolling forward quite speedily and you find yourself asking yourself the same questions over and over again.   

"Hey, I'm 28, it's getting lame
What have I got to do?
My time is going
My fears are growing
My chances now are few."

I don't know, I think what I get from this song is that that search for something is important, whatever that something may be (i.e. it does not necessarily have to be a "firm fella" in "suede and leather" hahaha). BUT, ultimately, what I take away from this song is that to fixate and "should" yourself is what really gets you nowhere.


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March 2014

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