The Joup Friday Album: Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes


violentfemmes-largeThe year is finally over. We made it. I can’t say the same for a good chunk of our heroes, but we’re here, and we must sort out a world without Princes, Princesses, and a thin, white Duke. Wonka is dead, and one of the Oompa Loompas are taking charge.

We’ve said goodbye to icons, begrudgingly acknowledged the elephant in the room, and watched countless instances of human suffering unfold around the world.  That doesn’t even consider the personal struggles any of us have faced. For my partner and myself, it has been a doozy.

That’s not what New Year’s is about. New Year’s is about positive reflection and fresh starts. It’s about celebration. Although not my favorite holiday to celebrate, I have a big reason to bust out the confetti and air horns this year.

Ten years ago, on December 31, 2006, I met the love of my life.

The Last House on the Left was a party house. It was a miniaturized version of the house in Fight Club. It creaked and rotted. Possums lived in the pantry. More than half of my friends probably lived there at some point, and they did New Year’s, and they did it big. This was my first holiday season out of my first real “adult” long term relationship.  I agreed to be a friend’s date for New Year’s Eve… “as friends.”

About ten minutes into our arrival, I met Chris. A couple hours later, we shared at awkward peck at midnight. His friends left. We had our first dance together, “Kiss Off” by Violent Femmes. He bit my shoulder. My date stewed, then drove me home. I chalked it up to a fun night and moved on. I wasn’t looking for anything serious.

Chris ended up walking home, over two hours and nine miles, all because he wanted to stay and talk to me. How could I not accept a date with the guy? The rest, my friends, is history.

Thanks to The Last House on the Left and Chris, Violent Femmes’ self-titled album will always scream New Year’s to me. It’s warm and inviting and begs you to dance. Four of the twelve album tracks (“Gone Daddy Gone,” “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” and “Add it Up”) on Violent Femmes are part of every default party playlist I’ve ever made. There’s a reason that Violent Femmes pretty much play this album and only this album in concert these days. It’s nearly perfect.

Much like this year, Violent Femmes is erratic, aggressive, and loud, with a few somber moments spliced in.

All fun aside, the challenges this year has posed have not come without some sort of personal benefit. In a freshly empowered political and social climate, I have developed the courage and confidence to speak up in the face of those that will cause harm. Intimidation is no longer a luxury can be afforded.  I’ve gone from someone willing to sit on the sidelines to someone that needs to speak up and react. For that, I’m proud. Personal strife has brought my partner and me closer together and more in tune than I even imagined possible. For that, I’m even prouder. It’s time to celebrate. Have a safe and happy New Year, everyone.

Take it, Dan.

One Response to The Joup Friday Album: Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
  1. Shawn C Baker

    Shawn C Baker Reply

    “Chris ended up walking home, over two hours and nine mile”.
    That’s amazing, and does not surprise me at all knowing him.
    You guys are awesome. Great pick, putting it on now.

    Happy New Years!

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