“Grumpy Old Man” (by Remi Wolf).
Remi Wolf, you delightful youngster, I wish you lived next door to me.
I hope, if you read this post, you will take a listen to her song, and even try a few more by her.
This starts out with a little funk thing going on, bass guitar and maybe some upright bass too? What do I know? It sounds like it. When I hear that, I immediately want to get up and start moving.
Then you get these odd little bells dropping in at the end of a section, like someone’s rung the doorbell, or like the bell before an announcement in a 1960s department store, “Ladies shoes on special this week in our shoe department, floor three.”
“Bo Diddly buy baby a diamond ring, do do do, dodo dodo” wild little flourish there that seems to have nothing to do with the theme of the song lyrics except in the general “don’t take my stuff” vibe at the end.
And the video. Weird, Delightful. Odd. Funny. It looks like she made the video with her cousin Jeffrey and her neighbor Mr. Mackinaw. She definitely thrifted her awkward blue raincoat and her Devo energy dome hat from the 1970s, and she’s wearing a pair of glasses you could have taken off of Rhoda’s face.
I first heard Miss Remi on NPR.
Okay, let’s pause here and thank His Noodly Wonderfulness for NPR. Are you listening to NPR? OMGosh, I could write a whole thing about that. It’s the best, especially if you’re a poor adjunct and you have to commute to hell-and-gone to make a few bucks.
Anywho, I first heard Miss Remi on NPR, as well of a host of other music I just love, and will give a shout-out to Lily Allen, who was also brought to me by NPR. And I don’t think that Lily and Remi are anything alike, but they are both fresh crisp singers with a sense of humor, which I love, since I, myself, me, am also hysterical. I am. Come hang-out and see. And how do I know that both of these ladies are on fleek? Sophie likes them both too, and she doesn’t like anything musically that I like. No jazz, no Amy Winehouse, no Beatles, no Stones, no Split Ends. But, she does love Cake and Weezer… so go figure. Because they’re hysterical too, maybe, like her mom. 😉
I heard this song, by Remi Wolf, when I was driving, and when I got home I immediately started asking my Alexa to play it. Then I looked up the video, and I was hooked, and I started doing her “pull the horn on the big truck” dance around the kitchen. I even kinda want that awkward blue coat.
I’m in my 50s, so, to Remi Wolf, sadly, I’m definitely an old lady, and probably not her desired fan base, but I love this woman. And I love, from what I can see from when I became aware of things that were “cool” in the 70s, to now, how society has really shifted, at least in terms of musicians and people we like on YouTube videos, influencers, whatever, to allow for so much more diversity. Wikipedia says that Wolf is bisexual, Russian, Persian, and Italian, so that’s a little diverse, and she’s not some “perfect doll” looking singer either. She’s funky and fun, and creative with her persona and her look. I just moved back to Los Angeles so that my daughter could go to this relatively new arts charter school, which is in collaboration with the public school in the area, and is awesome, and I see, there, though the principals of the combined schools still wear business formal, that the kids are really free, so free, and so imaginative, and so creative, and so accepting of each other’s weirdness, or lack of weirdness. My daughter gravitates toward funny people, as she would, having been raised by a mom who’s hysterical, but aside from that, she really doesn’t care, and everyone (only about 1/3 of the kids have opted-in to the art part of the school) is cool with each other. Anyone can eat lunch with anyone. My daughter hangs with all girls at the moment, opposite from elementary school when she hung with mostly boys, but some of them speak barely any English, some are of mixed heritage, some are probably not straight, but they may be too young to know, some are fancy dressers, some are punks, my daughter is a hoodies and sweats person currently (which is amusing because the little girl who hung with the boys was 100% dresses and glitter), some of the kids have hair color from the Crayola box, others have perfectly boring hair. If one of them hopped up from the lunch table and started doing a Remi Wolf sort of thing, I believe the rest of them would be delighted, and the more outgoing would join in and the more ingoing would enjoy the show. There is this freedom, with many school-age kids, that I don’t think we had when I was a kid, though I certainly had more than my parents had. My brother was 9 years older than me, and I am 8 years older than my sister, so a pretty big span, and I am going to say the acceptance for weirdness did not progress during that time. I was fairly openly weird t school, and my classmates thought I was fairly weird. It wasn’t a “that’s just her vibe; she’s okay” kinda thing. I’d even venture to say the 90s got more buckled down, and that may have stretched over the aughts too. But now things are loosening up.
And, in my view, Remi Wolf is a perfect example of the feeling I feel out here among the kids my daughter hangs with now. Everything is flowing, and free-to-be-you-and-me in a way Marlo Thomas could never have imagined. I know it’s not like that everywhere; it certainly wasn’t like that in Milton; those parents seemed to want their kids to be happy, as long as they weren’t too happy, and as long as that didn’t involve any tastes or interests different than family had always had. And you gotta love sports. Sports. And it seemed to come with a threat of losing your family if you were not in-step. Out here the kids I’ve met seem to flow, like seaweed in the Sargasso Sea, and their parents are there as home base, but not to make the rules. It’s cool. It reminds me of everything I feel in this song, free flow, but okay to be odd, have silly fears, wear clothing that is an awkward shade of blue and a ridiculous hat, and just go, feel the sun, feel the beat, feel the joy of being who and what you are. And the sports kids hang with the band kids who hang with the no-extra-stuff kids who hang with the autistic kid who flutters from group to group hugging everyone and no one minds or says, “This ain’t your group.”
So, yeah, I could hear this song all day. And, looking up Remi for this piece, I see it may have been used in a macaroni and cheese ad, and why not? Macaroni and cheese is delicious.
Remi Wolf is delicious. Rock-on Woman! I adore you.