Kurt Wagner thoughtfully massages his cheek with his tongue and launches into another tight, cryptic slice of something. 'Alternative country' doesn't seem to fit, certainly - there may be grief and melodrama and pedal steel in Lambchop's music but there's also a lustrous southern soul brass section and that beautiful, arch singing. Most of the time Kurt sounds pretty bruised, but the reasons why disappear down trenches between the lines, and you're left with people eating all the sausages and separating wood from screws and interfering with sprinklers: in Lambchopland these tiny actions bear impossible, gnomic weight.
So here's my take on what's happening in "Your Sucking Funny Day", the bowdlerised single version of a differently and predictably-titled track from Thriller and also Lambchop's most flat-out commercial tune, opening with a war whoop and a burst of horn power and rattling along like it actually meant to sell something. What I get out of it is that mixed sense of envy and contempt the terminally outsiderish bear for the bought-in, in this case possibly the suburban bought-in. So sunshine bores the daylight out of Kurt, sure, but the music's too gung-ho to suggest he means it one hundred percent. Or maybe that's not it at all: I've used "Your Sucking Funny Day" to articulate a hundred and one goofy emotions to myself, infatuation, joy, spite and more, but after all that the one and only thing I know for sure about the song is quite how hard that horn riff swings.
I don't much enjoy this song any more, maybe because I can only find the sweary version. Its uptightness still comes through but I can't relate to it so easily.
I also still don't know what it's 'about' - in the review I'm projecting some of my own concerns about outsiderishness and bought-in-ness: when I heard it I was living with my girlfriend for the first time, not particularly successfully, more to do with neither of us being either well-off or well at the time than any lonesome hobo wanderlust tendencies on my part. At the same time I really liked the idea of 'homemaking' despite being quite bad at it. The thoughts in this article led to some longer thoughts on polite suburban pop, Frazier Chorus, the Sundays and so on, which turned into an FT essay.
I don't like the lame way the review ends but I do like the first paragraph.