I think everyone has an album that shapes their 20s. For me, it’s Jen Buxton’s “Don’t Change Your Plans”. It was my quarter life crisis album (I say was like I’m done with that now), a break up album, a sense of belonging album, and an album that really reminded me of the power of song writing. This album knows me better then any person probably ever will, and with our collaboration with Thursday Night Live fast approaching, I thought I’d take the time to introduce you to a few of my favourite Jen Buxton tracks.
You and I Are Past Our Dancing Days
On stage, Jen is an extremely candid performer. Usually with a glass of red wine in hand, she is unapologetic with her banter and plays beautiful, heartbreaking, raw, honest music. I’ve heard Jen introduce this track as “her one happy song”. It’s about finding your great love, believing that we all have one, connections to very specific people, and believing in going your own way. “You know me, I don’t think much of Juliet”.
Every time I sit and listen to this, I end up feeling the weight of the world curl itself around my heart, and all I want to do is be held for about four minutes. A love lost, friends to lovers and lovers to friends, “playing house in a rented kitchen”. It’ll break your heart, but there’s something wonderful about that sense of sadness.
It says no Homers (We’re Allowed To Have One)
This song was a real catalyst for me in regard to realising the specific inequalities faced by lots of women in the music industry. if you go back and take the time to do some digging, particularly focusing on the Poison City Weekender lineup of 2012. The female artists on the bill were few and far between to say the least. It’s basically about not taking any sort of bullshit lying down,
“Hearing if you can;t take a joke then what’d you come here for, I’m not standing in the back row anymore”.
(Disclaimer: I really did wake up in my 20’s with my politics in tatters - which is probably why I chose to write.)
Don’t Change Your Plans
“When I say I don’t believe in love these days, well the part I never mention is that I’d kill to still have faith. It’s hard to find the one, when you’re always on the run, so I just settle for the ones that got away”. This line in particular really hit me the hardest, especially when I was going through a breakup. But it really kind of highlighted this wonderful sense of stoicism that you can carry with you when you’re trying to rebuild after such an incident. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredibly sad song, but there’s a strength and power to putting all of the pieces back together.
“If It Makes You Happy” (Sheryl Crow Cover)
Controversial yes but… I fist saw Jen perform this song right after Camp Cope played at the Lass. I’d heard the song before, but I had never really paid too much attention to exactly what it was saying. I might be wrong, but I really see it as a chance to pay homage to the way we pursue a creative career. Jen adds a touch of edgy bitterness to the words as well, which makes it oh so much more relatable.
You can catch Jen and her band aka Jen Buxton and the Slaughterhouse Five (for all you literary buffs out there), along with King Single and Antonia and the Lazy Susans, THIS Thursday at the Cambridge Hotel. It is sure to be a BLAST!