So excited about my new album Prepare To Be Scared. Despite it’s title, there’s nothing to be afraid of. ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’, I crib from FDR on my song I Frighten Myself from the album.
Recorded by the estimable Larry Alexander in his studio in Valley Cottage, NY, it reflects a lot of what you’ve come to expect from a danna banana album- solid songwriting, great musicianship (thanks Joel Newton/Peter Moffitt/Ethan Linden (Cohen)/Takashi Otsuka/Bill Ruyle and everyone else!), danceable tunes, but also some weird, unexpected twists and turns you’d never hear anywhere else. Last House On The Left and Evil Awful Cheez Monkeez fit that category labelled ‘uncategorizable’– which is probably why they’re my favorite songs. Where did they come from? Your guess is as good as mine. Well, maybe not quite as good. I remember when I got at least the germ of the idea for Evil Awful Cheez Monkeez. My son’s best friend Jonathan lived across the street, and he was in our kitchen eating cheese. And eating and eating and eating it. I’d just been to the doctor, my cholesterol was high. I couldn’t eat cheese. He was focussed, deliberate, like a dog. I’d heard that dogs don’t have a switch to turn off hunger, that if there’s food around a dog will just eat and eat and eat until his stomach bursts. I imagined Jonathan keeling over in my kitchen from an overdose of Polly-O string cheese. Nine years old, with the sclerotic build-up in his arteries of a 45-year-old. And it would be all my fault.
I finally said ‘Hey Jonathan, that’s a lot of cheese’, and he shrugged and looked sidelong at my son and said ‘I guess I’m just a cheese monkey.’ And started laughing. And my son laughed, and I laughed, and we all laughed for…quite a while. And I tucked it away in my memory bank.
Last House on the Left? Well, that’s a tale that will have to wait for another time. You can wait, can’t you?….