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June 26, 2007

Basement Apartment

Oooh, neat. I found the video for Sarah Harmer's song "Basement Apartment":

I love this song, because I think it pretty much nails that place in time when you're in your early 20s, and you have that college degree but no money because you're killing time as a barista or comic book store staff member or a musician before you go to grad school or that entry-level gig (or, let's be honest, even after those), so you pile together with your friends in really lousy apartments and live an existence that's about two grades too shitty to be called "bohemian," and eventually you begin to wonder if life actually gets any better than this. Not exactly a great space to be in, mentally, but once you're out of it it's nice to look back on it, just like it's nice to think back on that car accident you just barely missed having.

Anyway, excellent song. And it's off an equally excellent album, You Were Here, which I recommend to everyone. And just for the hell of it, here's Sarah Harmer's Web site, because the rest of the stuff she does is pretty damn good too.

Posted by john at June 26, 2007 10:08 AM

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Dan Bailey | June 26, 2007 10:50 AM

Is it disgusting that I kinda miss the days of two grades too shitty to be called "bohemian"?

Because sometimes, those days seem so much more simple.

OTOH, me likey food that's not ramen. Me also likey paying bills.

Why do I miss those days again?

Sam | June 26, 2007 10:57 AM

hmmm, can't relate I never lived in a crappy apartment after college. I got a good job and live in midtown manhattan ever since. But I did live in a crappy apartment when I was growing up. Boy do I miss the Ghetto!

nisleib | June 26, 2007 11:32 AM

Boy that is my early 20s in a nutshell! Seriously! We nicknamed our "apartment" the Nutshell because it was a leaky, egg sized apartment filled with nuts!

Ah, the good old days. It was kind of like an itchy rash shaped like Farah Fawcett; uncomfortably attractive. It left a scar on me that, when itched, brings back memories of bed bugs and late nights filled with… I will go no further, this is a family blog after all.

Pablo Defendini | June 26, 2007 11:36 AM

You mean it gets better??? Oh, thank the stars. . . . (soon, I hope)

Chris S. | June 26, 2007 11:36 AM

I've always liked the video (and not just because I work not far from where they shot it).

But I'm with Sam: I always lucked into really great places to live. The homes of professors on sabbatical, or executives travelling for a year or two. My sister, who found apartments in condemned buildings in two separate cities, was always envious.

Carol Elaine | June 26, 2007 11:44 AM

Love. Sarah. Harmer.

Love this song, love this album, love her.

A good friend and I saw her perform at the Knitting Factory in LA a couple of years ago. She's an excellent live performer.

Jim Wright | June 26, 2007 11:46 AM

...me likey food that's not ramen.
Amen. I haven't been able to even look at a cup-O-noodles in years, though the smell of one boiling over in the microwave makes me nostalgic.

Me also likey paying bills.
I like being able to pay the bills - but I don't likey paying them.

Scalzi, normally my taste in music and yours are so completely divergent that I heroically resist the urge to make disparaging remarks about your cognitive abilities and just ignore your music posts altogether, I'm nothing if not a team player. But Sarah Harmer? Awesome. I was wondering what I was going to listen to today, guess I'll load the whole You were here and I'm a Mountain albums on the shop media server. Thanks for the suggestion.

Miscellaneous Steve | June 26, 2007 12:29 PM

I only discovered Sarah Harmer last year when she opened for (and later came on stage to sing with) Bruce Cockburn. Her performance was extremely good and made instant fans of me and my wife.

Also: by the time I finished college I was a Top Ramen Master Chef. My specialty: Cajun Cream of Ramen Soup.

Bookninja | June 26, 2007 12:48 PM

In Chicago they call these fetid pits "Garden" apartments. Which at least indicates that a green living thing can be seen outside of your window. This is opposed to the green, slimy substance typically living inside these apartments.

Janiece | June 26, 2007 01:31 PM

I lived in a fetid pit for several years before I could afford to move out. I miss being able to clean my entire place in an hour, but I certainly don't miss the top-ramen-frozen-pizza diet.

Tim of Angle | June 26, 2007 02:45 PM

When I was in my early 20s I was getting shot at, and everywhere I stepped it *squished*, and college was where the lucky people went. And we had no one of deep and artistic soul to actualize our angst, and give a true voice to the agonies of uninterrupted sleep and meals that could be eaten without adding water first. I feel like such a slacker.

John Scalzi | June 26, 2007 02:55 PM

Yeah, Tim! What were you thinking?

ordinarygirl | June 26, 2007 03:42 PM

A friend of mine sent me a CD mix with "Coffee Stain" on it a few years ago and I fell in love with the song. I've been meaning to pick up one of her CDs. This looks like a good one.

Tim of Angle | June 26, 2007 03:54 PM

Mostly, John, I was thinking that I'd rather be in Philadelphia....

tim in clearwater | June 26, 2007 05:12 PM

I discovered Sarah Harmer on that stretch of State Route 73 between I-71 and I-75. You might have driven it once or twice. It has soft, rolling hills, and it's there (en route to visit a GF in Oxford) that I put in the CD she had given me.. and it was the perfect environment for her music.

Thanks for sharing the video!

clvrmnky | June 26, 2007 09:30 PM

Great voice, great guitar. She sure is one of Canada's favourite daughters right now (and rightly so).

I was totally crushing on her voice for awhile.

For people into a more folksy, bluegrass vibe, I recommend The Be Good Tanyas. Less sweet, but poignant, moody songs.

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