And the award goes to…

  Both my daughters accompanied me once – just once – to Take Your Child to Work Day. It turns out watching their father go through his day in middle management is way less exciting that school. Another Take a Child to Work Day passed on Thursday without my kids noticing. And anyways, they would be more excited to learn that April 25th was also National Zucchini Bread Day, an homage to an underrated baked good. It was also National Hug a Plumber Day because, well, plumbers need hugs too?  I couldn’t find any research that suggests plumbers receive fewer hugs than people in other occupations.

            Silly? Maybe. Do we need to celebrate National Dissertation Day on Friday April 26th? No one has ever talked to me about his or her dissertation with excitement and fondness. My own daughter, however, has described in detail how much she enjoyed a pretzel, so National Pretzel Day is probably something she can get behind. Even my cat seemed disinterested when I told him that the last Friday in April is National Hairball Awareness Day.

            As I’ve explained in this column before, these days are contrived and ridiculous, but in a time when people are stressed out and political discourse is terse at best, a few mindless celebrations couldn’t hurt. So while I’m not going to celebrate National Help a Horse Day due to low equine availability in my metropolitan area, I applaud anyone who helps a horse today.

            All of this meandering prose is just another justification to present my semi-annual National Mid-Year Music Award Day, where we hand out fake awards in fake categories to real musicians. Granted, April isn’t mid-year, so I’m also declaring today Give a Calendarily Challenged Guy a Break Day, as well as Make Up a Word Day to celebrate the fact that I just used calendarily. Don’t consult the dictionary: it’s not there. I looked.

            May we have the pretend envelopes please?

Best Use of a Fake British Accent: Guster, “Overexcited.” Lead singer Ryan Miller and his band mates are from Boston, but Miller sings in a British Accent on the band’s latest single, taking on the persona of an awkward, young Englishman looking for love. While it may seem random, the veteran band hit the top 10 in the Adult Alternative song charts, nabbing their biggest hit since 2007’s “Satellite,” which Miller sang in his regular accent. For People who like: Awkwardly jumping over puddles, playing with fidget spinners, English breakfasts served with Boston baked beans.


Best Album From a Female Perspective: Julia Jacklin, Crushing. The 28-year-old Australian singer/songwriter captures the life of a young woman who is strong and wise, but struggling to find her power in what is still a masculine world. Jacklin does not ask for pity, but does command respect for respect her strength and vulnerability. Never preachy but always honest, Jacklin has released one of the two best albums of the year so far. For people who like: Honest conversations, re-thinking gender roles, Silly Putty.


Only Album Besides Crushing That Could Be Called One of the Two Best Albums of the Year: Durand Jones and the Indications, American Love Call. Calling the Indiana-based, retro-soul band “smooth” is like saying Mario Andretti was “fast.” It’s an obvious-yet-true statement. Between Jones’ sultry vocals and the sweet falsetto of drummer Aaron Frazer, Jones and the Indications can equally maneuver through a political statement song as much as they can a love song. These guys will be around a while.  For people who like: The Stylistics, slow-cooked grits rendered with pork fat, living life in the slow lane.


Best Album You Didn’t Know You Needed: Weird Electronic Music From Turkey. While the album title is appropriate, this compilation album of Turkish music isn’t just a novelty record; it has some legitimate good songs. From a psychedelic, instrumental cover of Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’ to Moog synthesizer jams, to a song my friend called a “cross between Baroque music and the Partridge Family,” this album is weirdly entertaining mystery. There isn’t a lot of information out there about the bands or the album. I bought this on, well, a weird whim. For once my weird whims paid off.  For people who like: Taking chances, doing a jig, eating kebabs while spinning on a merry go round high on top of a skyscraper.


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