Lisa Loeb is the only diva I have stalked in the wild. Picture it, March 1998, it’s the middle of Nowheresville, Connecticut and I’m working the front desk of a car rental agency tucked inside a car dealership. My supervisor’s fiance is the manager of a nearby hotel, when they have someone in need of a car, they call us. This cold wintery day we get a hotel pick-up but no runners to do it. I graciously volunteer, anything to get out of the office, and for once I drive under the speed limit. I reach the hotel, get out of the car, enter the lobby, and who is standing there but none other than Dweezil Zappa. I’m a little star struck but then the lady eating a banana next to him turns and I freeze because it’s none other than Lisa Loeb. Sure Dweezil is cute but divas trump cute boys any day….hmm, maybe that’s why I was single so long. Car rental customer be damned, I make a beeline for Lisa. I’m sure my standing there drooling ended their conversation early. I totally fan girl her but I keep my cool by not asking for her banana peel. That would stay preserved in a Ziploc bag in a freezer, right? Not having paper or a pen doesn’t stop me from asking for an autograph. I make her follow me to the front desk, yes I am that douche bag, where I borrow a pen and paper. I may be a douche but I’m one with a sheet of “While you were out” notepad signed on the back by Lisa Loeb.
Over twenty years later and I’m just as big of a Lisa Loeb fan (and douche bag) as I was when I first met her, probably even more so because she was so gracious that day. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to see her in concert many times and met her a few more times after shows for photos and autographs. However I’m now prepared with CD booklets and she has a Sharpie and security, I guess we both learned a thing or two since our first meeting.
Lisa has released a few children’s albums but it’s been seven years since her last grown-up album, No Fairy Tale. In my gay opinion it was her best to date so I had high hopes for her new album, A Simple Trick To Happiness, and it lived up to my hype. This is the soundtrack for Professor Loeb’s Adulting 101 course in all her classic lyrical story-telling glory. She gives lessons in going with your gut to find happiness even if it means walking away on “Doesn’t It Feel Good”, “Another Day” teaches perseverance, “Sing Out” is a lecture in acceptance, and “Wonder” is a class in discovering the bliss in life.
“I Want To Go First” is my favorite track on the album with it’s quirky lyrics (the best being “if I suffocate slowly / don’t call the nurse / cause living without you is definitely worse”) flowing on a piano and guitar melody. Lisa lists all the outrageous ways she would rather die than live without her love. Whether you’re looking for a laugh, to appreciate life a little more, or someone to put your mixed feelings to song…Lisa doesn’t disappoint.