Lucky Eleven, Happy Birthday to Swing Kids’ Situation on Mars 7”, 9/21/10

It’s Friday afternoon. I’ve just had a negative COVID test and I’m listening to Swing Kids. I’ve also got the flu and an hour ago I got a flu shot and the woman who gave me the shot knew my books and asked whether I’m going on tour this fall. (The answer is yes, which feels weird, having not left the farm for a year and a half.) Life in 2021 is surreal for so many reasons. The days race past, and sometimes they’re so slow it’s like you’re walking knee-deep in sand or pennies. I don’t know. None of it makes sense, but I guess I’m celebrating. Celebrating not having the big one and celebrating being alive on a Friday afternoon in 2021 and celebrating by listening to Swing Kids.

Swing Kids sounds pretty good when you’ve got the flu and it sounds pretty good when you’re relieved not to be fighting a vicious, ugly, unpredictable virus. I’ve had COVID twice already, so there’s maybe a double kind of celebration happening. Getting through it twice without any side effects is lucky but having it a third time and getting through that … ugh … I don’t like the odds. Swing Kids sounds big as a wall right now, deep as a crevice, loud as an engine—the guitars, bass, and drums thick and forceful and propulsive, the vocals harsh and strident like a proper response to 2016 through 2021. The two songs on the Situation on Mars 7” are precise and wild, heavy and nimble. It sounds like home, and so many months into this pandemic I find myself reaching for things that feel or sound or look like home. Shirts, books, photos, types of food, memories, films, shoes, records … whatever. When all is transitory and hard to know, you find things that make sense. Swing Kids makes sense to me.

I’m also typing this to celebrate the anniversary of the record’s September 21st, 2010 release on Three One G. So much celebration, not an ounce of party, and what is “party” anymore? The rules have changed, right? So, happy lucky 11th to Situation on Mars. I’m glad you were born. I feel a lot better knowing you are in the world.

Adam Gnade, author of the Three One G released books This is the End of Something But It’s Not the End of You, Locust House, Float Me Away, Floodwaters, and the forthcoming “food novel”

*Note: This 7″ was pressed on limited edition green vinyl (200). However there was an even more limited glow in the dark variant (20).