If you spend anytime on social medias of any type—which I suppose you have to if you are here right now—you know of Justin “Bauce Sauce” Roberson. I’m not speaking hyperbolically when I say Bauce makes Twitter a web site worth visiting; he’s one of the funniest, sweetest, nicest dudes on all of the Internet. He’s written for a bunch of places—Noisey (his thing about Little Richard makes me laugh once a week), Mostly Junk Food (this thing on Future is still the most “this is what it was like” concert review I’ve read), Complex, and other places I can’t find links to right now.
When I asked Bauce to write about an album, I was delighted when he picked the Muppet Movie Soundtrack. It’s quietly a devastating album; it’s about…well, let me let Bauce tell you:
I unabashedly adore The Muppets.
I’ve never written Muppet fan-fic or proposed a Muppet-inspired roleplay session with my wife… but I love them. I love the concept of them. I love every eclectic character (especially Rizzo and especially not Sam the Eagle). I love the baby versions of them. I love Jim Henson, and most of all I love what he/they represent.
I have listened to less than 10 vinyls in my life, two of which were Jay-Z’s “Money Ain’t a Thang” and Destiny Child’s “Say My Name.” I listened to them because I bought them as the first two vinyls to jumpstart my short lived DJ hobby in 8th grade…Wow…That felt good to get off my chest. The remaining ones were the loose vinyls I found in the garage; those represented 1/1000th of my dad’s music collection packed away in storage. One of those seven was The Muppet Movie Soundtrack.
It’s almost serendipitous that Andrew emailed me with a list of albums to possibly cover for this project, and The Muppet Movie was in that list of less than 10.
I’d sit in our basement with these gigantic can headphones plugged into my dad’s antiquated analog audio system and listen to this thing over and over. I was fascinated with not only the music and lyrics, but how the people doing the voices for these Muppets could sing while maintaining those voices. I still don’t know how people do this.
The entire album is peppered with gems, and as I listen to it every couple of years in a new life segment I mine more of them:
1. How the “Never Before, Never Again Instrumental” will put you all in your drunken feelings at 3 am. Those fucking flutes, man. They get me every time.
2. Rowlf and Kermit’s conversation at the 1:10 mark of “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along” is gospel:
Rowlf: “Stay away from women. That’s my motto.”
Kermit: “But I can’t.”
Rowlf: “Neither can I. That’s my trouble.”
3. Weirdly prophetic that all of our “grown-up” lives mirror Rowlf’s “I live alone…I finish work. I go home. Read a book. Have a couple of beers. Take myself for a walk, and go to bed.”
4. I would pay $60 for a ticket to see The Electric Mayhem in concert covering contemporary rap songs.
5. Gonzo’s absolutely gorgeous performance on the mysterious “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday.” Those lyrics are absolute poetry. My favorite being “There’s not a word yet / For old friends who’ve just met.” (BTW, it’s now called “Twitter.”)
6. “Finale: The Magic Store”: “Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending. Keep believing. Keep pretending we’ve done exactly what we set out to do.”
There is so much to love about this album, and we haven’t even mentioned “Rainbow Connection.” We. Haven’t. Even. Mentioned. Rainbow. Connection.
Whether by natural design or forced acquiescence, we all eventually grow up. ‘Tis a shame really. The fundamental disconnect that exists between our ideals and the real world —our dreams and reality— increases with every second. Sometimes we submit to life’s Crippler Crossface and simply give up on our dreams, which is perhaps the saddest eventuality life has in store for us. If we’re lucky, we’ll still get to dabble in our dreams all too infrequently as a hobby.
What’s so beautiful about “Rainbow Connection,” and more broadly The Muppets and Jim Henson, is this overarching theme of “Keep Reaching.” Kermit got heckled by Statler and Waldorf DAILY. Did he give up? No. Miss Piggy got curved by Kermit DAILY. Did she give up? No. Beaker fucked up experiments DAILY. Did he give up? Nope. It’s about perseverance in spite of the bullshit. Can you remember back to a time your weren’t jaded by the world you occupy, or constantly thinking about decorum or how to act or feel or what was appropriate to say in a given situation?… Sheesh, that was taxing just writing. We grow, and at a certain point, our journey can no longer be fueled by abstract ideas alone. What we do in response to that is what defines us. To completely give up hope or not?
“It’s something that I’m supposed to be.” - Kermit The Frog
So simple: “It’s something that I’m supposed to be.” Supposed to be. Your dreams are not a guarantee, but it’s yours if you want it badly enough.
I am perpetually sad, and at odds with my duties as an “adult.” To an extent, I think we all are. It’s scary pursuing a perhaps pipe dream. It’s easier to fall in line and accept a career that pays decent, and isn’t unbearable. But is it better for your spirit?
We need rain for rainbows, my lords.
Don’t let the pitch black night stop you from being a starchaser.
PS: The flame is okey-dokey.
You should follow Bauce Sauce on Twitter. And on Tumblr.