A child dies in the ruins in Syria and no one is alive to cry for them because they're all gone. On the other side of the planet, a teenager peruses Tumblr, sighing. He or she is filled with that peculiar brand of American ennui and searches for something to fill that terrible void. The teen is 24. Then, out of a haze of marijuana and vague grief, comes Colleen Green. Her latest record, I Want to Grow Up, shows a woman struggling with doing just that.
Her music feels like an update of the musical tastes the young alt-adult grew up with. Blink-182 and grunge seem to be at the forefront here, but updated with that bedroom pop, Burger Records-style L.A. sound. She sings about television, not being able to pay attention and the mundane things that make up our lives, for better or worse.
I ask Green, via email, if she's ever had a job. She says, "Yes." One can guess from this answer that she doesn't like her job, but she doesn't hate it, either. It's just something there, in the day, that pays a little money so the pantry can be stocked. I understand, Colleen. I think most people do.
Many millennials have a hard time coming to terms with adulthood. Perhaps it's because at 19 we don't have kids, or maybe it's due to the formless nihilism we've learned from watching the older generation's violent decline. Who doesn't desperately want to grow up, leave behind the slacker bullshit and make a mark on this quickly vanishing world? But it's hard. In fact, it seems actually impossible at times. Much easier to try and be happy. Listen, I understand the appeal of the familiar. In such a weird and violent world, who can be blamed for wanting to crawl into a cocoon? Wrapping oneself in the blankets of the past feels good.
When I ask Green what the point of growing up is, she answers: "Well, you don't want to be a fucktard forever." I think I understand, I really do.
I ask her if she's ever been on fire. She says she set her hair on fire once, while lighting a bong. "I think we've all been there," she says. It's true, Colleen, we have. Some of us are still there, burning to death. BRACE BELDEN.
SEE IT: Colleen Green plays Analog Cafe, 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd., with Pity Sex, on Sunday, Dec. 20. 7 pm. $12 advance, $14 day of show. All ages.