Just Another Way to Sing ‘Bastards of Young’

Hey Darling Ones,

“Lost Horizons” is my all-time favorite Gin Blossoms song.

I love this song so much I was going to put it in my Top 5 Side One, Track Ones. Apparently I already made that list, and “Lost Horizons” didn’t quite make the cut. I might have to revisit it, but I’m not sure who would get the ax. I can’t think about that now.

As I Will Dare dot com inches ever closer to turning twenty-two (on July 31st), I’m once again reminded that I have written about nearly every thing I’ve ever thought about for a minimum of fifteen seconds. Casually mentioned “Lost Horizons” as the best Gin Blossoms’ song? Been there. Wrote about my love for the entire “New Miserable Experience” record? Done that.

Have I written about why “Lost Horizons” is the very best Gin Blossoms song? Fuck if I know. I looked and didn’t find anything, but I did not look very hard. I’m deep in my horizony feels and all that searching was bringing me down.

This song is the best because it does what the Gin Blossoms did best — bummer lyrics set to unbummerlike music. It’s a hell of a way to kick off an album, sounding all jangly and fun while singing about unfun things like being fucking stuck in a town, a relationship, a life that isn’t quite living up to what you hoped it would be. Inject that shit right into my veins.

I love the dichotomy of being drunk in the gardens and the graves, as well as the dueling symbolism. Gardens bursting with life, graves filled with death.

Plus, it has the most heart-shatteringly real lyrics about a dead relationship that I can think of, “she had nothing left to say so she said she loved me. I stood there grateful for the lie.”

Another thing I love about this song? It made me ultra receptive to Paul Westerberg’s songwriting, who is also of the “way sadder than it sounds” school of lyricism. “Lost Horizons” is, after all, just another way to sing “Bastards of Young.” Or maybe “Here Comes a Regular.”

On my musical journey the Gin Blossoms were a gateway drug to The Replacements. It’s true. And while I know The Replacements came first and were probably highly influential to the Gin Blossoms, music doesn’t come into our lives in a straight line, in chronological order. That’s part of its magic.

I’ve been singing “Lost Horizons” all damn day because I’m sitting next to a gnat graveyard (pictured above). Across from the graveyard (not pictured) is a sort of garden (Hugh and Benjamina live on the coffee table). If only I were drunk, I could literally live this song all over again.

I lived this song a lot when I was in my early twenties. Not just the drunk drunk drunk part, but the, “drink enough of anything to make myself look new again.” God, I was such a weary and jaded young thing.

Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that a lot of dumb gnats have fallen to their death in my red wine vinegar, sugar, dish soap trap. Dummies. However, there are still more gnats.

Your new miserable experience,

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