Watch Video: Sweet Soubrette: I Like to Take a Bath
This week’s song was written for the book release of The Zinester’s Guide to NYC, a guidebook oriented toward zine writers and other DIY artists edited by Ayun Halliday. Ayun puts out a handwritten quarterly, The East Village Inky, to which I’ve been subscribing for more than ten (!) years, and since her zine is largely about her family life (she began writing it as a way to stay sane while at home with her infant firstborn), along with its other readers I’ve watched her kids grow up in its pages.
Ayun is kind of a hero of mine for developing a vibrant creative life and maintaining her appreciation for underground art and performance while also being married with two kids in the city. She’s a fantastic writer and a master of the hilarious self-deprecating anecdote, with accompanying illustration. She has a bunch of books out now, too. You can check out her work here.
Sometime after I started performing as Sweet Soubrette, I met Ayun at a craft fair where she was hawking copies of E.V.I. and introduced myself as a huge fan. Much to my surprise and delight, I was already on her radar (likely thanks to my choice of instrument and her interest in quirky local culture—thanks, ukulele). One thing led to another and a few years later the Bushwick Book Club had agreed to write and perform a bunch of songs at the ZG2NYC book release party at Housing Works. It was like destiny.
My love for NYC’s communal spa experiences led me to focus on the section of the guidebook devoted to the city’s public baths. (Disclosure: I hadn’t actually been to all of the baths mentioned in the song when I wrote it, but I’m now on a mission to hit them all. Most recently, I visited the Brooklyn Banya, where I learned from the Russian lady who owns the place that wearing a wool hat while in the sauna ensures that only the bad things in your body escape when you sweat, while the good things, like vitamins, stay in. True story!)
This video was shot in my bathtub. A nice sounding audio recording can be downloaded for free here (lyics are posted too):
Download: I Like to Take a Bath