From the Rentals’ fourth album (title, TBA), due sometime in 2018.
It’s rarely healthy to compare yourself to extremely successful people. Unless you wanna feel terrible about yourself. I remember when I found out Mary Shelley was only like 20 when she wrote Frankenstein; that made me feel like a loser. You gotta let that stuff go. We’re all on our own path, and we all end up in the same spot. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
The Rentals’ Matt Sharp descended into this kind of head game when he realized he’s pretty much the same age as Elon Musk, the inventor and investor behind Tesla and SpaceX. They both grew up around the same time, in similar circumstances, and they even received similar gifts as kids:
In nineteen eighty-two, on Christmas day
Santa gave us each a brand-new Commodore
I used mine to make fake IDs and buy beer in junior high
While my foe studied every bit of that 8-bit whore
We all know what happened next. Musk became one of the word’s most powerful people, and Sharp played bass for Weezer for a couple of albums and then left to start his own band.
But for a second, there’s no question I had the lead in ninety-five
But the small ambitions of a musician, I could not keep my eye on the prize
It ends up being a song of hope, not bitterness, with Sharp volunteering to help Musk in his plan to colonize Mars:
Make me the first one out of that door
First boots out on the Martian floor to proclaim…
Oh, that Elon sent me all the way, son,
A hundred thirty-nine million miles away!
“Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad” is a collaboration between Sharp, Nick Zinner, and Dave Fridmann. It doesn’t appear that anybody who’s ever been a Rental before is involved. So no Cherielynn Westrich, Rod Cervera, Petra Haden, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Haden, et al. But it retains the melancholy, synthy vibe of all the best Rentals material.