So Rich, So Pretty

Mickey Avalon scores with hipsters, hustlers, and MySpace suits

Avalon adds that working with Rex and Legacy helps give levity to his darker subject matter, but the grit still slips through even the most upbeat tunes. "So Rich, So Pretty" calls out "a girl who eats and brings it up, a sassy little frassy with bulimia" — although it touches even deeper truths closer to the chorus: "She ... thinks it's really funny/ When her nose goes bloody/ 'Cause the blow's so yummy/ And it keeps her tummy empty/ And makes her act more friendly."

He's not only pulling lines about other people's skeletons, though, emptying his closet into verse occasionally as well. On another, more personal track, Avalon raps about the troubled DNA that runs in his blood, "With eyes in the back of my head after dark/ I'm just a lone drifter on the lookout for a mark/ ... when I was young my father rest in peace/ Taught me how to pick a pocket and copy car keys/ As a little boy I'd hop through chimneys/ Skilled at the art of making enemies."

On stage, he buoys his tales of accelerated adolescence with simple, infectious backing beats, and the songs' meanings nearly disappear between the dancefloor pull and Avalon's charms as a live entertainer. But over the phone, a real sincerity comes from this father (Avalon's daughter is in fourth grade) looking to use his current career to give his past new meaning. "I guess I'm trying to just recreate better memories," Avalon admits. "I don't know how long this 15 minutes is going to last, so as far as anything good I can get out of this now, I'm trying to milk it.

Mickey Avalon, the kosher salami.
Jay Blakesberg
Mickey Avalon, the kosher salami.

"[My life] could be chameleonlike, but the whole time it's kinda just looking for some sort of ease, looking for a sense of well-being and feeling all right," he adds. "And I guess that's where the drugs seem to poke their heads in even when things are going good. I just try not to be too esoteric about it, though, and it's no deeper than 'I like to feel good, and as long as I have everything in check for today, it's cool.'"

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