Sugartime flashback joys courtesy of a well tuned stylus

There’s a shit-ton of reasons for students to be stressed out on a daily basis. How the fuck am I going to pay off my credit card balance? What the fuck is our government doing about climate change? Where are my pants? However, the stomach pain, the gnashing of teeth, the hair loss inherent in letting your worries get the best of you isn’t worth it! Chill the fuck out!

Now, I must admit that I am a fairly relaxed fellow, but sometimes these world woes get the best of me, too. At the end of particularly brutal days, I like to turn off my MacBook, lower the blinds on the decrepit alleyway my apartment looks onto and visit my old friend, The Green Lady.

After packing my nice pipe with Mother Nature’s finest medicine and grabbing a cold brewski from the fridge I like to drop the needle — with utmost care — onto a pristine slab of vinyl. Sometimes I’ll go with a blasting side of Propagandhi to feel the power of socially conscious thrash pummel my eardrums. Other times, I’ll put on some Lightfoot and drift off with him down the “Carefree Highway.”

But for the ultimate stress buster — the primo max-relaxer — I flip through my stacks and pull out a piece of solid gold: Burton Cummings self-titled, debut solo LP. From the beautiful vocal heights of “I’m Scared” to the jangling ivory intro and raunchy Wildwood references of “Your Backyard,” Burton never misses a beat. Flip to the B-side, with the epic “Stand Tall” and the jubilant “Sugartime Flashback Joys,” one can’t help but leave your worries behind. Then, when you think your life can’t get any better, on comes Burt’s rendition of the BTO classic “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.” No punches are pulled as Burt completely outdoes his old Guess Who-mate at Bachman’s own game. Burt’s jazzy version oozes class where the BTO original staggers along like a Main Street drunk on a Saturday night.

As the needle lifts, and silence descends on my humble abode, I reach for my beer and feel a profound calm not unlike a silent winter morning after a storm.