In all honestly, Mike Doughty’s post-Soul Coughing solo career has been one that I think I want to like more than I actually do.
I loved Soul Coughing – even if his time in the band was apparently a nightmare – so it seemed natural that I would continue to love Doughty’s work. But it’s been hit or miss for me, his clever wit too often getting in the way. Something about song titles like “How to Fuck a Republican,” “(I Want to) Burn You (Down),” “Busting Up a Starbucks” or anagramming an album title after your name (Haughty Melodic = Michael Doughty) is just too over the top for me.
Still, I admire Doughty as an independent musician – his new album Yes and Also Yes (see?) is coming out Aug. 30 on his own label, Snack Bar – and the songs of his I do like I often really like.
That’s turning out to be the case for “Na Na Nothing,” the leadoff track from the forthcoming album. Doughty describes it as “a burn-in-hell-wretched-ex-girlfriend song,” though there is (na na) nothing unpleasant about its hummable melody and singable hook.
In an email newsletter blast, Doughty gave a brief history of the song, saying it was “partially stolen from a song written by Nikki Sixx, Dan Wilson (wrote ‘Closing Time’), and Matt Gerrard (wrote a bunch of tunes in ‘High School Musical’). (I got their permission to steal it).”