Need a break from love songs? Try Atom and His Package

Whether it’s a Mozart aria or the latest chart-topping single, the vast majority of songs are about love in some capacity. Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to listen to a song that isn’t about romance or heartbreak.

On those occasions, I turn to the synthpunk mayhem of Atom and His Package. My absolute favorite track is the clunkily-named moving-day anthem, “I’m Downright Amazed at What I Can Destroy With Just a Hammer.”

Adam “Atom” Goren and his sequencer (known as “the Package”) have since left the world of full-time music behind, but from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s they produced a solid discography of creative punk rock covers and quirky originals. Goren’s songs often focus on the humor or annoyances found in everyday situations – his lyrics are sometimes so cryptic and specific, only he really knows what he’s singing about.

Another of my favorites, however, is a song to which I believe many people can relate: “Pumping Iron for Enya,” which deals with what might just be the most unusual celebrity crush ever.

And last but not least, a song for those of us who find it a little bit irritating that north is not always up: “Upside Down from Here.”

Goren still dabbles in music, but his main focus these days is his family and his teaching career. Based on the comments on some of his YouTube videos, his students think he’s still pretty punk rock.

What songs do you listen to when you need a change of pace?

– Teresa Santoski

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