The song “Kirstie Alley’s Rules to a Good Time” is off of Granddad’s August 2015 EP, “Dumped.” In a common theme between emo/punk bands, the song title has nothing to do with the song itself. The lyrics follow a series of self-reflections by the lead singer and songwriter, Kellen Baker. The narrative is based in the aftermath of a bad breakup, looking for respite from the heartbreak and loss anywhere he can: “You were my reason to smile, you were my reason to bleed / Now my mouth is full of wine, lies, and broken teeth.” Later on, the lyrics read almost like a journal entry where Baker lists a series of longings, reaching for a “normal” life that is unachievable: “I want to see the world / I wanna be old some day / I want to raise a little girl.”
Growing up gay in socially conservative Alaska, Baker has always felt that acceptance and a normal life were always just out of reach. This is where Granddad’s social commentary begins, and where the lyrical content begins to intersect with the video. The video follows a couple on a couch- as they begin to kiss the actors playing the two characters begin to switch and continue to rotate between the two roles throughout the remainder of the video. Director Emma Sheffer masterfully cuts the shots to expose different couples in intimate moments, capturing all the awkwardness, attraction, and excitement of kissing someone for the first time. The talent in the video exist across the sexual orientation and gender spectrums, and through the video we see any number of combinations to create a relationship—the point being, none of that matters. What matters is that two people, enchanted with each other, can come together in a beautiful moment.
In the chorus, Baker sings “You’d better grow up fast now / you gotta earn your stripes. / The lessons you learn now / they can be taught overnight.” The point being that sometimes you have to kiss a lot of people to learn what you really want. In the end, it doesn’t matter who is wearing which outfit. All relationships are beautiful, and we should all come together to celebrate each other.