Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Share the Love for Dexy

Heard during the commute, a baker’s dozen of iPod randomness:

I Alone, Live
Not Safe, Romeo Void
The Woo Woo Train, Valentines
One of Those Things, Dexy’s Midnight Runners
I Hate the TV, Violent Femmes
Three Little Birds, Bob Marley and the Wailers
Dirty Diesel, Paul Westerberg
Doughnut Song, Tori Amos
Saying Goodbye, The Muffs
Oh Marianne, Peter Wolf
Hounds of Love, The Futureheads
What Will Later On Be Like, Jeanne and the Darlings
The Letter, PJ Harvey

Ah, the Dexy’s Midnight Runners track is from Don’t Stand Me Down, one of my favorite CDs. In fact, this might be the only one I’ve owned in cassette, vinyl, and CD. Dexy is often dumped on as one of the problems with 80s music. I’d say unfairly because people are just sick and tired of hearing Come on Eileen. It’s a good song and that was a good album.

However, liking or not liking the earlier Dexy has no bearing on Don’t Stand Me Down. It’s a completely different beast. Stripped down and quiet, many of the tracks are like overhearing an intimate conversation among friends. In fact “One of those Things” is a conversation. Ostensibly about music, it quickly turns to politics and how basically no one is listening to anyone or anything. There’s no discussion, only a parrotting of what today we’d call talking points. Or maybe I’m overanalyzing a song that clearly stole the piano from Zevon’s Werewolves of London.

Don’t Stand Me Down
You know, recently I was thinking
I was thinking about one thing and the other
and music crossed my mind Yeah? Yeah
It occurred to me to switch on the radio
I wanted to hear some music

So I turned it on, it was Radio One,
Sid Jenkins on the air
He had synthesizers and soulful guises,
I think you know the type of thing - Sure.
it was alright It was OK ?
I'm not lodging any complaints or anything,
there was just one problem
What was that?
It all sounded the same
You mean it all sounded similar?
I mean it all sounded the same

Anyway, so I started asking around, you know.
I started making a few enquiries,
just putting out a few feelers
Yeah? Yeah.
I had a word with a couple of so called socialists on my way, and during the course of our conversation I put to them a question, I said:
"How do you feel about Ireland?"
Ireland? Yeah, Ireland
That place, it's just across the sea
Oh yeah, I know the place
Well they said:
"We're for Sandinista, Cuba's militia,
the P L O, M.P.L.A, Afghanistan and Babylon"
They went on and on and on and on.
And I said: "Alright, Alright,
but what do you think about Belfast?"
And what did they say?
Well, their replies were various
but they all had one thing m common.
And what was that?

They all sounded the same
You mean they sounded alike ?
They all sounded the same

Well, that's about the size of it,
what can I tell you? You tell me. I dunno,
It's just one of those of things
What you mean one of 'those' things?
Yeah, one of those things

The guys at Trouser Press disagree with me about Don't Stand Me Down.


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