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Threesome: Namecheck nation

September 9, 2008

[embedded YouTube video; if you can’t see it, click here]

Three songs that namecheck bands, with three different intentions.

The Dead Milkmen had a minor college radio hit in 1987 with their song, “Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything),” which lampoons listeners of a number of (iterated) post-punk bands, such as The Communards. The best line in the song is, “I came to drink not to get laid.” (I’ve often thought that it would be useful to have a t-shirt with this line, although I’d probably substitute ‘dance’ for ‘drink.’)

In contrast to “Instant Club Hit,” which ridicules music fans for their taste, LCD Soundsystem‘s first A-side, 2002’s “Losing My Edge,” simultaneously celebrates and mocks obsessive music fans with its iteration of bands and repeated refrain of “I was there…” James Murphy slyly mixes reality in with the hyperbole – “I was there in 1974 at the first Suicide practices in a loft in New York City” (probably not, since he was four) is alongside “I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB’s’ (yup). But the best phrase is undeniably the description of “art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties.’

Finally, Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip rail against taking music too seriously in “Thou Shalt Always Kill,” off Angles, which was just released in the US. The best part of this song is definitely the visual-pun-laden video [above]. While the lyrics are self-consciously countercultural and more than a tiny bit preachy, Dan et Scroobius get props for the line, “Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.” Advocating spelling ‘phoenix’ as ‘pheonix,’ however, is suspect, to say the least.

For the record, The Smiths show up in both “Instant Club Hit” and “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” and Public Image Ltd shows up in both “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and “Losing My Edge.”

MP3: Dead Milkmen – Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything) (warning: contains homophobic language)

MP3: LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge

MP3: Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill

One comment

  1. For those of you keeping track at home, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip will be playing out on the Z=Z deprived coast (Boston) this wednesday, Sept 24, my future vacation destination (Portland, OR) Oct 2nd, and the gleaming emerald wonder that is Z=Z HQ (Seattle) on Oct 3rd. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that you will see me at all of those shows, especially since the direct opener B. Dolan is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a future hip-hop legend. His style blends the motormouth delivery of his label mate Sage Francis with a keen sense of humour and an acute talent for spoken word performance. In short, don’t miss this guy as he should be blowing up huge any time now.



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