Wednesday, May 20, 2009

4 of 69: Woah Nelly

"A Chicken With its Head Cut Off"

Among the many reasons why I love this song, it begins with a list. Hurray for lists!

1. Eligible.
2. Not too stupid
3. Intelligible
4. Cute as Cupid
5. Knowledgeable
6. Not always right.
7. Salvageable
8. Free for the night.

My man here is modest. Look, he's not asking for the Moon. Not this time. No, he's sitting at the dive-bar, glancing around and is hoping for the best. Is this Convenience Mart love? Nope. It is everyone you've ever known love. Because knights in shining armor/princesses with their braided golden locks are hard to come by. And one can waste a whole lot of time obsessing over that shit.

Maybe its because the weather is getting its Summer on around here and is making me recall the days when I was a perpetual undergraduate bachelor, but there's a feeling built up in this song, along with the modesty of course, that the singer is falling in love with just about every person that walks by. There were times when I'd walk out of design studio at 8 in the morning (after staying up all night) to go home and catch some winks until 1 or 2 in the afternoon or so before starting the whole work press all over again. And on those shambling, warm May mornings I'll tell you what. I must have fallen head over heels in love with every girl I passed. "All around the barnyard falling in and out of love" is quite apropos. Now I wasn't the drooling idiot variety of underclassmen. No, I could barely manage a smile before blushing and looking away at my feet, but it sure as hell felt like my "heart was running around like a chicken with its head cut off."

Though to be fair, I have to imagine the singer of this song sees a lot of action. There's a suave everyman-ish character to his romancin'. He's up front about what he's looking for, but he probably won't call you back. All that matters is right up there in that crushingly simple yet wonderfully poignant list. Are you single? We don't want to be upsetting a more important relationship here. Let's have you be able to keep up your end of the conversation and be cute about it. As far as 'knowledge' goes, I'm fairly certain he's not looking for book smarts. And if you are a fixer-upper? Whatever, doesn't matter if you're free for the night. Because he's also kind of a horn-dog. He's looking to get laid but don't be expecting "stars exploding in the night or electric eels under the covers." Bottom line, he's realistic.

And although Merritt sings this with with a roly poly bawdiness in his belly, its not too difficult to listen to this song with a woman on the mic. I might have used a lot of "he's" in the above review, but its as gender non-specific as any of the 69. In fact, in my life I might have known more women who behave this way than men. And while this behavior "ain't pretty", its not like anyone is coming out of this little tryst with hurt feelings.

Another solid "adoration" (4 of 6)

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At 3:42 PM , Blogger oline said...

while they aren't really my favorites, there's something to be said for the songs like this- the ones that are rather whimsical. they'd probably be b-sides on anyone else's opus, but that "roly poly bawdiness" really holds the album together in a way.

that was a half-baked idea, but there ya go.


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