A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring. I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up. I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever. Enjoy!
We turn from Dead Kennedys to Dead Milkmen. Today’s song is “The Guitar Song” from their 1988 album “Beelzebubba”.
Hey, what’s that sound
Coming out of the hole in the wood?
It’s the guitar
I was first exposed to the Dead Milkmen in 7th grade. My good friend Micah Stewart had become familiar with “Bitchin’ Camaro” and had taken to quoting the intro with some frequency – “Uh, what’s the Sandbar?”, “The impportant thing here is that we get to the part where you ask me how I’m gonna get down to the shore.”, etc, etc. We needed to get ahold of the full record. Enter Wendy Ambron, who lived around the corner from me, who rode the same bus as me and who was a year ahead of me in school and sported a Dead Milkmen shirt on occasion. At some point I worked up the courage to ask her if I could borrow some Dead Milkmen and she obliged, lending me “Big Lizard in my Backyard” which I immediately dubbed a copy of. Strangely you might think this would’ve led to a friendship with the cooler, older punk rock chick and me getting into lots of other cool music through her. This did not happen. I don’t really remember much in the way of interactions beyond this.
I would become familiar with “Punk Rock Girl” later and and I think was exposed to the entirety of “Beelzebubba” a couple times over the years, but it wouldn’t be until college that I would really sink myself into the album. Obvious highlights for me include “Punk Rock Girl” (despite its overexposure, it’s still a great song), “Sri Lanka Sex Hotel”, “Stuart”, and “Bad Party”. But there are also a lot of slow burners on this record too and I think “The Guitar Song” is definitely one of them. It’s a silly little song without much to the lyrics. They’re not really over the top like you expect with most Dead Milkmen lyrics. The song itself doesn’t really go anywhere…it just gently builds,but when it comes along, it’s hard not to belt out the words along with it.
And once again, here’s a band that despite absolutely loving these two albums – “Big Lizard in my Backyard” and “Beelzebubba”, I have completely ignored the rest of their catalog. Honestly, don’t ask me a thing about any of their other albums cuz I have no idea. Feel free to put me in my place and say “Sit your ass down with ‘Bucky Fellini’ right now, you goddamn dumbass” if you feel it is appropriate.