What are stories? Well stories are where I make up what it’s like to see a band I may or may not have ever seen play one of their records, straight through, live. It all happens in my head. It’s one way I can write about music without writing reviews, which I honestly never want to do again. It’s different so I hope you like the style because it’s something I’m going to be trying with a few records. The first story I’ve got in the queue is Tear It Down from Dexy. When I was still writing for 9 Bullets I shared an exclusive track and talked about how I met Dexy so if you’re looking for that sort of stuff you can read it over there via those links. Well that’s enough about what I’m doing here, so lets get right to it…
A decently sized gin and tonic is the starting point for my little journey and it’ll take me through the first three songs. Dexy opens with “The Lonesome Death of the One Man Caberet Act” which feels kind of like the music The Killers could make if they weren’t what they are. The title track, “Tear It Down”, is up next and even though it mentions whiskey I still sip my gin and tonic and enjoy the show. Dexy is building on the themes from the opening song and it’s perfect, as the music itself wanes slightly in intensity and the lyrics begin to really shine, building in to a crescendo of “I feel fine, fine, fine” that crashes right in to “A Hollow Place”, by which time I’m sucking the last of the gin off of the ice cubes in my glass. It’s the perfect song to contemplate the dregs of melting ice in my cup while I decide what to drink next.
This is not a circus, this is no caberet
They put out the grease paint long ago
And threw your heart, threw your heart away
– The Lonesome Death of the One Man Caberet Act
Next up I’m rewarded for riding the emotional roller coaster with “My Dearest Friends” and Dexy’s confidence is building as the crowd is really getting in the music. I decide the next few songs call for something that’s not quite as devastating to sobriety, I do have a whole show to make it through after all, and soon enough I’m holding a PBR in the air and saluting the band. I put my arms around my friends and sing along, in imperfect harmony, with “Don’t Operate” while we sway in time with the music. A couple songs is usually enough to polish off a beer but singing along makes beers last longer so I suck down that last quarter can of warm beer while “Summer Heist” kicks in and I wander to the bar for my next drink.
Can I ever get it right
Waited for the feature
Doesn’t come all night
So I plan a summer heist
Try to find some peace to occupy my mind
– Summer Heist
At the White Water Tavern during Holiday Hangout, where I met Dexy, when you order a Jameson on the rocks you get it in a crystal coffee mug. This is exactly what I have in my hands during “Barlights” as I’m taken down the road of figuring out that we may not be what we wanted to be and reliving a bit of my youth through Dexy’s and my mutual heroes. A crystal coffee mug of Irish whiskey, half gone, is what I’m to staring down in to as “Broken Fixtures” starts to break my heart. The empty glass is a little hard to hold on to as the image, in my mind, of it shattering on the floor seems to go perfectly with what’s happening on my musical journey but I hold on it anyway. Just as I thought that we’d hit bottom Dexy starts in with “Your Fucking Move” and it’s back to the bar and this time it’s not cocktails or rocks, I need a shot, a shot of anything. For me that’d more Jameson, straight this time, and that cements me taking an Uber to wherever I’m going after the show. I knock back my shot and head back up to the front of the stage, with another shot for me and one for Dexy as he closes out the set with “20 Years of Dischord” and leaves the crowd in awe.
And I got some friends, some pretty good friends, yeah it’s true
We all scream like bastards and spill our drinks in the moon
But each word that we scream, we truly believe is the truth
And we ain’t fucking moving so darling it’s your fucking move
– Your Fucking Move
And this where the little adventure in my head ends, I’m poured in to an Uber and sent off to wherever I’m crashing for the night with my head full of good music, great lyrics, and a fine time with friends. You can find Dexy on Facebook at the link in the first paragraph and you can get Tear It Down from Bandcamp. Maybe one day I’ll get to see him play some of these songs, until then I’ll just make up shit in my head because I may just be a little crazy.