The Deceiver poses an interesting game, which Erin and I just played. Here are the rules:
1. Take out your iPod (or Zune, I guess…really, who buys a Zune?)
2. Press shuffle songs.
3. Answer the following: a) How many songs before you come to one that would absolutely disqualify you from being President? b) What is that song?
4. Leave your answers.
Our first problem was that the Deer Park Police still have our iPod. Thankfully we still have our Nano, albeit with a fraction of our music library on it. No matter. When the Vores play games, we play to win.
But the next problem was deciding what exactly about the song would disqualify us from being president. Would we be playing this song during the convention as balloons and confetti snow down from the ceiling? Would we choose something so fuddy duddy that it would alienate the Rolling Stone and MTV vote? Or something so shriekingly corrosive to the fundamental humanity of the American ethos as to alienate the heartland? In the future, will presidential candidates have lead-in songs as they take the stage for debates, the way baseball players do before an at bat?
Regardless, it took us five songs to reach Jens Lekman’s “A Postcard to Nina.” The song recounts an awkward dinner Jens had with his friend Nina and Nina’s girlfriend and father. Nina’s dad thinks Jens is his daughter’s fiance when it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. Jens begins the song with the lyrics, “Nina I can’t be your boyfriend / So you can stay with your girlfriend / Your father is a sweet old man / But it’s hard for him to understand / That you want to love a woman.”
Presidential politics being what they are, this might put us in hot water. But if that’s the case, then frankly, we just aren’t presidential material. Any voter who could listen to this song with its tragi-comic romantic triangle and honking horns chorus and not swell with hip-shaking patriotism is not a voter we want to be associated with. And this, we fear, would probably not be a winning electoral strategy.
It also doesn’t help that Jens is a Swede.
If you have not had the extreme good fortune of hearing Jens perform this song live in the company of Brad & Christy Daniel, this is the next best thing.
And the astute rock critic Eric Bescak reviews a Jens Lekman show from this past March at the University of Wisconsin’s Music Hall here.