Disqualified For President

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.


3 thoughts on “Disqualified For President

  1. ugh. you forced me to look at that review again. that was not the version i sent. i hate scare quotes. my editor did not.

    and this is possibly the worst sentence in music criticism: “The wit and calculation of the banter embraced old-school showmanship, and the crowd clearly enjoyed Jens’ very un-indie-like look back to vaudeville and beyond.” wtf? looking back beyond to what? player pianos? ritual chanting? i’m so mad now.

    as to your game, i’m pretty much sunk by destroyer’s “goddess of drought” (shuffle #3, i think i’d get a pass for erykah badu’s “bump it” and jesse sykes’ “the air is thin”…some bad words but they’d think i’m just a funky depressive). this deep destroyer cut (as if there’s any other kind) is from the very excellent “this night”… “my work was a sham, your work was a sham/ i took a bribe, you took a bribe…i was looking good on the day that you fell for the way i looked…” etc.

    btw, patriotism does not make your hips shake. you’re going to have to prove that one.

  2. Eric, turn your devastating critical eye away from yourself! I looked back to vaudeville and beyond when Jens played for me. You captured Mr. Lekman’s charm perfectly with, “Sunday night’s performance demonstrated that the ‘preciousness’ of Jens Lekman is worthwhile and exceptionally well suited to the live setting.” Be of good courage. Music criticism needs more of the Beez.

    However, I am saddened that you chose this forum to launch an attack on the Vore’s patriotism. We wouldn’t need to prove that patriotism induces hip-shaking to a true patriot. Ergo, you are soft on terrorism.

  3. I’m not real sure Christy appreciated the non-Kenny Chesneyness of Jens, but to me that night was a great introduction to the wonderful eclectic music taste of the Vore household.

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