Sammy the Seal

“If you don’t got Mojo Nixon, then your store could use some fixin'”

In music videos, vinyl on Tuesday, 15 May, 2012 at 16:56


Song: Punk Rock Girl
Artist: The Dead Milkmen
Album: Beelzebubba

So it turns out all those endless facebook updates other people pump out occasionally yield value. Thanks to The Thermals for turning me back on to The Dead Milkmen. Evidently, they played these parts last weekend, having released a new album last year, and they went. Despite how silly, tasteless, bizarre, druggy, or just plain wacko they could be, they could actually write songs as well. Surely, “canonical” would not be the first word most people think of when describing a DM song, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. I mean, take this great song. It’s their most well-known song (no doubt aided by the video), and for good reason. I forgot how great this song is. It’s a bit silly and tongue-in-cheek– you never really know how sincere these guys really are. (The “do you have a beau?” line is a nice, sly little jab.) And yet, it’s kinda sweet. Listen to the intensity in the final “travel ’round the world”– he sounds like he actually means it. The song has plenty of jaunt and jangle, and, despite rough, unrefined edges, the music is most definitely pop. A nifty solo that’s (intentionally) slightly out of tune is still a nifty solo. The guitar tones overall have an amateurish feel, which adds to the endearing quality of the song. And that perfectly placed accordion that makes its way halfway in, it really picks up the song. It’s not gratuitous, it works perfectly. Ah, l’instrument juste. What a fun song. Bless you, you nutty Philadelphians.

Ah, the good old days of music video. Back when you used to see them. There’s a reason this clip is in the pantheon of DIY music videos. A hoot and a half (and then some) from start to finish. First, just look at the filming location: a craggy, most-likely-abandoned something-or-other, not to mention Punk Rock Girl’s digs which are kinda, well, crappy, given that her dad is The Vice-President. Proudly dingy shooting locations. What ranks it a cut above is that, like the music, The Milkmen take their fun seriously. Right off the bat, you have Joe Jack glaring into the camera, looking alternately dazed, menacing, and whatever-that-thing-he’s-doing-with-his-lips-is. Then, there’s Dean Clean biting his fingernails while drumming (one of my favorite bits of the video), Rodney casually singing backing vocals while reading his ubiquitous newspaper, Joe Jack entranced by Punk Rock Girl’s anarchy stomp, The Vice-President’s squeal and Rodney’s consequent simper, Rodney and Dave dueling in the background, all the band members trying the solo, with Joe Jack in the background looking so small and cute wearing Dave’s shirt, Rodney and the washboard player, singing zombies (Dawn Of The Dead !), and pretty much everything else, especially in the background. And then there’s the food. Apart from the pizza, which is in sepia tone so you can’t tell what it really looks like, all the food is completely disgusting. If I were going to my girl’s parents’ for dinner, I hope they serve that. And, my god, do they look ugly in drag– I love it! The dopey smiles on the reveals for Punk Rock Girl’s mom and Punk Rock Girl are classic. They’re so homely! My god, the production value is fantastic, and that’s no sarcasm nor irony. Fun, fun fun. Not just DIY, but a great video, period.

Lyrics:

One Saturday, I took a walk to Zipperhead
I met a girl there and she almost knocked me dead
(Punk rock girl) Please look at me
(Punk rock girl) What do you see?
Let’s travel ’round the world
Just you and me punk rock girl

I tapped her on the shoulder and said “Do you have a beau?”
She looked at me and smiled and said she did not know
(Punk rock girl) Give me a chance
(Punk rock girl) Let’s go slam dance
We’ll dress like Minnie Pearl
Just you and me punk rock girl

We went to the Philly Pizza Company and ordered some hot tea
The waitress said, “Well, no, we only have it iced”
So we jumped up on the table and shouted, “Anarchy!”
And someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox
It was “California Dreamin”, so we started screamin’ on such a winter’s day

She took me to her parents for a Sunday meal
Her father took one look at me and he began to squeal
(Punk rock girl) It makes no sense
(Punk rock girl) Your dad is the Vice President
Rich as the Duke of Earl
Yeah you’re for me punk rock girl

We went to a shopping mall and laughed at all the shoppers
And security guards trailed us to a record shop
We asked for Mojo Nixon, they said “he don’t work here”
We said “if you don’t got Mojo Nixon, then your store could use some fixin'”

We got into a car, away we started rollin
I said “how much you pay for this?”, she said “nothin’, man, it’s stolen”
(Punk rock girl) You look so wild
(Punk rock girl) Let’s have a child
We’ll name her Minnie Pearl
Just you and me
Eat fudge banana swirl
Just you and me
We’ll travel round the world
Just you and me
Punk rock girl

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