American Music

The concept of being “homesick” is a funny one.

I hate the States some days. I really do. For being such a complete country, it’s unstable, uneducated and all around fucked up. So I find it strange that I get homesick when I’m in the UK. Not only homesick, but insanely patriotic. Suddenly everything is funkier in the good ol’ US of A.

It can be difficult (socially) to be a crap Yankee sometimes. That’s why I tend to cover my accent whenever I’m in Dear Old Blighty (whenever I speak to my parents now I get scolded for “not sounding Wisconsin” anymore).

The best way to deal with this crap “homesickness,” for me, is to play Violent Femmes.

Violent Femmes are a group of weird losers, and some of the few musicians to waltz out of Wisconsin and do quite well for themselves. They even hail from my Milwaukee East Side (bring that fun fact up at your next party). To me, they sound and look like everything that damn old smelly city is.

“American Music” is one of the band’s more successful songs from a not-so-successful album. Is it their best track? No. But there’s something liberating about hearing Gano howl about the ugly lake and ask his audience if they do “too many drugs.”

The whole mop of lyrics is just a bunch of irony about pop music, but that’s kind of why it works for a dose of homesickness. This is one of those songs that can be taken too literally if the listener doesn’t take three minutes to sort it out in their mind. It sounds all Americana, but really it’s a slap on the wrists for the mindless-idiots that roam the American radio stations.

In reality, London is quite an unbelievable place to be living. Everything you could want is here, but every once in a while it’s good to remind yourself that you really are a backwards loser American after all.

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