(This is a series celebrating our favorite songs of 2008. No particular order. It is being cross-posted at rangeliferecords.com. If you’d like to contribute, email a song link and “The Wire: Season 4” to email@example.com.)
Song: “A Widow Knows” by The Dactyls
Song Link: Lawrence.com
Live Video: HERE
1) The Dactyls definitely rock out in their song, “A Widow Knows”. It’s the ultimate crowd pleaser for a band that leans more towards dissonant rock. It feels like a bolt of electricity shoots out of their amps and straight into your brain when they bust this song out. It’s impossible not to move. Crunchy guitars, screaming vocals, killer licks and a relentlessly driving beat, this song is a joyride in a stolen Mercedes with the top down. Even if there weren’t any lyrics, this would be a protest song just based off of the energy, but the words that Nick Bergwell yells over the guitars and thumping bass are all about being pissed that we’re being lied to, pissed that no one cares, and pissed that there’s nothing we can do about it (clearly pre-Obama). Even though it’s Winter, this song reminds me that Spring is just around the corner and in the meantime, quit being a baby and get some shit done!
2) Isn’t it interesting that in a year of such heightened political awareness there weren’t more songs that addressed politics? Fuck having a Bob Dylan for our times, we don’t even have a Donovan! But who needs “a voice”? We’ve got something better and that’s a whole generation of kids who grew up with Pavement and Adbusters and whose voices aren’t “a voice” bleating in earnest at some Folk Festival but echos, sneak attacks, each word a little ninja.
The best lyrics of any song this year aren’t just the smartest or the punkest – no, in 2008 they’re a fucking miracle. “People getting killed in between commercials/ Change the channel, please, this isn’t a rehearsal/ Context doesn’t make a difference anyway/ Better keep it simple/ People never pay much mind
to News/ If it doesn’t reinforce their current views”. Throw in a “Watery, Domestic” lead guitar and Sex Pistols drums and this song is the pop cacophony of a thousand fire alarms getting set off in Corporate Headquarters all across the United States.
Thanks, Dactyls. Sucks you had to push back alone but thanks for making it sound so good and feel so… Liberating.