Dillinger Four – Versus God
Acquired: Mississippi Records, Used, 2013
One of my favorite places to eat in Minneapolis was Town Hall Tap. I always wanted to go to Town Hall Brewery, but it was downtown and I fucking hated going downtown. Not even for locally brewed beer. And then I found their little outpost taproom like ten blocks from our house and anytime Jenny couldn’t decide on what she wanted for dinner, I would just end up driving us over there. I highly recommend the fried chicken sandwich, it is unbelievable. So is their Masala Mama IPA. Plus all beers are served as 20 oz imperial pints and affordable. This weekend a lot of people asked us if we missed MPLS, and both Jenny and I shared the same response: “Not really. Just the food.” And the beer. And the fact that I lived in the same town that birthed Dillinger Four, one of my all-time favorite punk bands.
I equally hated going to Cedar Riverside, but I got a little chill every time I drove past the Triple Rock Social Club on my way to the Cedar or the colossal clinic we went to for our first prenatal visits. “That’s Eric from Dillinger Four’s bar!” I would tell Jenny and she would say “I don’t know what that means.” I’m sad I never attended a show there. Anyway, Dillinger Four are near and dear to my heart. I played their third album, Situationist Comedy, to death my last year of high school and I feel like my sarcastic brand of left wing politics was forged by the Versus God track “Let Them Eat Thomas Paine” (Tell me are the colors of the flag much prettier to see/ When viewed from the requisite comfort of the knees/ Were a loyal little chorus still singing out ‘please’/ I can’t understand/ Don’t tread on me” and “Where taxes paid is like a spade to a dog with a thrift store bone” are just a couple of my favorite lines). This is the shit that was vital. Eric Funk’s nasal vocals were about the most unsingery thing I had ever heard and Paddy’s gruff barking was the second most unsingery thing I had ever heard. And their vocal exchanges were just the fucking best. They still are. This is party music with a brain. Music to blare as society crumbles.
I read something on the Internet that said one’s musical/cultural taste is basically decided by the time they are 14 years old. That sounds like bullshit, but I can’t argue too much considering how much I still love the stuff I loved when I was 16, 17, 18. I have done very little “I loved that so much in high school” lately. You know, when you try to act like your tastes are so much more refined because you’re no longer listening to pop punk and The National is music for adults. I did that a lot in my mid-twenties, but now at the back half I’m settling into the shit I just fucking love unapologetically. Big, booming, bratty, hilarious punk rock in the case of D4, who’s brainy and comical Midwestern socially charged dogma is something I still very much adhere to. As they say on "How Many Punks Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?", "I guess that the more things change the more they stay the same."
"Let Them Eat Thomas Paine"