By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Illustration by Bob AulIt's so hard being in a band. There's going to practice, there's carrying heavy stuff, there's bending over to pick up your pick when you drop it, there's getting shocked by microphones, there's remembering all those songs, and there's living at home until you're in your mid-30s (and now your parents are talking about wanting you to pay rent! What the hell?!?).
Hello! Your hands are full! You don't have time for interviews where it's going to be all, "What's this song about?" and, "What do you mean?" and, "I'd prefer if you didn't do that while driving." OC Weekly knows. We get it. We hear you. Homey does play that.
Which is why it's with great excitement that we unveil a new service: the OC Weekly Insta-Interpretation-ator, with which we do your work for you! You sing about apples? We say it's because you lost your virginity in an orchard! You sing about cartoons? We say it's because you're impotent! See? Never again will you have to explain yourself. Let us do the explaining! Let us show you how it works:
Band: Lower East Side Stitches
Album: Lower East Side (Ng/ Artemis Records)
Song: "1st Beer of the Day"
They Say: "Gotta get to the bar/Gotta get there really fast/First beer of the day/First beer of the day."
We Say: You have a drinking problem!
Band: HB Surround Sound
Album: HB Surround Sound (Duddy B)
Song: "I Hated My Boss"
They Say: "I had a job at Schlotzsky's; well, I hated my boss/I had a job at RocHoppers, and, well, I hated my boss. . . . Well, I never really had a steady job, but if I did, I know I'd hate my boss. . . . When they try to tell me who to be/I say, 'U AIN'T THE BOSS OF ME!'"
We Say: Right on! The man is holding you down! Trying to get you to serve food to people and take their orders. What is that about, anyway? First they come for the salami, then they come for your soul. Good thing you got out while there was still time.
Album: The Massed Albert Sounds (Mojo)
Song: "You Haunt Me"
They Say: "You're like a great big mystery, an unexplained unhappening/You still do haunt me/Your voice still haunts me/Are you from Earth or outer space?"
We Say: Outer space, for sure! Would Robert Goulet be from anywhere else? Not that you mention him anywhere at all in your song and not that you make any reference to anything remotely involving Robert Goulet whatsoever, but we see through your thin sham. You love Robert Goulet, and you know what? That's all right with us! We ain't judging. Some enchanted evening, indeed!
Band: Factory 81
Album: Mankind (Mojo)
Song: "Cheese Wheel"
They Say: "Brag about the things, but you fuckin' lied/Brag about the things, but you fuckin' tried/You're just a slave/Now you take a look at your life once again, and you see the fuckers supposed to be your friends. . . . You're a slave, weak inside/You're a slave, feeding your mind/You're a slave, setting your pain/You're a slave, singing your name/You're a slave; open your doors/ You're a slave."
We Say: Nothing busts up a good friendship like a big ol' wheel of cheese. Time and time again, we watch you people make this mistake, refusing to learn from the wisdom of your elders. Surely you've heard the old saw, "Keep your friends close and your cheese wheel closer"? You haven't? Then you've probably heard, "You can pick your friends and you can pick your cheese wheel, but you can't pick your friend's cheese wheel." Haven't heard that, either? What about, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice—here, have some cheese"? No? Not even, "Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other's mozzarella"? Jeez, where have you been?
Album: 5FootTuesday (Wicked Gustave Records)
Song: "Angel on a String"
They Say: "I flew from New York to LA/On a smoggy, sunny day/Just a ticket and I must pay/Another drink, I'm on my way/I just stopped by 'cause, hey."
We Say: "'Cause, hey" is not really a good enough reason to stop by, and it's particularly not a good enough reason to fly cross-country. What if you stop by "'cause, hey" and, hey, no one's home? What if you stop by "'cause, hey" and, hey, your angel on a string has a new boyfriend? What then, Mr. Ill-Thought-Out? Did you stop to think about that? Did you? DID YOU?