Last night I came out as someone who is not a fan of Elvis Costello and asked people to comment and then I got up this morning to 30-odd comments about how good Elvis Costello actually is. And today I'm going to come out as someone who isn't a fan of the Dead Milkmen, so I guess we're doing this again. As with Elvis Costello, I've tried and failed to get into the rest of their catalog. I don't think I'm beyond help in either case. I overcame this issue with Talking Heads recently, so I can keep trying.
This song came out in 1988 but it was generously in heavy rotation on Radio Free during the 90s, so I associate it with high school. It's a jokey song, but I think it's crazy romantic. It was exactly what I wanted out of a relationship. Me and a cute guy, going around town, committing harmless acts of terrorism (apart from the stolen car, which I guess is less harmless). Those aspirations eventually came to fruition. I shared this song with Pete early on in our relationship, as if to say "look, see this is a blueprint for what we can be." I don't know if he took it that way, but he adopted the role naturally.
Another thing I like about this song is the references to real stuff in Philadelphia. When I was in high school, my grandma moved in with my aunt who lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, not terribly far from Philadelphia. We would visit summers and spent most of the time around my aunt's house because my grandma wasn't super mobile. My favorite times during these trips is when we would visit Seaside Heights, New Hope, and South Street. South Street was so fucking cool to me as a teenager! The incense store! The hat store! The hippie restaurants! And of course, Zipperhead, which is now named Crash Bang Boom. I am delighted to find that it's still with us. Pete and I visited Crash Bang Boom on a weekend trip in 2013, which I think was for our 10th wedding anniversary. I think anymore these kinds of shoppes are a dime a dozen, so it was a bit of a letdown. I've wondered why on earth they'd change their name but today I learned that "zipperhead" is a racial slur and I'm very sad about that. Anyway Zipperhead gets a shout out in this song as well as a pizza place that is no more.
Recently, I think knowing that I'd include this song on this list, Allison offered to give me a Minnie Pearl commemorative plate, which was an amazing gesture I had to turn down. Also there's a reference to "California Dreamin'" by the Beach Boys, which is so funny. When we played with Theophobia in Brooklyn, someone inexplicably put "California Dreamin'" on the jukebox. We were talking to Dylan at the time and she was in the middle of saying something else when she interrupted herself and said "Oooh, Beach Boys." I will never ever forget that. I don't know whether that was on purpose or not. It kind of doesn't matter.