Dispatches for Luna & Max (#14)

  • On first listen, this song’s kind of doing a Paranoid Android, in that it sounds like three different songs mashed together. So it’s kind of also just an emo Happiness is a Warm Gun (the emo-est of the Beatles’ song title by a mile!).
  • But here’s the thing: it’s not a Paranoid Android or a Happiness. The song hangs together.
  • It hangs together out of sheer frustration, loneliness, and pleading. It’s a song about letting go and coming home and doing both at the same time. The entire thing builds up to a simple thesis: “I miss coming home to you/I hate coming home.”
  • Admittedly, the song sounds like a fine, if typical, emo/punk song for the first minute and a half. But then it goes on a journey (like a musician being a little too road-weary). Two and a half minutes in and the song drops any pretensions and just goes straight to heart-filled pathos and ennui: “All these other motherfucking dipshits can bite me.” Honestly, it doesn’t even sound like an annoying line by the time it sneaks up on you.
  • I want to yell along with some dumb “yeahs” and this song feels like the fact that I (we?) haven’t seen live music–in person–for a year and a half at this point, the longest period by several multiples since being a teenager.
  • I think about Jeff Rosenstock releasing this song (the final track on his most recent album) in the midst of a pandemic–adrift from a world and an audience. A song that demands chanting and collective screaming: “You’re the only person that I wanted to like me /You’re the only person that I wanted to like me.” And not being able to participate in the catharsis that emo thrives on.
  • And then, by transforming a joke tweet into a living, breathing, honest-to-god good ska album, he released the song again in the middle of the same goddamn pandemic. Twice the pleading, twice the angst, twice the loneliness in coming home:
    • “We relive every misstep that we’ve made in our lives.”
  • I confess I get hooked deeply on one or two songs on every one of Rosenstock’s albums. I think about the simplicity of 9/10 all the time. This verbal introduction of Festival Song–sharing his band’s fee for performing at a dumb festival … at the actual dumb festival–is one of my favorite introductions to a song.


  • “Nobody wishes for the things that they already have.”

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