City Paper is not for tourists
Standout Track: No. 2, “My Baby Left Me for General Electric,” a metallic shoutalong about getting dumped for a vibrator. Big drums and guitars team up to recall any number of ’70s or ’80s cock rockers.
“It’s a hard-driving…anthem with a dirty groove to it,” says Pierce “Bison Roughbottom” McManus, the lead vocalist for the D.C.-based quintet. “And [it has] a catchy chorus that you can sing along with.”
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: McManus, 35, wrote the song a few years ago, when he could tell that his then-girlfriend was about to give him the ol’ heave-ho. “It’s about the embarrassment of being on the receiving end of someone breaking up with you,” he says. “It’s like, This person would rather stay at home and watch TV than date me?”
According to the lyrics, she’s doing a little more than lounging on the couch: “Plugged in with the right connections/Sterile safe he’s got no infections/Don’t talk back, always at attention/Goes south of the border without apprehension.” “A lot of people,” McManus says, “have interpreted the song as being about…using an electrical device for self-love.”
BUILDING Buzz: The frontman chose to personify General Electric as an “übermilitary strongman figure who basically pleased her more than I was capable of.” That might sound metal, but it was actually inspired by something wussier: the witty self-deprecation of such McManus faves as Billy Bragg and Morrissey.
“I had problems with…the [heavy-metal] idea of the dominant-male, woman-slayer guy who would get whatever he wanted,” he explains. “I mean, I’m the guy who’s being left for a battery-operated object.” —Rachel Beckman