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One of my favorite songs this year is Texas singer/songwriter Hayes Carll’s “Another Like You.” Performed as a duet with Carrie Ann Hearst, the tune is a great entry in the tradition of adversarial foreplay, this time between two people whose political platforms say “no,” but whose bodies say “yes.”
The tune’s very funny video features a surprise coda starring probably the famous politically opposed couple in America, Democratic strategist James Carville and Republican adviser Mary Matalin. Carville and Matalin worked for the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, respectively, in 1992. In 1993, they got married.
“My initial idea for the video was to have footage of all the talking heads, right and left, and try to sync it up so we could have [for example] Sean Hannity singing to Rachel Maddow,” explained Carll by phone while traveling between tour stops in Santa Fe, N.M. and Durango, Colo. last month. “There turned out to be some legal complications with that.” So he had to scale back.
“James and Mary are the quintessential example of people overcoming their differences to have a happy and seemingly healthy relationship,” Carll said.
A mutual friend, radio host Don Imus, long a proponent of Carll’s music—-which blends the DNA of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and John Prine—-reached out to the power couple to make the requisite introductions.
In their brief appearance, Carville dismissed Carll’s goddamn masterpiece as less funny than a Jamiroquai video.
Which is obviously bullshit. The video retains something of Carll’s original premise, using fictional talking heads. But those shots are interspersed with footage of him and Hearst trading barbs while performing the song, plus scenes of a surrogate Hayes in bar, overcoming his differences with a stand-in for the blonde woman Carll reveals was his muse in the song’s creation.
“The idea of the song initially was me trying to figure out how I could have a physical relationship with Ann Coulter,” Carll says. “I would watch her on TV and cringe at the things she said. She was the definition of obnoxious. But under certain circumstances, were I in a bar, and single, I might just see an attractive woman. How do you overcome the political divide between two people in order to get laid? But then I thought, ‘I can’t just write about the other side,’ so I put myself into the equation.”
Hayes Carll performs Saturday at 7 p.m. with Scott Miller at the Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $16.