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In Dewey Beach, certain songs are inescapable. During summer 2007, The Killers’ “Read My Mind” stalked me from bar to bar until I actually started to like it. This year, the song is Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire.” No hopes of endearment there.
I’ve heard “Sex on Fire” in Northbeach, The Starboard and the Rusty Rudder, screeching from PAs and howled into microphones. You haven’t seen the power of alcohol until you’ve seen a full dance floor caterwauling the chorus to Kings of Leon’s turgid hit played on acoustic guitar.
Certain songs seem to be unshakable from the set lists of Dewey cover bands and DJs. Hit the jump for a brief digest of sonic cliché and sing-along nausea. “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry Confession: I’ve never had sex in the bed of a truck. Also, I’ve never had sex with someone missing one or more teeth. Should I ever, I expect this song to be playing. The problem with “Crazy Bitch” is that when it comes on, many girls on the dance floor think she’s the titular Crazy Bitch. This leads to: excessive hip-thrusting; uninvited sashaying whilst beckoning naughtily; clawing the dance partner’s back during the “scratches all down my back” line. Popular during summer 2007, I learned to take a bathroom break after the first chords of Buckcherry’s ode to meth-fueled sex.
“Read My Mind” by The Killers A synth-fueled love letter to small-town glory, drippy with nostalgia – really, this song was written for thick summer nights, making it was a cover band staple within weeks. While Sam’s Town was a wash, there’s a certain sincerity in “The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds, cut out of the sun / Can you read my mind?” to which the rum-drenched mind is extremely receptive.
“Radar Love” by Golden Earring Dewey burnouts call cover band Love Seed Mama Jump corny, hokey and over-the-hill. Even if there’s a kernel of truth in that, you won’t see a harder-working band in town. Love Seed has been doing their Rudder gig for longer than I can remember, and “Radar Love,” the enduring legacy of Dutch foursome Golden Earring, is one of their cranking signatures. When you’ve played a song hundreds of times, you’re going to know its crescendos, hooks and bridges reflexively. Regardless, Love Seed frenzies newcomers and multi-summer fans alike with their cover of “Radar Love,” which I’ve seen stretched past 10 minutes.
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey I didn’t used to hate Journey. I do now. “Don’t Stop Believing” is a song that everyone thinks is about them and their friends – how they ferret this out of the lyrics I’m not sure, but on Dewey dance floors, the opening measures of this song cause 20-something girls to glom together, shriek and stomp their J.Crew flip-flops. I actually witnessed a girl in a terrycloth strapless sing “streetlights, people” for the entire goddamned song. Misanthropy, song fatigue, gin malaise; whatever the reason, Steve Parry’s voice makes me want to throw myself into Rehoboth Bay.