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Hefner: The Fidelity Wars

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So a number of weird things have been keeping me from posting on MZ like I ought (sorry guys), and those same things will ensure the brevity of this post (cos Lord, am I tired), but I did want to mention something cool I stumbled across.

Of those weird things (others of which include but are not limited to getting into a rubber-band fight in a crowded office, spending over an hour actually in a [half-full] dumpster in 95 degree weather, doing blow with someone who once got gardening assistance from Beck, being robbed of over $1100 worth of stuff and visiting an actual honest-to-god hippie commune… it’s been a weird couple weeks), the most significant is that I moved into a house with two roommates that I could actually stand to live in a house with.

That’s actually a great compliment, since I’m kind of notoriously anti-social. But this is an awesome situation (except for a distinct lack of air conditioning–I cannot WAIT until fall), and part of the reason it’s awesome is because of the musical climate in this house. I’ve come across a number of cool new (to me) things already, but the most significant for me right now is the 1999 album The Fidelity Wars by a band called Hefner, which I first heard in a car last week and have been listening to faithfully (har har) since.

The opening track (“The Hymn for the Cigarettes”) sets the flavor for the rest of the record pretty nicely. The best way I can think of to describe it is a mix between Suede (or Blur, if that means more to you, though Suede fits better) and The Violent Femmes. If you can picture that, you’ve pretty much got this exactly, but that makes it work, especially on the first four songs (the other three being “May God Protect Your Home,” “The Hymn for the Alcohol” and “I Took Her Love for Granted”). The second half of the album starts slowing down a bit musically, which makes it lag, but there are still some very fine moments (“I Love Only You,” for example).

As you may have gathered from the titles, these are basically songs about getting fucked-up and getting laid–not in a frat-boy sense, but in the sense of a dedicated self-destructionist. That, I suppose, can either be a big turn-off or used to great effect, depending on your taste. On the one hand, the “home” in “May God Protect Your Home” refers to a vagina, but on the other hand, the chorus that makes that particular reference actually comes of with a sincere-if-demented sweetness when framed by its amazingly catchy descending melody. The significance of drinking whiskey (rather than wine) is the kind of smart detail that makes a song (in this case “The Hymn for the Alcohol”) rise above wannabe-edgy status or purely masturbatory navel-gazing. And Darren Hayman does know how to turn phrase with a Raggedy Andy swagger and thick accent.

Normally this is where I would embed a video, however because the only video I could find–“I Took Her Love for Granted”–qualifies as pretty damn NSFW (body suits, but even so… yeah), I’m opting for a link instead.

Check out the hook on this thing. Seriously. The chorus is amazing.

Ok. My neighbor is playing the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. So that’s kind of hte last straw for tonight. I’m taking a temazepam and going to sleep.


Written by Sarah K

July 12, 2008 at 4:27 am

2 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure watching this around my little cousins is a good idea. :p But I’ll check it out. And lol @ the dumpster. My aunt and uncle’s house has air conditioning. *thankful* Our house in Colorado is all eco-friendly or whatever. v_v Bleh! Congrats on your new place grl!

    Marshall B

    July 12, 2008 at 12:47 pm

  2. New people are amazing. And that does sound like an interesting couple of weeks…

    This album sounds interesting. After all, it’s not often that you say you like something and I don’t like it =P.

    Jacob Z

    July 12, 2008 at 10:23 pm

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