I used to have this friend who said that whenever she saw the sign that reads MARBURGER SURGICAL over on Irving Place she couldn’t help but think it said HAMBURGER SPECIAL. Now of course whenever I see the sign, which seems somehow to have resisted the overall gentrification of the East Village, I think the very same thing. This has been going on for about fifteen years.
Likewise, a lot of the music that gets stuck in my head comes from visual cues. When I clear my work computer of the web sites I’ve visited, the command reads “Clear Private Data.” This inevitably leads me to start humming Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer.” Whenever I glance at shelves in my office that contain multiple copies of Lebanese author Elias Khoury’s Yalo, Coldplay’s “Yellow” starts playing between my ears. (It doesn't help that it's also the color of the dust jacket.) I once had a colleague called Dana, and every time I saw her in the halls I seriously had to stop myself from belting out the Big Star song of the same name. I could go on, but I won’t. I’m sure this happens to everyone. At least I hope it does. I’d hate to think it means I have a brain lesion or something.
Anyway, I heard this band in Other Music today. They’re from Philadelphia, where everyone seems to love Bruce Springsteen. The War on Drugs have been likened to a ’66-era Bob Dylan fronting the Jesus and Mary Chain. I don’t know about that, but I kind of dig this song.