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What Would People Think?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Die Elitist Die!

(Told you this post was coming soon.)

No, I don't actually want anybody to die. That would be mean and, contrary to popular perception, un-Christian.

But, in keeping with the American spirit, I am incredibly annoyed by elitism....whether it comes from those rich, Harvard-educated fools who couldn't appreciate how awesome my friend Kenny is (as he related to me in an essay he once wrote), film critics who think they are above the average moviegoer looking for escapism just because they happen to have seen deeper films, or the kind of people I write about in this song.

"Die Elitist Die!" (gotta have the exclamation point) is a song I wrote (with ample help from Mike) about people who don't like mainstream music because it is mainstream. It's about all those people who look rebellious, yet think and act remarkably the same. Mike told me once about a friend who had every Modest Mouse song on his computer EXCEPT "Float On"....because, you know, "Float On" got radio play. It was somehow infected because it was listened to and appreciated by the same peons who like Linkin Park.

Having never in my lifetime been part of the in-crowd, I'm still increasingly annoyed by the "out crowd" who seem no more individualistic, but a hell of a lot more arrogant about it. Why not just be yourself? If you like something mainstream, that's ok. If you like some unheard-of garage band, that's awesome. Just don't think you're better than anybody else because of your tastes. My best friends are folks who, after long struggles of their own, are defiantly themselves.

Anyways, these rantings were swirling around in my mind when I thought of a golden line for a song: "You Indie fans can keep all of your damn street cred." Unlike some songs, this one didn't just flow out of me. It took months of trying out different lyrics to capture the sense of being....well....defiantly "sold-out." Or maybe defiantly mainstream. Then it took two "fiddling-around-with-the-music" sessions to create a supremely catchy pop-rock tune: one with Mike in Dunedin, FL before I got married, the other with Mike and Dan last weekend sitting in a park in Atlanta.

This song turned out to be rather complex (for us) musically, but hopefully one day we can record it...or Mike can if he feels like putting the work into it. (Hey, Mike! My birthday is November 28. That should give you enough time! Hint, hint.) But I really enjoyed writing it and I've already got Christy humming it to herself, so I know it's catchy.

So, without further ado....because frankly I've already included too much "ado" by way of introduction.....here's the song.

Die, Elitist, Die!

Lyrics by Ben Stark and Mike Mott

Music by Mike Mott and Dan Ortiz

Intro: D5, F5, G5 end on A, E

Verse: D, A, G, F-G

Chorus: as below

I listened to my Creed CD the other day

Played air guitar, enjoyed the sound

I prefer their mediocrity to your cliché

There’s a reason why you’re underground

You follow different shepherds but you’re all still sheep

Iconoclast right off the shelf

You call yourself a rebel but rebellion’s cheap

Just fifteen bucks to buy a self

D, C, G (alternate electric and acoustic)

“Die, elitist, die” is my cry as I listen to some pop

(Na na-na na-na na-na, na na-na na-na na-na)

Behind these hazel eyes lies a guy that’s still fighting pink robots

(Na na-na na-na na-na, na na-na na-na na-na)

Being anti-cool is the rule, why can’t you just be yourself?

(Na na-na na-na na-na, na na-na na-na na-na)

Oh well, what the hell, let’s rebel just like everybody else

A, E

I wish I could sell out so I could piss you off

I’d laugh at your faux-righteous hate

So let the sayers “nay” and let the scoffers scoff

Why bother to pretend I’m great?


(over intro)

I don’t why I ever even tried

To lie and cry and buy my way

To the hipster throne that I’ve never even known

I need a lyric here

Damn, I’ve blown it!

(A, then Dan’s arpeggio thing with Dm, F, G over intro chords)

I only wrote this song so I could make some bread

The girls are nice, and so’s the dough

You indie fans can keep all of your damn street cred


(close with a ROCKING solo over chorus chords)


  • I love that you included my own mnemonic oversimplification of the chords. Now everyone can play it!

    By Blogger Mike, at 4/08/2007 10:28 AM  

  • I love the lyrics. So did my wife. Especially "There’s a reason why you’re underground" and "Oh well, what the hell, let’s rebel just like everybody else."

    I look forward someday, somehow, actually listening to the song.

    By Blogger Matthew B. Novak, at 4/08/2007 7:04 PM  

  • I'm particularly proud of that 2nd line, Matt. It's a combination reference to Catch-22 and a song Mike wrote called "Just Like Everybody Else"

    By Blogger Ben, at 4/10/2007 6:58 AM  

  • I'm also a fan of the combination Kelly Clarkson-Flaming Lips reference.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4/10/2007 11:51 AM  

  • Oh, and I just saw one of those smarmy "Priceless" Mastercard commercials that ended with the catch phrase "There are some things money can't buy - for street cred, there's Mastercard." I thought you'd appreciate that.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4/10/2007 7:30 PM  

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