Song of the Day: The Dismemberment Plan - Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer

CMJ, Song of the Day
10/17/2013
Anna McClain
photo by Shervin Lainez

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week’s featured songs come from artists performing during KEXP’s broadcast from CMJ. Today’s song is “Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer” by The Dismemberment Plan from the 2013 album Uncanney Valley on Partisan.

The Dismemberment Plan - Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer (MP3)

It's been a year of artist reemergences, from the Pixies to David Bowie, including late 90's post-punk-revival band The Dismemberment Plan. The Washington, D.C. based quartet, formed back in 1993, broke up after ten years and four albums with no signs of reunion. Nevertheless, 2011 saw The Plan reconnect for a tour, yet still no indications of a future album. The band finally announced their fifth album, Uncanney Valley, at the beginning of 2013.

"Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer" is a testament to The Dismemberment Plan's ability to address somber subjects with an unfazed attitude. The track's face value lies in its upbeat, simple guitar riffs and catchy chorus, but the lyrics reveal a deeper, less common theme; that of the impact of fatherhood. Lead singer Travis Morrison opens the song with "Growing up I never knew why Daddy was so depressed...Daddy was a real good dancer until he had me, then he threw his dancing shoes away." The Plan's buoyant manner on the track somehow avoids falling into the ironic, bitter humor that is often unavoidable when melding the chipper with the bleak. The song, picking up right where the band left off with 2001's Change, demonstrates The Dismemberment Plan's ability to successfully craft stripped-down, engaging melodies.

The Dismemberment Plan will be live on KEXP during our CMJ broadcast on Friday, October 18, at 11AM PST. Live performances will be broadcast all day, so tune in and check out the full schedule here. For tour dates and updates, see The Dismemberment Plan's website and Facebook page. Watch their music video for "Waiting" from Uncanney Valley:

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