After a number of EPs and years of critical praise, brainy and baroque Detroit pop crew PAS/CAL is releasing a full-length: I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura is out on 7/22 on Le Grand Magistery. A ways back we posted one of its tracks “You Were Too Old For Me.” In this week’s Drop, we premiered “Glorious Ballad Of The Ignored,” another gem from the collection. We also asked main man Casimer Pascal about the song. We didn’t have room for all of his responses in the Drop itself, so we’ve reprinted them here in their entirety.
STEREOGUM: If there was a new Revenge Of The Nerds added to the franchise, this could serve as the grand finale theme. Did personal experience inspire the narrative or were you working within/expanding the general high-school/college alienation genre? Both?
CASIMER PASCAL: Gosh! I wish this was something I had grown up and out of … It is seemingly an ever present situation for me. From the classroom to the office the sentiment of that line has served as a trusty defense mechanism of sorts, in that no matter how cruelly I am treated or how bleak the situation I might find myself in is I feel that in the end I will be saved somehow. Thinking about it now I can easily see that it is very much in-line with the sort of lessons I learned from years of parochial school. They taught us that the world is a vulgar and corrupt place, but that we are destined for something better. This lil’ secret continues to get me through this mess.
STEREOGUM: Musically, there’s the faked-out intro. How does this work with the theme of the song? It moves from that awkward moment to the flourishing, cohesive outro. For all that, the final words find the protagonist coming to work on Saturday because he has nothing else to do.
CASIMER PASCAL: Putting it into words seems to cheapen it a bit, but the intro serves as the first “trip up,” if you will. From there the song ebbs & flows with the lyric … sometimes gaining enough footing to be even a bit arrogant — I am thinking of the bit that asserts, “let us all go home and we’ll do something your kids are gonna study in school.” Ultimately all this bravado is trumped. The protagonist takes the key to get into work on Saturday, not because he doesn’t have anything better to do, but because he can’t seem to muster up the nerve to say “no.” I think we do this often in life; it is much easier to do the bidding of others than to accomplish our own personal goals — especially if they are a bit outside the conventional desires.
STEREOGUM: What are some of your favorite songs about alienation of this sort?
CASIMER PASCAL: David Bowie’s 1970 b-side, “Conversation Piece” is a fave despite the fact that the verses are far superior to the song’s chorus. The second line in “Hand in Glove” by the Smiths has that particular arrogance one can obtain by embracing the very thing that the masses detest about you. The sun shines out of Morrissey’s ass and he is mighty proud of it! Scott Walker’s poetic “Rosemary” also touches upon the type of helplessness that I was attempting to convey. Moving away from music for a moment, Franz Kafka’s short story “A Hunger Artist” is close to me and I remember reading it around the time I wrote “The Glorious Ballad of the Ignored”. Pretty fancy, huh?
This week, we also offered the chance to win a pair of Bob Cousy All-American PF Flyers sneaks and CDs from Darker My Love, Eulogies, One AM Radio, and Dappled Cities. PF Flyers teamed up with Dangerbird Records to launch the 1956 Bob Cousy All-American sneakers. For the Modern 56 campaign, four Dangerbird bands covered tracks from 1956: Darker My Love did “The Fool,” Eulogies “Love is Strange,” The One AM Radio “Wayward Wind,” and Dappled Cities “Green Door.” All of the tracks are re-recordings of hits from 1956 and are available for free download. You can listen to the songs and download here.
As far as the footwear goes, we have four pairs of the Bob Cousy’s for four winners. This is what they look like in their various hues:
Each winner gets a pair of the sneakers (we will ask for your shoe size if you win) as well as the newest CD from each of the four bands. Sign up to win here. You can also still win a pair of MOSCOT sunglasses and a copy of Superabundance by UK geek-rockers Young Knives. Sign up for the one here.
CONTEST ENDS 07/09/08 AT 12PM EST.