A lot of you e-mailed about the promised Death Cab tab. Sorry I’m not done with it yet! I thought you might like this, though, ’cause it doesn’t require an oboe and banjo.
“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” traces, with alarming accuracy, and over a hazy swirl of acoustic guitar and piano, the pathology of Illinois’ most infamous serial killer: From 1972 until his arrest in 1978, Gacy was responsible for the torture, rape, and murder of 33 boys and young men, many of whom were discovered buried under the floorboards of his Norwood Park home. Lyrically, Stevens nails the specifics (as a kid, Gacy was slammed in the head by a swing, resulting in a blackout-inducing blood clot in his brain; he routinely donned a clown suit to entertain at a local hospital; victims were typically immobilized with chloroform-soaked cloths), and shifts perspectives gracefully; anchored in first-person, the song’s narrator prods Gacy’s mother and father, his neighbors, his victims, himself. More than any other track here, “Gacy” highlights Stevens’ literary prowess, perfectly packed with nuance and detail.
So we’ve got Dm Cadd9 Am F. Pretty ho-hum … but get one of those Illinoisemaker uniforms and you’ve got a party. I tabbed out the fingerpicking ’cause I want one of you to improve on it and send back. Go team!
Sufjan Stevens – “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”
Tabbed by Scott Stereogum
His father was a drinker
And his mother cried in bed
Folding John Wayne’s T-shirts
When the swingset hit his head
The neighbors they adored him
For his humor and his conversation
Look underneath the house there
Find the few living things
Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead
Twenty-seven people, even more
They were boys with their cars, summer jobs
Oh my God
Are you one of them?
He dressed up like a clown for them
With his face paint white and red
And on his best behavior
In a dark room on the bed he kissed them all
He’d kill ten thousand people
With a sleight of his hand
Running far, running fast to the dead
He took of all their clothes for them
He put a cloth on their lips
Quiet hands, quiet kiss
On the mouth
And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
For the secrets I have hid
Sick of Sufjan yet? I’ll scale it down after the Bowery shows:
Sat 8/20 w/ Feathers
Sun 8/21 w/ Bunky
Mon 8/22 w/ Bunky
Tue 8/23 w/ Danielson Famile
Those of you seeing subsequent gigs are so lucky to get Laura Veirs as opener. Stereogum praise for her new CD TK.