Album: What a Time To Be Alive
. . .
If you’re one of those people who follows Superchunk’s official Twitter account, then you know that Mac — who runs it — wears his political heart on his sleeve. And I might be projecting a bit, but he’s a clearly a fire-breathing lefty, who isn’t afraid to engage with the world, record sales be damned. And more power to him.
Since @Walgreens wants women to die I look forward to shopping at other pharmacies.
— superchunk (@superchunk) March 4, 2023
Anyways, like so many of us, Mac was utterly horrified by the election of Donald Trump, and the attempt by him and his fascist cohort to drag the country rightward, despite the fact that they were well and clearly representing only about 30% of the country. And so he wrote an album about it, 2018’s What A Time To Be Alive, which wasn’t so gauche to explicitly say “these people fucking suck,” but it was definitely the subtext, to be sure, of a song like “Erasure.”
Starting off with a big Jon Wurster drumbeat, and hooked by a guitar that almost sounds like a synth except that you know it’s definitely a guitar, “Erasure” dives right in.
And now it’s night
But I’ve seen our silhouette fade
And weaken to gray
We used to be sharp against the light
Our empathy weaponized
Our history bleaching out during the day
On the chorus, Mac is assisted by a pair of Merge recording artists, Stephen Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, whose 69 Love Songs was a key record for the label and Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, who will show up on Certain Songs when I get there. As you probably guessed, Merritt sings the low harmonies and Crutchfield sings the high ones.
What you’re after, what you’re after
You know. That’s all. People who don’t they don’t like because they’re minorities or women or gender fluid or anything that doesn’t fit the 1950s stereotype — even though that was 80 years ago and we’re actually closer to the 2050s — should be erased. Which, of course, doesn’t make any sense. Those people you don’t like still exist, and it says more about you than them that you want to change how they live their lives in order to make you comfortable. Snowflake.
Hate so graceless and so cavalier
We don’t just disappear
Shifting shapes you’re just an auctioneer
But we’re still here
As I write these words, there is basically a war being waged on trans people, who honestly just wanna live their best possible lives. But nope. Erasure. And if you believe in this kind of erasure, fuck you! Figure out your own shit. Anyways.
There is another to look at “Erasure,” which is the tack that the video takes: in 2018 there was too much everything everywhere all at once. And that was just in our darkest timeline, so maybe folks need to erase a little just to survive.
“Erasure” Official Music Video
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BETH ULRICH says
You should probably revisit So Afraid of the Russians. More than a paranoia song it also represents where most of our tax dollars have gone to (military) since before the 80s. It’s likely not a camp song anymore, so get it on a playlist.