Album: retreat from the sun
. . .
“minneapolis” isn’t quite an answer song to “Left of the Dial,” — the newly remixed version I can’t hardly wait to hear when Tim: The Let it Bleed edition comes out later this week — but it kinda plays in the same ballpark, though the relationship described in “minneapolis” was clearly far more intricate if not more intimate.
Over a single guitar, Anna Waronker describes seeing a guy she fancies at a local L.A. venue.
I was at the Jabberjaw
The cutest boy I ever saw
He was standing behind me
He was such a dream
As drummer Tony Maxwell and bassist Rachel Haden sidle into the song, he’s also checking her out while she’s finding out that he doesn’t live in L.A.
He kept looking right my way
I wanna see him every day
Randy told me where he lives
And, of course, they both do that thing where each of them knows the other is interested but neither has the guts to make first contact. Until, you know, they do. At this point, the full band has kicked in, both Rachel and Petra Haden adding vocals at both opportune and inopportune moments.
Hung around ’til closing time
Wanna make him mine all mine
Told my friends I want to leave
But they embarrassed me
Took my keys out for my car
Walked down the street, not very far
He came running after me
He saw me at the Entry
It’s a twist: he knew who she was, having see that dog. play at some point at the 7th Street Entry, which, of course, was a famous alt-rock club in well, you know.
that dog. is firing in all cylinders on that chorus: the harmonies on each utterance of “minneapolis” are exquisite, and Tony Maxwell’s drum rolls as they start doing quick stops between “Minneap” and “olis” are even better, setting up their initial conversation: a date to see one of the greatest band to ever come from his home state, which might have been the reason he was in Los Angeles, a thing that was never actually addressed in the song. Not that it had to be.
He said, “I heard you ask about me”
And I responded “Yes,” quietly
He said, “I’m leaving on Wednesday
Come see me when Low plays”
So I went to see him again
He should be my new best friend
Running so romantically
Down the street for me
After this, Waronker takes a shimmering guitar solo, because she doesn’t want to tell us what happens next, and even when she does, it’s in a gorgeous three-part harmony with Rachel & Petra Haden, the kind of support which makes you realize that she’s totally making the correct decision here, as I’m sure even he knows.
So he said he’d write or call
‘Cause I’d be touring in the fall
He said he wanted me to move
But that just won’t do
There just wasn’t a chance that L.A. native Waronker was going to move to either Minneapolis or Minneap-olis for this guy, and after the second chorus finally ends, “minneapolis” gets all sad and slow, as Maxwell drops into a slow beat and Waronker takes another solo to end it. That said, if that guy doesn’t see her for a long long while, he’ll know where to find her: left of the dial.
“Minneapolis” Live at The Bottom of The Hill, 1997
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