I've been rather lucky and visited many nooks and cranies our world has to offer. I was surprised in a Las Vegas coffee shop by a vociferous Spaniard. I've felt the singular joy of having my wife mistaken for a local who's lost her umbrella in Oslo. I've been to the top of Mt. Fuji with two Britons and a Canadian in tow. I've toured the Sydney Olympic village with three swingin' chicks: one German, one Hungarian, and the third from Orange County, California. I've even told an anti-American, earthquake-rattled, Japanese railroad worker too busy to tell me when the train from Hiroshima would arrive to go f*ck himself.
No matter where I go, through happenstance conversation, geographical pride, or (evidently) tell-tale snippets of twang, these folks all learn one thing sooner or later. I'm from Indiana.
Indiana. On the banks of the Wabash, far away. Home of Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the intrepid midwestern troubadour, John Mellencamp. I've long felt that if the 19th state should ever desire to change its official song - which despite what you've heard from Jim Nabors isn't "Back Home Again" - it should go with "Authority Song" by Mellencamp. Sure, we'll trade allusions to bucolic upbringings for lines like "You don't need no strength/ you need to grow up, son," but I'm sure folk in the Crossroads of America would gladly put a hand over heart for JCM's lyrics. So, one might imagine my delight to hear Jimmy Eat World throw something called "The Authority Song" onto Bleed American.
* * *There's a degree of songs in the world that are quite simply fun. When one hears them, they elicit nothing but unbridled - and usually beer-infested - joy. "The Authority Song" is one such number. Much is owed to the ringing Ah-ah-ahhs and Do-I-I-I-uh-I-hi's. Seriously, what is it about the overtly and overly girly voice - well displayed by one Rachel Haden - that makes a sucker of me?
The beer song comes in many varieties. In college you might have heard it pumping via duel pianos. More likely it'll come through the overpriced and underused equipment of a washed-up cover band. No matter the context or conveyance, the beer song is stuck right in the wheelhouse of every red-blooded American. "The Authority Song" is no different. The simplistically loping guitar line underscores a song that instantly begs white men everywhere to move not only their hips but shoulders. It's a beer song through and through. Pretension and obtuse lyrics are far, far away. Hell, it ends with Jim Adkins repeatedly asking, "I don't seem obvious, do I?"
The formula is simple: Guy. Girl. Bar. Done deal. All this and he pronounces it core-ter instead of qwour-ter.
What's not to love...especially if you're drunk?