Song of the Day #1,285: ‘Romance’ – Wild Flag

Wild Flag is a Portland band made up of four women who are members of other bands — sort of the chick version of Monsters of Folk.

Front woman Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss are both veterans of Sleater-Kinney, the celebrated alternative band that went on “hiatus” five years ago. Brownstein has also received attention recently for co-writing and co-starring in Portlandia, a sketch comedy show that also features SNL-er Fred Armisen.

Today’s song, Wild Flag’s second single, is pretty damn good, clearly the work of seasoned professionals. They’re like The Go-Go’s for a more cynical generation.

This video is fun, too. It depicts the four band members working in different capacities (from boss to janitor) in the same office building. When the lunch hour hits, they don plastic masks and drive off together to wreak havoc across the city.

Hey, hey, can you feel it? The way it sways you,
The hum in your chest?
You make my feet move, you turn my head loose
That’s why I love you the best

Hey, you fill up the spaces, those empty places
The corners and cracks
You kill my sickness, my only witness
You’re all that I have

Hands down we like, we like what we like
Hands down we like, we love, we choose you
We’ve got an eye, an eye for what’s romance
We’ve got our eyes, our eyes trained on you
You watch us dance, we dance ’til we’re dying
We dance to free ourselves from the room
We love the sound, the sound is what found us
Sound is the blood between me and you

Back when I had no story, nothing to form me
You got under my skin
You were my maker, my re-creator
My reason to live

Can’t stop the bleeding or this leaving
Though I’ve tried
And when I return, with them fresh burns
You’re waiting inside

Hey, you’ve got me crawling
You’ve got me spinning
Shake, shimmy shake
First you wreck me, then resurrect me, it’s too much

Hands down we like, we like what we like
Hands down we like, we love, we choose you
We’ve got an eye, an eye for what’s romance
We’ve got our eyes, our eyes trained on you
You watch us dance, we dance ’til we’re dying
We dance to free ourselves from the room
We love the sound, the sound is what found us
Sound is the blood between me and you

Hands down we like, we like what we like
Hands down we like, we love, we choose you
We’ve got an ear, an ear for what’s romance
We’ve got our ears, our ears trained on you
You watch us sing, we sing till we’re crying
We sing to free ourselves from the room
We love the sound, the sound is what found us
Sound is the love between me and you

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10 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,285: ‘Romance’ – Wild Flag

  1. Amy says:

    Wow! I just love this. I want to write a paper on it (and I don’t often want to go back to my paper writing days ;) I take issue with your characterization of the women going off to “wreak havoc across the city,” when they purchase what they want to buy, help an older man mow his lawn, and have everyone cheering when they win while gambling. I love the touch at the end when they return to the record store where they did “wreak havoc” (presumably for not stocking their album) and throw the gambling winnings at the shop owner for his troubles. My favorite line in the song – and what I imagine is the inspiration for the video – is “We sing to free ourselves from the room.” The notion of four working women who find a creative outlet in a band is wonderful (a similar notion made up what I found to be the best part of Young Adult).

    Anyway, I like this song… makes me want to learn more about the band.

  2. Dana says:

    Okay, first of all THE “celebrated” Sleater-Kinney? Like the celebrated Beatles, Talking Heads, U2, Nirvana, R.E.M.? I’ve never heard of them and I bet 99% of America hasn’t either, so the fact that they may have had some niche success in the alternative scene and had some critical praise doesn’t rise to the level of “celebrated” in my mind. I’m sure the dozens of people who knew and liked them were really upset when the band went on that five year hiatus!:)

    As to Amy’s comment, while not everything they are doing could be construed as “wreaking havoc,” I think doing any of these things with the creepy plastic masks on raises the ominous havoc level a few notches.:)

    As for the song, pretty good. I could see it being used in a soundtrack for a Michael Cera vehicle (That’s right, I said vehicle!). Not sure I would want to listen to it in any other setting though.

  3. Clay says:

    Oh come on, I’m sure you’ve heard of Sleater-Kinney.

    A quick glance at Wikipedia (which is thankfully no longer dark) reveals that Time magazine named them the country’s best rock band in 2001. I’d call that celebrated!

  4. Dana says:

    Nope, never heard of them…maybe that’s because, according to Wikipedia, they never had an album reach higher than 80 on the charts, and never had a single on the charts in the US. Again, they may have received critical praise, but I don’t think getting as far as being an opening act for Pearl Jam qualifies a band as “celebrated,”

  5. Clay says:

    I guess it depends on whether you read “celebrated” as “well-known” or “highly praised.” I’m going with the latter meaning.

    I wouldn’t describe Britney Spears as “celebrated,” though she’s certainly well-known and has had commercial success.

  6. Dana says:

    yeah, I can see that. To me, “celebrated” suggests some level of notoriaty in addition to just critica praise. So, for example “Titanic” would be a celebrated film, but would you say that for “The Tree of Life?” And even if you might say it this year (though I woudn’t), would you call it celebrated 5 or 10 years from now? Memento was arguably the most critically acclaimed film of 2001 (the year TIme’s critic heaped praise upon Sleater-Kinney), but would you have described it as celebrated? Would you describe it that way now?

  7. Clay says:

    I’d definitely describe both Tree of Life and Memento as celebrated, but it could be I’m just using the word incorrectly!

  8. Dana says:

    Incidentally, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings was also on top of critiics’ lists of 2001, and there I would think “celebrated” applies as it was also popular AND well recognized with awards.

  9. Dana says:

    This will definitely be one of those posts where Amy will see it later tonight or tomorrow morning, and accuse us both of doing less work than usual:)

  10. Amy says:

    I agree with Clay’s definition of celebrated, and I am amazed by the lack of work you both do! ;)

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