McDonald’s Sales Go Up in Smoke

Well, this certainly comes under the heading of, “Well, duh!”

Fast food sales have risen in states that have legalized marijuana.

Particularly at McDonald’s, with 43% of legal smokers reporting a visit to the Golden Arches in the past four weeks. Taco Bell and Wendy’s appealed to 18% and 17.8% respectively.

No word on White Castle’s sales, if you can find one:

Where there’s smoke . . .

Finally Found It!

About two and a half years ago, in a very early post on this blog, I detailed a search inspired by Parquet Courts’ “Stoned and Starving”:

There was something about the song, especially the offhand delivery of the title in the refrain, that reminded me a whole lot of an older song lodged deep in my memory. I had fun sifting through a stack of great songs by The Individuals, Human Switchboard, Pavement, The Modern Lovers and even The Velvet Underground, but I just could not find the specific song I was looking for.

A passing reference on this past week’s episode of Fresh Off the Boat finally unlocked my memory. They didn’t play the song, but I immediately knew this was the song I had been searching for so long ago, “Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” by The Offspring:

Ironically, Parquet Courts actually sounds far more like some of the other bands I initially checked, especially Pavement, than The Offspring. However, it was definitely the casually dropped line, “keep ’em separated,” that my memory kept trying to place.

This Song Reminds Me of . . . Uh, What Was That Old Song?

Ever hear a new song that really reminds you of an old song?  I’m not talking about a song that blatantly copies another, though heaven knows there are enough of those, but one where there’s something, sometimes just a small bit, that triggers a memory of some other song you have not thought about in a long, long time.  And now you really want to hear that older song to compare . . . but you just can’t remember what that old song is.

My friend Vicky turned me on to Parquet Courts; she bought their CD for her husband, John (and she is damn proud of herself, because the recommendations usually flow in the other direction, from one of us to her).

The album is great retro postpunk, but one song in particular, “Stoned and Starving,” really hooked me:

There is something about the way the background vocalists drop in with the deadpan refrain just before the lead vocalist talks/sings the same title words that really reminds me of some old song I can’t quite recall.

So I played “Stoned and Starving” over and over.  Sounded better and better, but I still could not place the source of the bit that was nagging at me.  The guitar is straight out of the Velvet Underground school, so I mentally flipped through bands influenced by the VU, no small list.  And I soon came up with some candidates.  Now I am not implying Parquet Courts ripped anyone off (even if they do wear their influences on their sleeves).  I’d be surprised if they have ever heard some of these songs (a few of which are pretty obscure).  This is more about my own memories of music and connections I make as a fan.

First up is “Walk By Your House” by Hoboken band the Individuals, which DJ Weasel used to play a lot on WHFS-FM, so much so their album was once very collectible in the DC area, but nowhere else (I found several extremely cheap copies in other cities and made some very nice trades when I returned home; same with the Tuff Darts’ album):

There’s a certain similarity in the overall sound, but it does not have that vocal overlap that launched the search.  I then pulled out Human Switchboard and their song “Refrigerator Door”:

It has overlapping vocals, but they sound not at all like those in the Parquet Courts song.  (By the way, both of those bands have been reissued by Bar/None Records.)

Anything on The Days of Wine and Roses by the Dream Syndicate or Wedding Present’s Bizarro?  Nope.

“Trigger Cut/Wounded Kite at :17” by Pavement was a bit closer (does the bridge between the verses and refrain remind anyone else of Jim Croce’s “Operator”?) . . .

. . . and the refrain of the Modern Lovers’ “The Modern World” was the closest yet . . .

. . .  but it wasn’t quite it.  So I went right back to the source, the Velvet Underground, with “Foggy Notion”:

Another great song, but the case remains open.

Crime writer Raymond Chandler once wrote, “The ideal mystery was one you would read if the end was missing.”  I may not have found the song I am looking for, but the quest did lead me to pull out some great old songs I have not listened to in far too long.  Next on the playlist are Swell Maps, the Fall and the Clean.