If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Bedbedbedbedbed” by Deleted Scenes (2011, from the album Young People’s Church of the Air).
Deleted Scenes is an indie-rock foursome from Washington DC. They’ve been around since 2005 and have two full-length albums under their belt. The word on the street is that they have a new record in the works. Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of them.
Deleted Scenes is one of the 175 bands who will be playing at the fourth annual Hopscotch Music Festival this September 5-7 in Downtown Raleigh. They’re playing the 9:30-10:30 slot at Five Star on the very busy middle night (Friday) of the festival. In a perfect world, where I could be in more than two places at a time, I would promise that I’ll be at their set. In the real world, it’s gonna have to be a game-time decision. There’s at least one other band that I’d love to see playing in that same time slot. The hard lesson to learn about Hopscotch is “just because you can bounce from venue to venue in the middle of a set doesn’t mean you have to“.
I’m not exactly sure how I would describe Deleted Scenes. Although they draw from a bunch of different influences and styles, there’s something Death Cab-ish about them. They’re more accessible than most indie rock, but not “mainstream pop” at all. Vocalist Dan Scheuerman explains it like this:
We’re too poppy for the weirdos, and too weird for the straight-ahead kids
There’s a bit of a fun backstory to tonight’s song, but first, I’ll let you listen to the song. Or listen to the song while you read about the story.
“Bedbedbedbedbed” by Deleted Scenes
Several years ago, Scheuerman moved from DC to New York because of a girl. She lived in Queens, and he lived in a dumpy furnished apartment in Brooklyn. One of those shoebox “apartments” with no kitchen and no bathroom. As it turned out, his apartment was overrun with bedbugs. He moved out and got rid of literally everything that he owned. He moved in with his girl, but she moved away to go to graduate school. He moved back to DC with no belongings, no job, and no place to live. He ended up sleeping in a friend’s closet. Yes. The closet. He had to sneak in the house really late at night and sneak out of the house really early in the morning. Not entirely unlike that guy Lazlo in the movie Real Genius. He did this for a few months while he was also defaulting on his student loans. His life wasn’t really in a good place.
A while later, his girl moved back to DC, and she helped him understand that living the way he was living was no way to live. After taking inventory of his life and realizing how lucky he was to have a woman like that to take care of him, he decided that he was going to start living like an adult, and that he was going to marry her.
Here’s a bit of the lyrics that boil it down. And the prose, by the way, is very much like Ben Gibbard’s:
You are a miraculous song in my head.
We live in difficult times.
I fell behind.
I did some shit that I can’t deny.
But you are a merciful girl.
You helped me back.
You cut my hair, and you cut me slack.
Won’t you crawl into my bedbedbedbedbedbed?
I will thee wed.
If you want to hear Scheuerman himself tell the story, here it is:
You can order Young People’s Church of the Air from the amazon store here.
On another Hopscotch note, rapper Big Boi, who was supposed to headline the City Plaza show on Friday night, has had to back out of the festival. Next week, the festival organizers will announce the replacement. They’ll also make a couple of other lineup change announcements. Stay tuned for details as they emerge.