The Chairman Dances’ “Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin” is — as only a song with that kind of title can be — a quietly fervent chronicle of the lives of the titular Catholic activists. It’s the kind of spirited indie rock lazy music writers describe without fail as “jangly”, shimmering verses dropping into a dusty, stomping chorus reminiscent of the wandering rock of Springsteen and Darnielle. Lyrically, it continues in the tradition of the aforementioned artists as well — it’s less a treatise than a scene, reflective and illustrative above all. It’s the kind of eternal indie rock which will survive as long as the guitar stays in style — and, given how well the song fits into this canon and how good the canon as a whole is, this is a fine thing.
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J. Mascis is my best friend. Sometimes he’ll come over and sit across the table from me and we’ll discuss politics—ok, I will—he’ll just sit there brooding the way he does. Yes, the number five best guitar player of all time according to Spin will retort with a cold ambivalent stare while I unload my woes over a pint. When that’s finished we’ll grab our skateboards and go out—um—thrashing. When that gets old we hop into my convertible and cruise around town, everything captured in slow motion frames from the spinning wheel wells to my belly-aching laughter at something J. must have muttered between frowns. We’re stylized, he and I through the perspectives of everyone looking on and the over-driven guitars reverberating off brick walls of the city.