Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bandwagon soundtrack

One of the more interesting developments and personally interesting storylines to the Red Sox run through the playoffs and ultimately, winning the World Series, has been the adoption of the Dropkick Murphys as the team’s postseason house band.

Unless you have more than a cursory knowledge of post-punk music, from say, 1990, onward, you probably haven’t a clue about the DKMs, other than “Tessie” got quite a bit of airplay at Fenway during the 2004 WS run.

For me, hearing the band getting played at Fenway and in particular, this year’s late season ratcheting up of the band’s status, particularly noting that they were the only band that got asked to play during the team’s Tuesday victory parade, is ironic.

For the uninitiated, the Murphy’s are Irish Boston working-class blokes, through and through. Unlike many of the “The Nation” (a term I’m so sick of, thanks to the nauseating marketing hype associated with it) of bandwagon riders who climbed aboard in 2004, only to dismount and get back on in late 2007, the DKMs are lifelong sports fans of many Boston sports teams, not just the Red Sox.

Watching how Red Sox fans have suddenly discovered the band, makes me wonder if bandmates Ken Casey, Al Barr, Matt Kelly, James Lynch, Marc Orell, John Wallace and Tim Brennan ever scratch their heads about the entire episode and being embraced by many that probably know nothing of their roots, or politics. Seeing that this band came out of the mid-90s punk scene and embraces unions, the working poor and have little use for our current president makes them an unlikely soundtrack for the thoroughly corporate world of Red Sox Nation.

Interestingly, there’s been talk about awarding the band World Series rings, which has touched off a flurry of comments at the Boston Herald’s site. Reading through these comments made me think of the late Kurt Cobain, who lamented that when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” blew up and Nirvana’s popularity went through the roof, Cobain would look out into the mosh pit and see the jocks that used to kick his ass in high school.

C’est La Vie at least in the consumptive world of today, where yesterday’s outlaws become today’s pop culture darlings.


Joe said...

The Murphys have a kickin' tribute to the Bruins ("Black and Gold") on the Blackout album.

Jim said...

I became a DKMs fan, courtesy of Mark. I have a soft spot for their working-class sentiments and kick ass rock.

I'm definitely down with "Black and Gold."