Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Release of the Day: Sir Deja Doog - Love Coffin

“Yes, Deja?”
“What’s your stop word?”
“Play with me.”
“Doog, is it loaded?
“Did the United States put a man on the moon?”
“Probably not”
“It’s no fun if you don’t believe it.”
"Well, they might have."
"THEY PROBABLY DID! Do you really want to take that chance?"

Welcome to the grimly satirical world of Sir Deja Doog, where the horror icons that came from black and white lands commingle with all-ages DIY shows and rock n’ roll. Fronted by singer-songwriter extraordinaire Eric Alexander, Sir Deja Doog's monster-rock-opera Love Coffin is equal parts Howlin' Wolf and Nick Cave's Your Funeral...My Trial.

It goes like this. A girl can't stop dreaming of a dead troubadour who is ultimately resurrected through wish and romanticism. The troubadour is Sir Deja Doog, who, once resurrected, proceeds to party like he's back from the dead, which he is. Things get a bit out of hand, but I'll let the Doog himself finish that story.

Yes, it's outrageous, but that's the fun of it. And when you think about it, isn't everything outrageous? I mean, we're living on a huge rock that not only spins on its own axis that also circumnavigates the sun at more miles per second than the fastest car in existence can get in an hour. So we might as well forget discounting stories for being too absurd. What the record does with the absurdity that it inhabits, though, is pure, unadorned fun.

But it's not dumb fun: there are some absolutely breathtaking moments on the record. For me, "Burn Out" is the perfect mixture of apocalyptic writ and beauty, imploring the listener to "Come to San Francisco and burn out." Surrounding the words is a haunting string quartet. The verses utilize two of the string players, but when the four mix during the chorus with heavy, expansive bass, there's this intense moment of reflection. Maybe, as Deja croons to horny teenagers, punk rockers, and horror movie lovers, he's really trying to impart the lesson that perhaps the veil between life and death is not so opaque and insidious as it's made to be.

The entire work utilizes this sense of binary living. Some songs are straight 50s rock and others are more aligned with the conscientious ballad. That's the fulcrum of the work, though, and what makes the record such a resounding success. There are times to have fun and times to be serious. There are times to celebrate and times to mourn. There are times to live and times to die. Sir Deja Doog is a character that turns the notions of life and death on their heads by coming back to life, something like a macabre, rock-oriented Jesus Christ.

And because the album is so fun, it's sometimes easy to forget that it's tackling the most serious topics that concern us. When I first heard it, I thought it was great weirdo garage rock, but now when I hear it, I can't help but think of mortality and how easily time falls through our fingers like grains of sand. I have found a sense of personal importance within it and I hope you can too.


  1. I know that I would regret it one day if I didn't pick this album up last night. I love it.