I'll Wear Any Color As Long As It's Black

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Posted in / / / by Jeralyn on January 11, 2010


I first discovered the Murder City Devils through a t-shirt trade a friend did with a member of a touring band at a fest in the late 90s (my friend had a Gizmo shirt, this guy had a MCD shirt). A year or so later, I picked up the record this image is from, Empty Bottles Broken Hearts. I have loved them ever since, though like any deep-seated love, it is hard to pinpoint the exact spot from which the love comes. Or why exactly it’s there. I’ve thought about it time and again because honestly, I can never seem to get enough of this band and lately I have been listening to them like crazy, even going so far as to watch the, admittedly, pretty bad documentary Rock & Roll Won’t Wait. (Note: this documentary is fun to watch if you like the band, but offers absolutely no insight to them as a group or as individuals and has really bad sound quality.)

The only conclusion I have been able to come to is that there is a certain innocence and charm in the Murder City Devils which I am attracted to. While I obviously like the music, I am also drawn to what they represent to me: a lifestyle, a type of personality, an attitude. The songs are all straight-up rock and roll, but obviously by people who are coming from a punk background and playing what they think rock and roll should sound like, not ripping off classic rock. The lyrics are so basic and ‘blue collar’ that sometimes they border on the ridiculous (“Bunkhouse,” “Fields of Fire”) but other times touch on the sublime with their simplicity (“Every Shitty Thing,” “Get Off The Floor”). I also think that this image has a huge part in my attachment, which is funny considering they mentioned on the documentary that it wasn’t supposed to be put inside the record. There was something about seeing this, these arms cut off from the people they were attached to and just presented as something on their own, that has stuck with me as a sort of ideal (life/style-wise) for the past ten years.

While searching the internet for images, I found out that MCD are playing in New York next month. And I am freaking out! On my walk to work today, I was thinking about how annoying it was that I had only seen them twice and both times ended up shitty in their own ways (not because of the band). They reunited last year and played a bunch of shows on the west coast but there was no way I could make it out there. Obviously I was crushed. I’m a little nervous about the fact that they’re playing the Nokia Theater though, I think I’ve been to a show there before and it’s obviously a huge crazy venue where buying a beer will set you back $12, but I totally don’t give a fuck, I am going to go and scream my lungs out and finally have my moment.

Images from MCD Flickr


Murder City Devils – Idle Hands

Download most of their discography here, including their cover of “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine” — one of my absolute favorites!

6 Responses

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  1. amanda said, on January 11, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    oh shit, i’d LOVE to see them live. i got into the devils right around the time i got into modest mouse (late 90s) from dann’s ties to both bands. now i want to go home and find my old cd..such good stuff

  2. Jeralyn said, on January 11, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    If you go, let me know!! Just got tickets. Obviously going to have to drink tons of whiskey before going over to the show so let me know if you want to meet up or something.

  3. poop eater said, on January 11, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    the music is good. is it just me, though, or does the first minute of the song sound like he’s trying to sound like danzig? it just sounded too derivative and that was sort of distracting….

  4. poop eater said, on January 11, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    by danzig, i meant the misfits, but yeah, glenn. the singer.

  5. Jeralyn said, on January 12, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Yeah I knew what you meant. I think way back when I first got into them, someone on the Three One G email list was bitching about MCD saying the singer sounded like a mix of Danzig, Billy Idol and howling (he likes to howl)… anyway, it’s all true, but it just doesn’t bother me. Sometimes I will hear a band and be completely annoyed by the way they imitate or emulate their influences and other times, it doesn’t bother me at all…. I haven’t yet been able to pinpoint exactly what it is that sways me either way.

  6. eve said, on January 14, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    SO great. i continually find myself returning to MCD for the exact reasons mentioned in this post. thanks!

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