The 65 Cent Dinner

from The 65 Cent Dinner by The Caribbean

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Edition of 500 singles pressed on black vinyl at the legendary MusiCol studio in Columbus, Ohio. Covers printed by Igloo Letterpress in Worthington, Ohio.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The 65 Cent Dinner via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

From Michael Kentoff: "About five years ago, I discovered a dead poet named Weldon Kees. A native Nebraskan, Kees, who was also an accomplished painter, novelist, songwriter, pianist, and overall jazzbo, disappeared on July 18, 1955; his abandoned Plymouth Savoy was found with keys in the ignition on Golden Gate Bridge the next day. His poetry is electric and preternaturally postmodern. Like most great art, he anticipated as much as he reported; he dictates and reflects. The title of the song comes from a character description in a novel he wrote: “He was about thirty-eight and looked like the sort of person who always orders the fruit cup on the sixty-five cent dinner.” I don't even really know what the sentence means, but I love it. Matt Byars and I both have a number of Nebraska family connections and we sort of adopted Kees as our poetry hero, even talking about doing a Concept EP about him. This song is all the world gets, but it does lots of interesting things and is worth the time it takes to peruse and explore. One interesting feature: Dave plays keyboards and Matt plays lead guitar - sort of a switch-up. Don and Tony on bass and drums, respectively - not a switch-up at all. The song isn't really about Kees or any specific poem; it's more about the intersection of euphoric good fortune and dark emptiness. The two can and do exist simultaneously and how we handle that has a lot to do with how ready we are to be grown-ups. I imagine Kees was pretty familiar with terrain of mixed feelings, but I speculate. As far as the song goes, I think it's a pop tune in the classic manner, but if the only way it gets performed in Vegas is if The Caribbean plays in Vegas, I'm good with that."

lyrics

Overlander Park
In ordinary dark
I was saved by Man
Introduced me to his helpful staff
I forget this, nearly made me laugh
“You should chill inside this photograph.”

No sooner had I heard
His prepossessing word
I was handed keys
“Take my Audi, there’s a shortcut there
Blast the AC, listen: I don’t care
Sixty-six, one-forty-six Belair.”

“The 65¢ dinner’s a song of the past,”
It read over the mantle at the head of the room.
There was once a great poet over the open vast
Expanse of aqua blue who
Couldn’t resist its sweet call

He said “I’m running for
Zone 8 Solicitor.”
I said, “Great for you.”
He steered me toward the panoramic view.
“You see The City, Michael, I see you.”
Then he turned and motioned “Send him through.”

“The 65¢ dinner’s a song of the past,”
He said over the quiet din of the signing of forms
Then he passed me off to an underling half my age
I knew – no matter what I
Couldn’t resist the sweet call

credits

from The 65 Cent Dinner, track released October 25, 2011

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Modern Music: Vinyl, Cassette and Digital

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