So I've been DJ-ing on what is becoming an increasingly regular basis for the online station Dublab. It's a station that you should become immediately familiar with if you are not already, and I feel unbelievably honored to be a part of it in any capacity.
My most recent show for the station was a "Sarah Records Tribute Show" with my pal John Girgus formerly of the band Aberdeen who you may recall were one of the few American bands to ever record for the label. He had actually done one of these a few months back, and asked me if I'd be able to help the next time he did one. I assume that this is due to the fact that most of the DJ-ing I do anywhere turns into a Sarah Records Tribute of sorts.
This has led me to spend a great deal of time in the past week going through my records, and itunes library trying to figure out the best combination of pop songs that were either released by, influenced by, or influenced my favorite label. During this process, I've probably listened to "Anorak City" somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty times. It's not a song that improves drastically with every listen, nor does it become any more meaningful, it's just plain and simply a blast to hear and nod your head along to. Written in response to some people (mostly music critics) using the derogatory term "anorak pop" to describe indiepop based on the fact that, well, a lot of the folks that made and listened to jangly pop songs wore anoraks (parkas) on a highly regular basis; this song was kind of a perfect searing mock 50s dance craze hit to poke (sort of) gentle fun at the types who tend to put somewhat ridiculous labels on things. The fanzine that accompanies the single puts it this way, "It's called "Anorak City" because some people are incredibly stupid." This single also does an excellent job to prove the case that Sarah Records was not all sad boys with guitars and drum machines singing sad songs about some girl that would never love them. However, it should be noted that Another Sunny Day DID also record a song called "I'm in Love With a Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist." And "Anorak City" makes prominent use of a drum machine. The guitars are nice and fuzzy, and the vocals are only about half as loud as the guitars so they are constantly buried beneath them. In a way, it makes it better though as the picking out the lyrics becomes something of an adventure, and most of the discernable ones are pretty great. "Will you be my anorak baby, no no honey please don't say maybe. Say that you'll forever be mine, and stay til the end of time in Anorak City..." In the fanzine this phrase is isolated like so: "Will you be my anorak, baby?" I would never have thought that something as simple as punctuation could make me smile all week, but here we are. And it still makes me smile.
You can find "Anorak City," on my favorite compilation in recent memory (shockingly) titled CD86. It was released in as a tribute to the 20 year anniversary of NME's (in) famous C86 cassette tape. Instead of focusing solely on bands that made an appearance on the tape, they've wisely included other bands that were associated with the genre like Sarah bands Another Sunny Day, the Sea Urchins, and 14 Iced Bears. It should be easy to track down in any record store, or here. You can also find the track on itunes.
You can simply listen to the song here.