“Ducking and Dodging” by Parquet Courts
Imbued with surplus anaphora and images of dread, “Ducking & Dodging” is Parquet Courts, the Brooklyn-via-Texas quartet, at its quintessence. Co-frontman Andrew Savage’s lyrics hit that sweet spot between the abstruse and the allegorical, which is to be expected from a singer who cites David Berman as an influence. In the vein of Pavement’s “Conduit For Sale,” this song digs into the history books, alluding to the Stalin-era Soviet composers whose fears of wiretaps and exile were not so farfetched (all my friends are disappearing / all my letters are in codes). Eerily enough, the idea of a looming, invasive government is something which punk-ethos musicians and poets can validly agonize over today. Perhaps this is why Savage is able to invoke such a splitting sense of panic when he rails the song’s chorus––you’ve been ducking and dodging but you can’t come home no more.
Scott Wordsman‘s poems have appeared in THRUSH, Forklift/Ohio, Reality Beach, BlazeVOX, Slipstream, and elsewhere. He reviews books for Colorado Review and teaches within the English Department at William Paterson University.
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