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“Three Songs Every South Bend, Indiana Native Needs to Know, Internalize and Relive by Way of Impromptu Interpretive Dance Whenever Possible”

Well, another cafe closed down in South Bend. And no, not the lame one, where they play Frank Sinatra and the employees wear pink shirts and bunny ears, it’s the one that played Sharon Van Etten’s “One Day,” the one that overlooked the historic city hall building, and where you’d find an eclectic blend of Notre Damers and random city shmoozers.

This is two years following, mind you, after the diner closed down that was right across from city hall. It seems like this is the last business that should go down in any town, it’s like the toilets quitting on you or something.
Regardless, what you get downtown now is places to workout, so you can get ripped, and go fight, that and a lot of people ready to knock gloves — displaced, unemployed, homeless… that, of course, and a lot of money bastions. So for when you’re walking past the majestic marble shrine that surrounds the glowing ATM at the center of town, here’s my best stab at reinstating some semblance of morality:

Tom Waits – “Sixteen Shells from a Thirty Ought Six”
The grittier cousin to fellow ’70’s opus Rain Dogs, Swordfishtrombones trumpets in running even a wider range of styles, moods and realities. There’s a song called “Town with No Cheer,” and we used to have a band here called the “Gin Soaked Boys,” but this is without question the album centerpiece, shirking things like phrasing and meter throughout with Waits’ relentless, barbaric promise, not a threat, to get a bunch of stuff done with the steel.
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MF Doom – “Potholderz”
This is simply the perfect beat for leveling off the insane, chilling a whole crowd of people out, making optimism and sunniness out of the bustling food stamp headquarters (where I’ve surely been known to go, from time to time), gettin’ funky with some people in wheelchairs, and of course, if you have the privilege, “rollin’ away tinted.”
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Wilco – “Heavy Metal Drummer”
We also used to have a club here called “The Landing,” which I always think of when I hear this song. It’s pure Chicago-area summer: baseball, eating an inordinate amount of food ranging from vegan curry to chili dogs, but most of all realizing what’s important, and valuable in life: sweet narcotic oblivion.

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