“Yankee Doodle Dandy,” perhaps the sassiest of all classic patriotic American tunes, is thought to have been written in mid-18th-century Europe, possibly during the Seven Years’ War. Though its exact origin is unclear, the song was a British invention and was used to deride American Colonists and their ragtag army. The most recognizable verse (there are nearly 200) is not seen in this sheet music: “Yankee Doodle went to town / Upon a little pony / Stuck a feather in his cap / And called it Macaroni"—nonsense on the surface, this verse is actually a snobby insult to pastoral Colonial fashion (a Macaroni was a traveled, upper-class European who wore extravagant wigs). In the American tradition of taking things that don’t belong to us, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was reclaimed by the disheveled patriots and became a source of Colonial pride. And, as we all know, in the end the garishly dressed Americans defeated the pretentious and dimwitted red coats whose flamboyant uniforms made them easy targets. U.S.A.! (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Power pop turns folkie—a chat with Peter Case
In 1975 Jack Lee, Paul Collins and Peter Case formed the short-lived but influential power pop group The Nerves. Most notably, the band is responsible for the classic track "Hanging on the Telephone," later made famous by Blondie. The group also had a hand in founding the West Coast punk scene—but just as the cultural explosion got its footing in L.A., The Nerves split in 1978. Collins and Case formed The Breakaways, and Lee went solo. Case went on to find success as the frontman for The Plimsouls, but by the mid-’80s that band dissolved and Case returned to his solo roots.
Flyer on the Wall
“Listen, Bob, I don’t have time to talk about the memo—I’m up to my flank in plastic army men right now.” A combination of discount wallpaper, highly effective business practices and possibly the artist’s bad acid trip make this an intriguing work of photo montage. More intriguing is the idiosyncratic show it notes— Grand Canyon, Shoulder Voices and The Booty Green—at Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW) on Saturday, July 3, beginning at around 10 p.m. The show is free for the 21-and-over crowd. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Mixing punk with Mexican border music is nothing new. Joe “King” Carrasco hit it big on the frat-boy circuit with nuevo wave-o Tex-Mex party songs that ultimately tasted like watery horchata. Tired of Black Flag copycats but not the energy, San Antonio native Álvaro del Norte reclaimed the corridos he rejected as a child to study under Texas accordion maestro Juan Tejeda. Now his band, Piñata Protest, serves a steaming pot of caldo de res with beefy punk riffs and greasy accordion marrow—the tastiest Norteño/rock recipe to date. Be sure you save your last bit of tortilla to wipe the bowl clean. (CA)