Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Easy” by Deer Tick from the group’s 2009 album Born on Flag Day released via Partisan Records.
Northeasterners Deer Tick tap into Route 66 rock and roll throughout “Easy,” a cut from the band’s latest album, Born on Flag Day. Stuffed with the pseudo-Patriotism and hard luck of blue collar America, the gruffness overtakes your every sense. No matter how many shots at the bar, how many hours put in at work, and how much time wasted in traffic jams, the sense that what we envision as America is hiding just beyond our stool, our cubicle, and the last bend. “Easy” isn’t wistful -- it won’t make you dream of an idealized country in which economic and social struggles are non-existent -- but it does a damn good job of letting you drown your sorrows in the sort of folksy storytelling of Tom Petty and the rugged folk of modern line-crossers like The Cave Singers. Livin’ is hard, so if a band is daring to tackle the rough and tumble landscape from sea to shining sea, the melody better pack a rugged punch and the vocals should sound like the warbles of 1,000 cigarettes. No matter the pro-American holiday you call your birthday or the one we all celebrate that sits just in front of our windshield, songs like “Easy” make it... easy... for us all to see each other’s lives if just for a few minutes.
Lucky for the alt-country rocker in all of us, Deer Tick’s MySpace is loaded with tour dates, allowing you to soak up the band’s road warrior mentality live and in person. The lengthy tour includes a stop within Seattle’s city limits at Ballard’s very own Tractor Tavern on June 25th, and they’ll be live on KEXP at noon that very same day. While you wait, may we provide some video fun? At this year’s South By Southwest festival, John McCauley of Deer Tick performed an intimate acoustic set of new songs and included the song “Cake & Eggs,” which he wrote with Nikki Darlin of Those Darlins as an intentional homage to great songwriters like John Prine: