Three years had passed since I first heard Keegan DeWitt in a Michigan barn and when I heard him again on the radio while driving in San Francisco. My immediate thought in the latter scenario–as I listened to KFOG while driving down the sharp crest of Divisadero atop Pacific Heights and into the waiting valley of the Western Addition–was along the lines of, “Hey, I know this song…” After all, I had only heard it once while alone and buzzed on cheap beer when I was still a student. Now, though, I was driving my wife and daughter to some friends’ house on a Sunday morning. This was so much more real.
Eventually I realized the song as one of DeWitt’s, but as the DJ announced it by the band Wild Cub, my only thought was that he had sold it and they were doing a note for note cover. “Good for him,” I first thought. Followed by, “I carried that guy’s guitar.” It was weeks later before I realized Wild Cub was his new band, and that as poppy and sunshiny as it was, I was allowed to like this song. Maybe it was for teeny-boppers. Maybe it was for dads who still used the term teeny-boppers, but either way, I had something akin to cred that gave me the right to like this.
It’s OK just to be happy sometimes. To just like things that are slightly embarrassing yet just make you feel good. Make you want to roll down the window before rolling it back up at a stoplight. Though maybe I’m being too hard on them, or on myself. Either way, I didn’t see any harm in tapping along to this last January, and I still don’t nearly a year later.
Post-Script: I’m two years removed from writing these reviews. I write this as I have to finish grading, prepare for jobs interviews, and do a host of things to simultaneously close out the year and prepare for a new one. An excuse for mediocrity? Perhaps. But I just explain it here so that no future mea culpas are necessary. From now on when you read another snoozer like this you can have the internal debate of “Man, that sucked,” on one hand, and “Give the guy a break, he’s busy, and he already apologized once,” on the other.