April 30, 2003
Don't Become The Thing You Hated

Reviewing the pitiful contents of this site some nine months after conception, it's plain to see I've written way too much about Destroyer.

Having said that, I spent the last week with 'Don't Become The Thing You Hated' on repeat, and I'm in love with it: 'Don't become the thing you hated, suns rise and suns go down again, open your Strathcona doors, let him in/and you let him in... Don't become the thing you hated.' How's that for simple? The only thing that's only said once is the thing about the sun rising and going down and opening Strathcona doors, (Strathcona being the nicest neighbourhood in Couverton, albeit in a frightening heroin-nightmarish sort of way). The title he says repeatedly right off the bat and again at the end, and he repeats 'let him in' in the middle, career/korea style, until you're sure he's yelling out "Letterman!" - a disturbing reminder of how wrong things can go, even for the best of us.

I remember a friend of my Dad's as a kid had something like this going on. I said to him once, "You're a big fan of Peter Gabriel, right?" and he said, "I'm actually more like obsessed with Peter Gabriel," and I thought: But aren't you actually more like in your thirties? Isn't this kind of rock-star obsession-thing supposed be left in highschool? You mean it doesn't go away?!

So, I heard recently from a friend about the show Destroyer played on the day America invaded Iraq. They closed with 'Thief': 'You take back the curse but the world just gets worse as you wonder about how someone can become so fat and so proud off the damage they've done - man the damage was fun... a house is a home, hotels made of skin and bone hold us, father figures continue to scold us, avuncular at best in a church of new things, he traded the records for rings, as I sat back and watched what I thought would ensue not ensue... hospitals overflow with sinners embittered and pissed - dead ringers for men whose whereabouts should not be known, or be missed... no failed revolts no plot from the inside could contend with the prospects or trend toward being discovered before our time with upwards of thirty songs all about women and children whose lives will come second to mine... you take back the curse but the girl just gets every rip-off artist to paint a picture of the world at war when the world was not at war/when the world was not at war/when the world was not at war/when the world was not at war.'

What's scary, it turns out - and I realized this only just now, while typing it out - I had this entire song memorized from start to finish! (I got probs).

For those who don't know it, it's a pretty, quiet, accoustic number, but it amps up at the end with the final phrase. A packed house, people went nuts, and were left hollering "Encore" until they realized that was it. "When the world was not at war"-- as closers go, it's tough to top that, circa March 17. I mean, I never want to hear encores anymore, and I generally wait with pseudo-patience for whatever band I'm watching to finish their set from the moment it starts, but if I had been there I'm sure I would have been yelling for an encore too. Shit, if I had been there, all this might even have merited writing about...

Ok, I now promise not to mention Destroyer again until October, or some time in there.

Posted by at April 30, 2003 02:20 PM

Yo I'd love to hear that new song. I seem to rotate Destroyer albums, but once every couple months. I'm living in Streethawk now - "the world woke up one day to proclaim: thou shalt not take part in or make bad art." When's the new album due out, d'you know?

Posted by: D on April 30, 2003 08:25 PM .

I heard "Don't Become..." only once, the afternoon it was recorded, at a radio station in Seattle. I remember thinking, ASSBALLS! This sounds like he just wrote it in a van a half hour ago--which was pretty much the case--and it's still somehow totally fucking compelling...

Admittedly, in my weakest, most artistically frustrated moments, I'm jealous of the "permanent honeymoon" Bejar has been enjoying with his muse. It's like a non-stop, oyster-and-Viagra-fuelled fuckfest on one of those red silk-sheeted, heart-shaped beds. Carved into the trunk of a leafy tree: Dan Bejar + Muse -> TRUE LOVE FOREVER. Where's mine? Why is it that I have to labour for a week on a song just to imbue it with all of the emotional complexity and insight of, at best, a Def Leppard b-side!? (Never mind the singles--way outta my league.)

I suppose he's the type of artist who helps to define the line that exists between those of us who choose to write songs or paint or do yoga in our spare time out of convenience, and the others who've found themselves cursed with such a crippling ineptitude for those basic, real-world survival skills (i.e. the ability to subvert one's dignity to perform menial tasks in exchange for food and/or money) that they're forced to focus and mold their creative talents into something saleable. (You need only envision Dan working behind the counter of your local corner store to know what side of the line he's on.) That said, he's one guy who's staking a claim for the legitimacy of the classic Artist's Disposition--it's okay to be lazy, not have a day job, shave once a month, and be otherwise socially aloof so long as:

a) your art's strong enough to draw attention away from you, or

b) you look good doing it.

The latter is especially true if rock-n-roll is your chosen medium.

Posted by: The Albert Ross on April 30, 2003 09:16 PM .

I think October.

Posted by: on April 30, 2003 09:39 PM .

October is correct. And no band on this record--it's gonna be Bejar, solo-style.

Posted by: The Albert Ross on May 1, 2003 04:15 PM .


Posted by: on May 2, 2003 11:49 AM .

i don't know how i got here. it took me lots and lots of fucking KISS FANS sites and shit to arrive to a DESTROYER fan site.... and here i am. i love this band, i discovered just a few months thanks to an article in the spanish rock mag "rockdelux", and, i got to say that david bowie is my favorite all time rocker and all the stuff i seem to like has got something to do with him, i guess.....and i love pavement all the way.... so, it is stupidly logical for me to like destroyer, and have come to consider "STREETHAWK" as one of my pillow albums, and one of my all time favorite and probably top 5 of the greatest records i've ever heard, and oh man how i like lots of music....
so, the thing is i am very pleased to find more people sharing the wonderful music of this man and his folks, and i oh i was so very amazed reading here about a gig the day USA attacked Irak, and they played "thief"..... oh that thing really is impressive, i hope for a dvd live show sometime or something, i live in Chile, southamerica, and i will never see them on a show, i guess...... thanks to you for maintaining this site, and most of all thank to mr. bejar for writing some of the best songs i've heard, they fill me with the joy of living, the music this man writes is INSTANT SATORI

i thought i read about the release of a new album?? when????? I NEED IT !!!!!! I FUCKING NEED IT!!!!!!

edmundo veloso.

(I write my own songs too, have several independent albums, if you'd like to hear some, mail me and i can share them with you by the internet)


Posted by: Zen Terrorist on December 23, 2003 10:19 PM .

It's due out February. I heard it once tho I'm probably not supposed to say so. Synth brilliance! Hands down the best thing he's done. And, of course, you've heard "This Night"? It came out October 02. Rivals "Streethawk" in my books. But then, "Streethawk" rivals "City of Daughters," which rivals "Thief"-- 5 great albums in a row a king makes! Figure in New Pornographers contributions... shit... how can anyone who cares about song-writing not be excited about new Dan Bejar records? It doesn't make sense to me.

Funny about Kiss Fan Sites. People told me for years that I "should go see this band Destroyer", and I put off doing it for the longest time because I have some kind of aversion to Kiss. Then I went, and came to think of the name as something else entirely. Something new.

Posted by: on December 24, 2003 12:40 AM .

here i am again. thanks for your info about the new record. i've got all their albums... this night, city, thief, golden bridge....but i tell you, my favorite is streethawk ;)

well, by the way, i wanted to know if there are some lyrics sites, because i'd like to get the lyrics to all their songs... do you know where can i find them?

thank you again


Posted by: Zen Terrorist on December 25, 2003 05:54 PM .

About that site with lyrics and chords, Edmundo - it doesn't seem like it's about to happen. But then, all it really takes is one web-savvy dude falling in love with Destroyer...
So, I predict such a site will exist by November of 2007.

In the meantime, someone reading here might be able to help if you had like a particular question about a particular line. But then, I might not.

Posted by: on January 6, 2004 06:31 PM .
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