"Chasin' Ladies" by DUST

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"Chasin' Ladies" by DUST

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:17 pm

Here is a song I've listened to a couple times today called "Chasin' Ladies" and it's by a band called DUST that I only heard about for the first time this morning. I thought the lyrics sounded interesting so I thought it'd be cool to talk about them here on our forum.

It starts out with:

Well you turn to me
with a look on your face like a gypsy

Already we're off to a good start. He's not saying that you always look like a gypsy, just right in this particular moment when you're turning to him. What were you looking at before you turned to him? TV? Are you at a play? Watching the sunset? The song doesn't say, so you have to fill in the details for yourself.

All I ask of you
is to let me go free chasin' ladies

Seems like a reasonable request. This line also gives us the title of the song ("Chasin' Ladies").

Then you come to me
like a child in the night with a problem

I like this line. This is the line that made me listen closely to the rest of the words. Sure, it's condescending, but it's also pretty darn evocative. Every parent knows what it's like when you're just trying to get some sleep but then little Eddie or Dennis or Franzia comes busting in your room because he/she is having nightmares or digestive problems or a body part stuck in a zipper. This guy clearly knows what parenting is all about, so perhaps he's married, too?

and I say to you
Little girl, I am not yet your husband

I guess NOT. They're not married. Not "yet," that is. Don't worry, little girl, you might get married to this jerk one day!

Like a spider
you are weaving your story around me

Having earlier shown his mastery of simile, now he moves beyond people being like people ("you" being like a "child") into the realm of people acting like members of the Animal Kingdom. As we all know, spiders weave webs, not "stories" so either I'm hearing this line wrong or he's got bigger things on his mind, symbologically.

Getting tighter

He just wants to chase ladies, so here he's talking about constriction.

and much farther away I think maybe
and much farther away I think maybe
and much farther away I think maybe

This line makes so little sense he has to sing it three times!

And I say I don't need you! (?)
You took me for a fool!
I'm bammin' me a blue (!)
But it's killin' me!

As someone who has written many, many amazing songs I can tell you that after you've gotten about half the song done, you really just want the writing part to be over so you can start jamming on it with your friends. Sometimes what you can do is just repeat the verses (especially if they're good) but sometimes instead you just write down the first dumb things that pop into your head. This is how lines like "you took me for a fool" and "I'm bammin' me a blue" are born.

[guitar nonsense]

There's some guitar crap at this point in the song but unlike some songs where the guitar seems to "comment" on the lyrics so far, these guitars just want to rock out. And chase ladies, probably.

You were hungry
and I fed you, girl

These are the worst lines in the song. They're not merely bad, they're gross and make me dislike this guy who I once really appreciated as an artist and human being. How did he fall so far? This, from the man who wrote "like a child with a problem?" Oh how the mighty!

Yeah, your children
only time will tell

Second worst lines. They're not gross but you're still thinking about how gross the earlier two were and these aren't good enough to make you forget. I also might've gotten them wrong.

Yeah you loved him
from faraway
now you're leavin'
said you couldn't stay

Now all of a sudden the singer introduces a THIRD character, this "him" person that we didn't know about before. Is he talking about himself in the third person now because he's so ashamed about the whole "I fed you" thing? Well, I know I would be. More likely, however, is what I was saying earlier that he really just wanted to be finished with this song so he hurriedly tossed out terrible lyrics.

Ba-pa-ba-pa-ba-pa-ba-pa-baaaah

Second best line in the song.

He then repeats things that happened earlier (like the whole first verse about the gypsy and stuff) making this song approximately WAY TOO LONG at 3:33.
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Re: "Chasin' Ladies" by DUST

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:43 am

Here's the song "Chasin' Ladies" along with a montage of images that focus on the "Ladies" element.

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Re: "Chasin' Ladies" by DUST

Post  choogle on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:32 am

Thanks for critique, Bill. You neglected to mention the awesome bassline, and the great echo effect on the lead vocal, which gets pretty awesome at "and much farther away I think maybe," and how the awesome rocking nature of this song means the lyrics almost should be terrible, and that for most of the latter half of the song things get really exciting as lyrics fade into memory.

Here's "Stone Woman," a lot more direct in its lyrical message ("woman I need you, but you seem to require material goods before putting out, and screw that!"). At times the conflation of "mama" and "little girl" is confusing, but we've all been through this before. Also at the end he seems to negate every single thing he said before, saying "it's alright" and "I'm gonna take you home." So happy ending!

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Re: "Chasin' Ladies" by DUST

Post  choogle on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:33 am

Also note the great montage of "ladies" in incredibly pixelated, blurry images.
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Re: "Chasin' Ladies" by DUST

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:54 am

Well, as far as failing to talk about basslines and echo effect and that sort of thing, I mean I would'nt've listened to the thing so many times (thereby learning the words whether I liked it or not) if I didn't think the song was a mighty fine slice of boogie and full of excitement and adventure of a musical nature.

But "Stone Woman" takes the "who cares about the lyrics" argument a step further with its very nice use of layered slide guitars. Even the singer, like you say, forgets all about this pain in the ass lady who needs a CAR (talk about a waste of a record company advance!) because of the totally rocking slide action and just wants to yell it's all right it's all right. This is the first song on the album (second: "Chasin' Ladies") and a great choice for first because it's also the best.

Warning: there are some very bad songs by Dust. But these two are great.

Also, notice how these videos feature more pictures of ladies than they do pictures of the band. Which suggests to me that there is a serious dearth of Dustpics.
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