Monday, April 09, 2007

Take a Walk and Listen to "What Happened to Smith?"

Something tells us that songs lamenting the gentrification and development of Brooklyn could become a genre in coming years. Call it gentrirock or developunk. Last year, Radio 4 touched on the topic last year and, now, local indie rockers Life in a Blender are dipping into the well. (Actually, the song was written in 2001, but it's on the band's new CD, The Heart is a Small Balloon.) After Ariella Cohen wrote a great piece about What Happened to Smith?, we emailed the band for the MP3 and the full lyrics. Our favorite lines are the last, which say, "I’ll wait it out by the Gowanus. I’ll wait for the scene to shift/I’ll take the stench of the canal/Over what happened to Smith." The song, of course, is about Smith Street, which is now in the second wave of the gentrification that dates to the end of the 1990s and its rebirth as Brooklyn's "Restaurant Row."

Frankly, we're as glad to find Life in a Blender as we are to listen to What Happened to Smith?, which is great music and touches a Brooklyn theme that is near to many hearts. You can get the song (and sample it) online here and check out their website here and their My Space page here. Their CD is available at Music Matters on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, and the band tell us they're playing Barbes in Park Slope on May 25 and will do a date at the Old Stone House in J.J. Byrne Park in July.

Meantime, here's a sampling of the lyrics:
Sale on the dairy in the circular by my feet
If I keep my eyes downward, it’s the same old street
Then there’s the unlettered awning and the one blue light
And the trance like music and the crowd’s all white
There’s a clap of goatees
Someone’s smoking a spliff
It’s 90 percent Manhattan
Man what Happened to Smith?
What Happened to Smith? (x4)
All the social clubs are pulling down their shades
The old gang on Sackett’s closing up their blades
Where’s the five dollar hero? It’s just $20 and tip.
You might as well starve tonight
Oh man, what happened to Smith?
Forget about rent, don’t’ think about rent, it’s already spent
Just try to pull through, pass the well-to-do
Dressed down in their thrift clothes
Still you’ll see the clues all the girls balanced
in their Manolo Blahnik shoes
Yellow tinted glasses exposed mid drift
Oh man What Happened to Smith?
Some TV cop show producer wants me to move my automobile
Well up your ass I think my cellular phone you should conceal
I’ll wait it out by the Gowanus. I’ll wait for the scene to shift
I’ll take the stench of the canal
Over what happened to Smith
What Happened to Smith, by the way, was written years before the coming of the Starbucks and American Apparel and other chains.


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