I hope y’all have enjoyed this little digression into the world of detailing music. The month is over now; with November comes something new. For now, enjoy the last entry in our series of Songs For People Who Can’t Hear So Good (And Want To Learn How To Do Other Stuff Good, Too): Voodoo Lady by Ween.
Another song that intros with just percussion, but something is amiss here. The notes of the percussion instruments – and one doesn’t usually think of percussion as having notes, just beats, but this does – seem to bend and warp over each other. The first thought when this song begins is: I’m in a funhouse.
And the funhouse feeling doesn’t end there. A bass enters the song with a spartan riff stolen straight from the Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer, just as a man begins speaking over the music, saying only, “Boogie boogie boogie boogie!” We’ve gone from a funhouse to a Halloween funhouse on acid.
A guitar enters, play very twangy, bent notes, and then a voice comes through with a tinny, bassless cadence as if the song is being sung through a very quiet megaphone.
Oddly, this song reveals itself to be a torch song of the most unexpected caliber. Though no woman I’ve known would ever be warmed in the heart by a space odyssey on wax like this, the lyrics cannot be denied. “Doin’ that stuff that you do / Messin’ me up with your voodoo / You drive me crazy with that / Boogie oogie oogie oogie oogie oogie oogie oogie!” It’s odd, but it’s love. Same with the next verse: “Your lips are hot and spicy /
Servin’ up red beans and rice. / At midnite she’s a-howlin’ and stompin’ / Makin’ love to the gators in the swamp.”
If a carny man wrote a torch song to his paramour, it might end up like this. But unlike almost anything else a carny touches, this song isn’t gross and covered with axle grease. It fulfills the promise of the fair – it’s light-hearted, imaginative fun.
Download link: Voodoo Lady by Ween