Morning Music: Dead Cat Bounce

Dead Cat Bounce

Today, we are going to listen to the band Dead Cat Bounce.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been writing a lot more about business. And most recently, I’ve been writing about commodity trading. It’s in this capacity that I heard the term “dead cat bounce.”

The term refers to a slight bounce back after a security loses a bunch of money. I thought the term was so evocative, there might have been songs written about it. I didn’t find any. Instead, I found a band.

Now, there is currently a DC-based band called Dead Cat Bounce. They appear to be a cover band — but a really good one. There is also an impressive jazz sextet called Dead Cat Bounce that has released a number of albums. I’m not talking about either of these.

Instead, I’m talking about the Irish comedy band, Dead Cat Bounce that was active from around 2008 through 2012. I’m featuring them here because they represent a bit of a problem for me.

Funny, Offensive, or Both?

You see: I find them incredibly funny. But they are also extremely offensive.

Take, for example, their work-in-progress, “Famine: The Musical.” It is subtitled, “Two lovers, one dream, no potatoes.” But don’t misunderstand (because everyone I introduce them to does), they offer very thoughtful social satire.

For example, the characters in “Famine” go to America, “Where the cotton grows high in the south / And it practically harvests itself.” And then there’s this:

We’re all going to America
To become policemen
We’re all going to America
Just like Brendan Gleeson!

Midget

Which leads us to the first song of theirs that I heard. It actually made me choke. On the other hand, I felt kind of guilty about it.

Another song that shows their satirical strength as well as their tendency to take it to an uncomfortable level is Overenthusiastic Contraceptive Lady. Just wait until the end.

The final thing to note about these guys (and you don’t see it so much in the songs I’ve linked to here) is that they can really play. They’d be worth listening to even apart from the humor.

The last two songs are off You’re Welcome for the Music.


Dead Cat Bounce promotional photo under Fair Use.

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: Dead Cat Bounce

  1. OK, there’s two things going on with that midget song. One is “making fun of midgets is funny because it’s not PC,” which is extremely juvenile in the laziest way (and the cutaway clips to a studio exec saying “we shouldn’t run this” tells me the band sincerely believes they’re being daring).

    The other is a parody of stupid prog-rock apocalyptic song lyrics, and it’s hilarious. The spoken interlude was genius.

    Sorta reminds me of “South Park,” where the “offensive to be offensive” stuff gets tiresome fast (and is pretty weak beer — ask Matt Taibbi what it’s like when you really puncture a sacred cow by making fun of a dead pope). The Broadway showtune parodies in their movie were actually really solid showtunes, though!

    • I don’t know if I quite agree with you on the lyrics. While there certainly is a simple offensive aspect to it, the song is so meta that I think it’s doing more. For one thing, it’s very dark. It contemplates (rightly) getting arrested for the act. I think the cutaways are to signal that they know they are on thin ice. I actually was more disturbed (at first anyway) by them lapsing into “African” music in the other song. But on longer consideration, it is Midget that stands as their most problematic song.

      They are exceptional musicians. They’d be worth listening to as a straight band.

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