True confession: in 1994, when I heard the news that Kurt Cobain had killed himself, I didn't feel much of anything. Not because he was just "another dead doper," as human slime Rush Limbaugh said earlier of Jerry Garcia, and not because I was on the wrong side of a musical generation gap (although obviously I wasn't exactly Nirvana's demographic), but rather because it was just so predictable. Cobain had been The Voice of a Generation Most Likely to Be Stilled for so long that his actual death, for me at least, was largely anti-climactic.
Three years later, however, when I heard that Cobain's contemporary Jim Ellison, the ebullient frontman for Chicago popsters Material Issue had committed suicide, I felt genuine sadness. How did someone whose public personna and music mostly seemed so full of the sheer joy of being alive reach such a despairing point? It seemed, both then and now, inexplicable.
I bring all this up because I stumbled across the Ish's wonderful video for "What Girls Want" the other day, and was charmed all over again. The sentiments are adorable to be sure, but I think what I most like is how when Ellison sings the line about Keith Richard's stagger, the music seems to go all wobbly.
You can almost imagine Captain Jack Sparrow making a cameo appearance.