I’m still trying to figure out how I made it to 2006 without hearing “Anything, Anything” by Dramarama.
I first heard this song on a dead and buried TV singing competition performed not by Dramarama but by Storm Large. She’s wonderful and I’d love to possess a full-length recording of her version. Alas, it does not exist.
However, the original does. It wasn’t long before I found it, downloaded it, and fell in lust. It is everything (everything) I expected from the eighties post-punk I signed up for. In my twenties. In the early oughts. You know, right on time.
This song is a raging fever. Like a 103˚ and you’d better get thee to an ER kind of fever. A past ten on the arbitrary pain scale fever. Maybe this fever is the reason John Easdale offers his beloved pills in his song. But I’m guessing it’s not. I mean, the eighties.
“Anything, Anything” is a frightened promise. A promise of candy, diamonds, the aforementioned pills, and benjamins. A promise of devotion that can only come out of your mouth once your partner has told you they’re kind of bored with you. Or kind of mad at you. Or maybe they’re doing that whole “I cheated and you don’t deserve me anyway you’re better off” thing and you still want them because you’re completely codependent. You know that thing I hate that thing.
Not that that’s ever happened to me.
This song is distortion and rhythm and begging and fear and weird romance. It’s a little bit of The Replacements and a little bit of Berlin and a little bit of Sonic Youth. There’s a wild simplicity to this panicked ode. And I’m not gonna lie — if someone sang me “Anything, Anything,” I’d probably stick around. Maybe. Easdale says he doesn’t play. I believe him.
(Song recommendation by E. Kristin Anderson)