Thursday, March 06, 2008

Refreshments, Anyone?

"So just how far down do you wanna go,
and we it out over a cup of joe
and you could look deep into my eyes
like I was a supermodel."


One day back in 1996, I was driving home from Milwaukee...listening to a Milwaukee radio station (that tidbit of trivia is critical, because I don't think the song was ever played in smaller markets like Green Bay)...and those lyrics came through my speakers.

"What did he say?" I thought to myself as I stared at the stereo. And then the beat kicked in, and I started doing one of those dance-in-the-driver's-seat moves, as I listened to the rest of the song.

And so began my love affair with one of my favorite groups that very few people know about...The Refreshments.

The song was "Banditos," and I went and bought their disc, "Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy," very shortly after hearing that song. As it turns out, "Banditos" might be one of the weakest songs on the disc, which isn't so much a slam against that song, but a testament to the rest of them.

I played that disc so much, if you could possibly wear out a CD, that one is a good candidate. I introduced The Refreshments to my friends, and one summer night after more than a few beers, I went off on a latenight, slurred ramble about why I was such a big fan. "The reason I like The Refreshments...," I began. And...nobody can remember what I said after that.

That became a catch phrase for a summer or two, whenever I played the disc. "The reason...I like The Refreshments...," someone would say to me. And I'd repeat it back to them, "The reason I like...The Refreshments..." To this day I still have no idea what I said that night, but apparently I repeated it over and over.

After two discs, The Refreshments disbanded, because one of the members decided he didn't want to be a rock star anymore, and another member wanted to be a bit too much of a rock star, complete with all of the substances that many rock stars tend to enjoy.

Shortly thereafter, the lead singer and the drummer formed a new band, called Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. They've put out four CDs, and I've been fortunate to see them live three times, after thinking I'd totally missed my chance to see them as The Refreshments before they parted ways.

The music is still just as good, and I was listening to some old Refreshments stuff at work today, thinking to myself...

"The reason I like the Refreshments..." because they fuckin' rock!
(that's the abridged version of what I must have said that inebriated summer night.)

Give "Banditos" a listen if you're so inClyned.

"I wonder where I'll be in a year.
Probably be sittin' right here.
But if you know the answer,
don't tell me, anyone.
I don't wanna know."
—Don't Wanna Know, The Refreshments


  1. Sounds like a recommendation to me - dug them up on Yahoo and am listening now. So far - so good.


  2. I'm reading the comment above mine and noticing the SB initials. Scott probably doesn't know this, but I were a boy, my mom would've named me Scott.

    Well, back to what I meant to write: Fuck yeah, I'll buy this. This better be good if I'm going to ask the hip music store clerk to give me Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy.

    SBW (not to be confused with SB)

  3. Scott... If you like their stuff, and have a Friday night free, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers are playing at Joe's Bar in Chicago on April 4. I was gonna hit that show, but have since changed my plans to attend the Brewers' home opener that day.

    They usually play some Refreshments songs at their shows, but now they're getting quite a library of Peacemakers music, so the Refreshments songs are getting to be fewer and fewer.

    They're a pretty sweet band to see live...but I'm ridiculously biased when I say that.

    SBW...So since you were a girl, your mom named you Simple instead? That's kinda mean.

    If you buy the disc, I hope you enjoy it. It's, rockin' music. Quirky lyrics, great summer music. But in my ears it's great anytime music.

    "Mekong" is one of my favorite songs ever ever ever.