Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Bejar has been crafting songs and performing as the frontman for Destroyer since the ’90s. His unique voice, poetic lyrics and constantly shifting pop sound have made him a favorite among English majors and indie-music fans alike. A couple weeks back he released his 11th full-length album, called “Poison Season.” Here’s Dan with a monomaniacal list of party tunes.
Dan Bejar: Hey, this is Dan Bejar from the band Destroyer, and this is my dinner party playlist.
Van Morrison – “Going Down To Monte Carlo”
The first song that I would play at my dinner party is called “Going [Down] to Monte Carlo” by Van Morrison, off of his record “Born to Sing: No Plan B.”
Kind of a deeply political record. What seemed like easy listening ballads are really a kind of like classic, British, working class damnation of late capitalism. It’s Van at his most kind of relaxed and kind of pissed off like he always is, but in a very mellow groove.
And I think it’s also really deceptive because it’s a blues song about driving to Monte Carlo [laughs], which is a very strange form of the blues because if you’re going Monte Carlo, maybe things aren’t too bad for you? It’s kind of a beautiful drive, you’re probably loaded, I don’t know. I kinda like that misguided critique of decadence. That’s classic Van for me.
Van Morrison – “End of the Rainbow”
The next song would definitely be “End of the Rainbow,” also by Van Morrison, also off the album “Born to Sing: No Plan B.”
It’s actually a full-on critique of the loss of the British labor class, which, to me, seems like perfect music to listen to while you’re having a dinner party with your friends.
I think “End of the Rainbow” would be kind of the apex of the meal. It kind of sneaks up on you and builds until like quite a crescendo. Probably more conducive to people having a bit more wine in them at this point, though it could also upset your dinner a little bit. That’s not my headache.
Van Morrison – “Educating Archie”
I think for my third track I would go with a song called “Educating Archie,” off the record “Born to Sing: No Plan B,” by Van Morrison. And it really feels like a wind down song. What you would be having with your coffee and whiskey.
He’s usually like way more mystic and not as political. It’s just kind of strange, unexpected. It really is like the most unabashed kind of distillation of all the stuff that the other songs kinda touch on, which is just the common human being being totally screwed by the state of affairs and business and the world today. But again, it’s kinda like a really fun, kind of blues Van.
You probably have noticed that my three picks were all from the album “Born to Sing: No Plan B” by Van Morrison. It’s not a conceptual move on my part. It’s not me trying to be funny. It’s just a record that I’ve spent a lot of time with in the last couple years, and one that I think is really maybe conducive to a bunch of people sitting around drinking and eating.
Destroyer – “Forces From Above”
If I was prodded to pick a song off of “Poison Season,” the new Destroyer album, I would maybe choose a song called “Forces From Above.” I mean it’s supposed to sound like, like chase music or like spy music, which I think would maybe speak to Van a little bit.