Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Song Title: "Dusty Old Fairgrounds"
Artist: Blue Ash
Search Term: "Fairgrounds"

Blue Ash was a power-pop quartet named after a Southwestern Ohio city that is home to the headquarters of both Sunny Delight and Citigroup. (So for those of you who have been vacillating between settling in a city that's the epicenter of a world-bankrupting plutocracy or in a city intent on choking America with a citrus-mocking serum that is somehow both too watery and too viscous to be comfortably consumed, there's no need to choose!) This animated number comes from their 1973 debut No More, No Less, which it appears is now regarded as an authentic power-pop classic that I feel slightly sheepish about never having heard of. "Dusty Old Fairgrounds" itself is an old, unreleased Bob Dylan song. It's a nomadic ballad in the vein of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," this time about traveling carnies trying to keep their spirits up in spite of the plodding repetition of their busy season, but in Blue Ash's hands, it sounds a lot like "I Fought the Law." Though the charging tempo may slightly undercut the characters' road-weariness, it's a great deal more fun as a triumphant fuzzbox sprint than it would be as a rickety folk peregrination (the way I expect Dylan would have presented it).

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