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Video Time-Warp #5: Dexter Freebish – “Leaving Town”


This is a ridiculously nostalgic song for me. It was all over WRRV circa late-2000, and I think they might have played at The Chance or done some in-store appearances for the station in the Middletown area around this time. This isn’t really the type of song I like but I can’t resist it. Plus the dude in the band is so good-looking and cookie-cutter teen movie that I should be reflexively mad at him.


“Dude… not cool.” (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

I mean, seriously, he looks like the best friend of Freddie Prinze Jr.’s character in a teen movie. The bully, the one that stays a bully even after Freddie’s character has realized that the girl with the big doofy glasses or the dude with acne have really beautiful personalities. The guy that finally gets his comeuppance when Freddie Prinze Jr. looks at him and goes “Dude… Not. Cool.” and slams his locker after storming away, leaving the bully in a state of humiliation as the rest of his classmates stand around and silently appreciate the schadenfreude.


This video is great because it features two of my favorite rock video cliches of all-time. First of all, it features the band performing outdoors for no particular reason. Why are they in the middle of this dusty, faux-wild west? Where did they find a power source for their amps and gear? How did these people find out about this live performance? Who cares; they brought the huge power-pop hooks and the people came en masse.

Something about a bass guitar makes a guy need a stupid pair of sunglasses. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Secondly, it has the bassist swinging for the fences. The great thing about bands hitting it big is there’s always one dude in the band—almost universally the bassist—who is determined to seize his time in the spotlight and live like a rockstar. This guy has it down: bad haircut with highlights? Check. Stupid sunglasses? Weird “I’m gonna out-rock everyone in this band” Napoleon complex? Otherworldly.

It looks like this guy went to a closet that just had neon lights saying “MUSIC VIDEO WARDROBE” and took one of everything. You just know his band mates had to talk him out of wearing a boa.


But the song? This is straight-up middle school mixtape fodder, a song with lyrics you think you relate to, the lyrics that you immediately mold to fit the crush you have on the girl that sits across from you in Global Studies, with whom you will likely have about 3 words before high school graduation. This is the song of memory.


Well, that’s it for this week. As always, kids: stay off my lawn.

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