Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
It's Christmas Eve, as I write this, and all the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. The tree is glowing its rainbowed lights in the corner, chilled by the winter air coming from the other side of the glass. The anticipation is palpable and everyone's walking around with hot cocoa mustaches, the taste of the hot drink masking the tint of peppermint from the candy canes earlier. We don't go to church often, but we'll be there later, for a Christmas pageant and night of carols, scripture readings about a babe in a manger, angels being heard on high and those wise men traveling through the desert to bring gifts of fine metals to the newborn child. All of this leads me to discussing what I've been listening to all afternoon as the prelude to the most wholesome of days in the year. Playing through my headphones this afternoon - with the kids helping mom wrap the final gifts to be exchanged later, the cats giving each other tongue baths in the sunlight streaming in and baking the floor where they lay - is this collection of songs from Chicago punk band Dwarves. It's a different take on the sentiment found within the classic songs of the season like, "A Holly Jolly Christmas" or "Let It Snow," though, oddly enough, some similarities can be found.
Lead singer, Blag Dahlia, seems to be a man fully in-tune with his needs and urges. He sings about being "the Jesus Christ of sin and vice," and one beat later, finishes the thought, "So stop me before I fuck again." What he's trying to say, probably, is that he's going to live the happiest version of his life that he can find to lead. It's his version of the holly jolly when he sits around every night, every day smoking as much weed as he possibly can. If we're to take him at his written and sung word, he's getting high as often, if not more than Rick Ross. It's the same as trying to drink eight 12-ounce glasses of water a day - the necessities of a healthy mind, soul and body. Dwarves music is pure hedonism. It's looking out for the carnal cravings of good old No. 1 - though strangely enough this actually does mean that giving is as important as receiving. There has to be a lot of both for Dahlia to address his appointments and all those romps with the sluts in his life. He dedicates a song here, "To all the girls we love," and he means all of them. He's there for them. He's got enough weed to make sure that they can all be high together, before everything gets messy. All-in-all, every night shapes up to be a mini-Christmas when the only things on your wish list are smoking and boning.