Song Profiles

Song title: Metro Joe
From the album: All Girl Band
Requested by: Megan

One of the meanest things you can do as a girlfriend/boyfriend, is not appreciate the person you're with. And before you go thinking, "Yeah!" consider that maybe I'm talking to YOU. Feel the guilt...just a little, as you remember how you deliberately didn't ask him/her about their hard day...and then remember all the times they couldn't have cared less about YOURS. That's right. Sometimes they just don't ask. Or listen. Or care. So, you're totally justified in biting back. This begs the question; why not write a song about it? That's what I did.

I wrote Joe sometime between 1994-1995, toward the end of a difficult relationship with a caffeine addicted, vegetarian, boot-loving existentialist who was still entangled in a relationship with his ex-wife. Have mercy. I can roll with the Myth of Sisyphus for only so long before I just stop rolling. You know? After a while, I'm just gonna let it slide to the shadows, open a can of Perrier, and put on my headphones. I began to notice how absurd the whole thing was, and then I stopped caring. Sadly, to an existentialist, when you stop caring and start subjectively observing, things just begin to get interesting.

Metro Joe emerged from a moment of girlfriendly disconnect. Initially intended as an unflattering profile, using all my passive-aggressive malice, I played the song for my ex - hoping to pick a fight. Did I want him to be hurt? Repentant? Embarrassed? Apologetic? Yeah, totally. But instead of the expected self-reflection, after he heard it he exclaimed, "Excellent. You used the word 'gullet'." (Sartre would be so proud.) In fact, he liked the song so well, he asked if he could name it. Which he did. Metro Joe. Can't you just feel the oozing ennui?

Joe used to be a fun song to perform, but I no longer feel attached to it. The dig was dug. The point was made. And my bad Ann Magnuson impression is tired. Now, I just steer clear of people who care too much about foot attire.

September 2006