In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we’re picking songs about the day of the week the story runs.
Who gives a fuck about a Thursday? Between the dry hump of Wednesday—which carries the illusion of minor accomplishment, at least—and the sweet release of Friday, Thursday is just one last cockblock to overcome before the weekend. Save maybe for NBC sitcoms, that one extra, looming weekday means no one’s having too much fun on Thursday nights. (It’s why The Onion always schedules its “open bar” office parties for Thursdays. Thanks, boss!) So it makes a perfect setting for Les Savy Fav’s “Blackouts On Thursdays,” the first of many tongue-in-cheek party anthems from a band that’s never played those straight.
Released as the B-side to 1997’s “Rodeo,” the post-punk noiseniks’ debut 7-inch for Sub Pop, “Blackouts” is a three-chord rager for a third-rate night. As is so often the case, cuddly court jester Tim Harrington seems to be screaming his way through a wry, self-deprecating commentary on his own show. “The band sort of sucks / But the audience sucks too much,” he shouts, twice declaring that he’s “going back to high school, where the audience plays rough.” While the lyrics are mostly random goofs (see: the intro about a “bad motherfucker” and his badass shoe collection), these nods to teenagerdom— plus Harrington’s repeated assertions that “we’re gonna make out”—suggests “Blackouts” is a song for basement parties, the lame, Thursday-night kind that have to wrap before someone’s mom gets home.
The guitars scratch and yowl, the drums never stop their relentless one-two beat, and save for a quiet interlude where Harrington seduces you from a bearskin rug, the song is all wild, drunken abandon that’s also amusedly aware of its pointlessness, seeing as everybody still has to get up and go to work tomorrow. In other words, it’s a perfect song for a Thursday.