The Chairman Dances ponders its influence’s influences on “Augustine”
In a 2013 interview with The Key, Ben Rosen of The Chairman Dances wryly admitted that they’re “sort of a library band.” Three years later, that quote still rings true with “Augustine”, the second cut from Time Without Measure and the first to receive the music video treatment. The clip was directed by Tom Contarino and features the band performing in and around a dark house as they spout one literary reference after another.
Over crunchy, brittle guitars, Krewson turns a folk classic on its head as he sings, “Bob Dylan dreamed that he saw me.” For a band as bookish as The Chairman Dances, it’s no surprise they’re referencing Dylan, but they don’t stop there. The song may only be under three minutes long, but in that short span of time, you’ll also hear allusions to Lou Reed, John “Calvinist” Calvin, and the eponymous St. Augustine of Hippo himself.
As Augustine, Krewson wonders why “All the greatest minds tend to dream of [him],” which seems to be a rumination on why influence is influential in the first place. If this sounds too complicated for you, don’t worry, because the track still reads like a jaunty, indie rock singalong you can enjoy without catching the literary minutia. The Chairman Dances may be able quote Confessions: Chapter Four verbatim, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still have a good time.
Time Without Measure is out now via Black Rd Records. You can catch the band live on October 1st when they play Ambler’s Forest & Main.