Random Records with Steve O

Andrew Jackson Jihad - People that Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World

Steve O - June 21, 2014

People that Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World

So two of the Change the Rotation team (Davey and myself), will be at Plan-It-X Fest in Bloomington, IN this weekend. To celebrate there’s three Random Records, highlighting one of the bands playing each night. In addition to placing the spotlight on some great folk punk records, it’ll be a three day story of my relationship to the genre, through three of the more influential acts. So check in throughout the weekend for some good music (definitely) and good reading (hopefully).

Where to start with this one… I guess let’s start with the name: People that can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World. Interesting, eh? It just so happens to be a Kurt Vonnegut reference. Well now that we’re talking about awesome things, let’s talk about the awesome music contained on People that can Eat People… The root of Andrew Jackson Jihad is Ben Gallaty on upright bass and Sean Bonnette on acoustic guitar and together, along with a cast of additional characters, they play sad songs sung happily. Look at the opener “Rejoice” for example. “Rejoice despite the fact this world will year you to shreds.” Yeah, that’s uplifting. Or how about their derivation on Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”? “In fucking fact, Mrs. Robinson, the world won’t care whether you live or die. In fucking fact, Mrs. Robinson, they probably hate to see your stupid face.” But they aren’t sung with any hint of despair or depression. And the simplicity with which the songs are played and the slight lunacy in the lyrics gets them stuck in your head.

Andrew Jackson Jihad live

Back in 2007 I ordered this on a whim off of Interpunk because I liked the name and the album cover. It came along with a button that is still affixed to my hat. Just as with Ghost Mice, Danny and me figured this would be a band we’d never see. I believe PIX Fest will also mark my eighth time seeing Andrew Jackson Jihad. They tour with a full band now, so take that for what it’s worth to you (personally, I miss the Ben and Sean days).

I consider People that can Eat People… among my favorite records in genre. Every song is fucking awesome, but I will highlight here “Brave as a Noun,” “No More Tears,” “People II: The Reckoning,” and “Personal Space Invader” (which ends with another great Vonnegut quote).

Give it a listen here: