“Move Closer to What Deaner was Talking About” is Rifle Nice’s ‘mashup’ of the Philadelphia WPVI “Action News” theme and Ween’s “What Deaner Was Talkin’ About” which was created for the Plain Parade compilation of Philly bands covering other Philly bands.
This song started out as an argument within the band- some people wanted to cover Action News and others liked the Ween song. Steve and I settled the problem by adjusting the chord structures and melodies until the two songs were one. Soon a magical synthesis started to unfold in which the two stories were commenting onto one another. Both lyrics are speaking to a friend: the Action News chorus encourages him to “move closer to your world, my friend” while the Ween chorus confides defeat “I don’t think I can ever return again, my friend.” It sounds like a conversation in which one friend is feeling sorry for himself and giving up and the other keeps telling him to get back up and live his life to the fullest. I could imagine it as representing our relationship with Philly: should we try to embrace it and get more involved improving it or are we washed out and fed up and ready to split town? As a group of friends who in a large part have stayed in town to stay together, this conflict is at the heart of many conversations.
My favorite part about song-writing is that crazy moment when you realize that the thing you started out making has started making itself, that it has taken on a life of its own and is revealing to you things you were not clever enough to have come up with yourself. When I recognize this happening I feel that the song has its own consciousness, and that I have a responsibility to it to share it and preserve it through the years. While home recordings like this one are of poor quality I feel that the essence of what was created is preserved. This feeling is the reason that I am posting these old songs and thoughts on them.
I also enjoyed all the brass I got to play on this song. I primarily play french horn but will play trumpet or trombone as needed. I think merging Action News with the Ween song brought out how silly and beloved the Action News theme really is, which is a contrast to how idiotic and depressing local TV news shows actually are. The theme resonates deeply with many Philadelphians as a type of city-wide anthem. I’ve been using our version as my ringtone for many months with much enjoyment.