Friday, September 27, 2013

The Green Pajamas - "Kim The Waitress" (forgotten song)

"Kim The Waitress" was originally released as a non-LP single in 1986 by the prolific, Seattle-based cult band The Green Pajamas.  Never heard of them?  Me neither, but you might remember "Kim The Waitress" from the more popular 1994 version from Material Issue, off their 1994 LP "Freak City Soundtrack".  Their version received a fair amount of airplay at the time, but that was really their only hit and Material Issue split up shortly after that.  Bonus points if you knew that there was also a 1994 version released by Seattle-based Sister Psychic, off their LP "Surrender You Freak".

What does this have to do with Danette's birthday?  I remember ca. 1997 (before we were together) discussing this song with her.  Although the Material Issue version was released in 1994, but I think it was still a current song on the radio.  I had liked the song immediately, but Danette was somewhat puzzled by the theme.  Exactly what is it about the waitress and men's fascination with them?  Well, it's not really about her as a waitress, although the job description does require that they be nice to you.  Combine that with alluring and possibly mysterious feminine presence, and you get the kind of male obsession that the song aptly captures:
Pressed lips and slender hips
Turning, in my head
Writing poems in a corner booth
That I'd die, if she read
Seeing her in but a silver cross
Lying on her bed 
Sometimes she comes with coffee
Reaching over, pouring
I'd like to gently pull her to me
Kiss her, with no warning
Seeing her on some sunny summer Sunday morning
She doesn't come around anymore
And that bothers me (I'm unhappy)
It bothers me (I'm unhappy)
It bothers me (I'm unhappy)

Though I don't stand a ghost of a chance with her
She's pretty (and it bothers me)
So pretty (and it bothers me)
So pretty (and it bothers me)
And it bothers me (I'm unhappy)
Sure, that's not yet quite stalking but you can probably see it from there.  Although Danette has never been a waitress, she's been the object of this sort of attention many times before (and often discovering this well after the fact).  And there I was explaining this point of view to her, all the while already my feelings for Danette becoming not entirely unlike the song's protagonist.  It wasn't entirely clear how to say "...and guess what? I feel this way about you."  So while not a typical love song, that's how I've come to link this song to Danette.

Material Issue made one slight change in the lyrics that made the song darker than was written by The Green Pajamas.  The chorus was originally:
No one can save us
But Kim The Waitress
Material Issue changed it to:
No one can save us
From Kim The Waitress
Thereby transforming Kim from the unintentional hero to the unintentional villain.  Turns out there was a real waitress named Kim, and when she learned of this song much later in life she apparently took it in good humor.  However, unlike the song writer I ended up together with the object of my fascination.

The Green Pajamas: "Kim The Waitress", 2009 live version

Material Issue: "Kim The Waitress"

Sister Psychic: "Kim The Waitress"

The trailer for a short film based on the song, by Scott Eriksson.  The full film is also available, but it explores the darker avenue of this song (e.g., "and it bothers me").

Prior Danette Birthday postings, the beginnings of a loving but irreverent mix tape: 

2012: The Cure - "High"
2011: Blink 182 - "Josie"
2010:  Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl"

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