Top o' the Morning

B-Sides analyzes Atmosphere, digs into the dorky pasts of today's biggest stars and puzzles over odd St. Patty's day lyrics

When it comes to traditional Irish music, what's not to love? Sometimes it's reverent and beautiful; other times it's clearly penned under the influence. See if you can choose the correct lyrics to complete the verses to classic songs below.

1) I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed/Since first I came ashore with me slumber/For I spent all me dough on the lassies movin' slow....

a) And in me pants is some lumber.
b) Now give me some ale in a tumbler.
c) Far across the Western Ocean I must wander.
d) Down all the streets, I'm a bumbler.

Michael Patrick O’Gorman

2) Let the wind blow high and the wind blow low/Through the streets in my kilt I go/All the lassies cry, "Hello! Donald, where's your....

a) package?"
b) pint?"
c) trousers?"
d) sister?"

3) Too ra loo ra loo, too ra loo ra lay/too ra loo ra loo/too ra loo ra lay/Upon his knee a pretty wench....

a) La-roo lee-loo o-la-di-day.
b) Come on, Eileen.
c) He's kind of drunk and wants some lunch.
d) And on the table a jug of punch.

4) I wrote my love letters in rosy red lines/She sent me an answer all twisted and twined/Saying, "Keep your love letters and I will keep mine....

a) Love, schmov, now let's have some wine."
b) Just you write to your love and I'll write to mine."
c) I'll IM you later when I go online."
d) But I just realized I prefer chicks."

5) Black is the colour of my true love's hair/Her lips are like some roses fair/She's the sweetest face and the gentlest hands....

a) With which to pound some black and tans.
b) I love the ground whereon she stands.
c) So why the Adam's apple, just like a man's?
d) I wish our families weren't rival clans.

1) c ("All for Me Grog")
2) c ("Donald, Where's Your Trousers?)
3) d ("Jug of Punch")
4) b ("Green Grow the Lilacs")
5) b ("Black Is the Colour")

Analyze This
With both DJ/producer Ant and a live band in tow, Sean Daley (a.k.a. Slug) of Atmosphere is still fresh on the indie-rap tour trail, promoting 2005's You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having. With a lyrically introspective style that displays his emotional baggage like peacock plumage, Slug has weathered his fair share of negative stereotypes — but he took the time to explain to B-Sides why he feels compelled to give such personal performances.

B-Sides: I've heard you compare your performances to a type of group therapy. Has that always been the case?

Slug: I like to play couch. Group therapy used to be just my therapy. I used to just get onstage and get all this shit out of my head. The last tour I did, I fashion[ed] the show around my version of a twelve-step program. The main topics I was hitting on were drugs, alcohol, co-dependency on relationships, co-dependency on validation. With my own fatherhood, my son being eleven now — and me seeing the effect that other people he doesn't know and he looks up to have on him — I want to make sure that I stay responsible with that when I'm dealing with other people's children.

Do you ever feel like you've exposed too much of yourself in a song?

Whenever I do, I know that I'm doing the right thing. If you can worry yourself, if you can make yourself insecure about a song — whether you're afraid you're exposing too much of yourself or that you're taking a risk that your fans aren't going to like or appreciate — then you should do it. That's why I make the shit: to freak myself out, to scare myself, to push my limits and boundaries — and I feel like I'm starting to sound like a bumper sticker. I'm sorry.

When I told people I was going to interview you they were like, "Oh, that guy. He's a misogynist, or he doesn't treat women very nice."

Wow. That's amazing. Did they gather this from my music, or was it people who know me?

One guy said he had hung out with you before in Columbia. The way he put it was, "Sean and his gang were hanging out with our women."

Well, yeah. I've hung out with lots and lots and lots of women. I hardly doubt that any of them would call me a misogynist. I could see someone's ex-boyfriend wanting to say that, because I would probably do the same. But I think I've done a pretty decent job of leaving good impressions anywhere I go. Why? Because I'm a nice person. Well, kind of nice.

Do you tend to devote a lot of time to analyzing yourself?

Oh God. Are you serious? That is what I do for a living. This rapping thing is just a hobby. But why do you ask all these questions? Do you want to go on a date? Maybe if I was younger and thinner and cuter? [Laughs] I understand. It's cool.

8 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. The Gargoyle (on the campus of Washington University, Forsyth and Skinker boulevards). $5 students/$15 general public. 314-935-5917.

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