Snuggling up with the Long Winters

John Roderick makes lyrical non-sequiturs an art form.

It's that sense of connection that pops up most on Bed, specifically on the album's centerpiece, "Honest." It's one of the band's rare straightforward narrative songs, in which a mother warns her music-obsessed daughter, "Don't you love a singer, whatever you do." When it is suggested that Roderick has written the first song to actively discourage young girls from sleeping with rock stars, he elaborates on the song's intention.

"There are a million songs addressed to groupies from lead singers — it's a trope," he says. "When you're out on the road, those are the people that you interact with most intensely. I'm in a unique position in being friends with bands that are much bigger than we are. And I know a lot of bona-fide rock stars and I know them as human beings, and I see them and I see the way their fans are worshipful toward them. And we are more of boutique act, but we have similar interactions with a smaller group of people.

"It seemed like a story that has been told a million times, but there's gotta be a million mothers that loved Elvis or Aerosmith in their day, and now they're watching their daughters love the Arcade Fire or Death Cab for Cutie, and those mothers have gotta have something to say about it."

The Long Winters: Every day John Roderick writes the book.
Autumn de Wilde
The Long Winters: Every day John Roderick writes the book.

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Also playing at 4 p.m. at Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar Boulevard, University City. Free. 314-721-4096.
Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City)

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Roderick also confirmed this writer's theory, stating that the mother in the song is so protective of her daughter because she had a fling with a rock star, one that ended in the birth of her daughter, named Honest — although he wouldn't go so far as to admit the identity of father/singer.

But while Roderick keeps the secrets of his songs close to the vest, he's showing his generosity with a solo in-store appearance at Vintage Vinyl on Saturday afternoon. The way he sees it, this is a small "thank you" to the city for its support of his band.

"Ever since we played Frederick's Music Lounge [in 2002] and particularly from the time we came to St. Louis with the Pernice Brothers [at Off Broadway in 2004], it always felt to us that St. Louis was one of the early adopters, one of the cities in the states that showed up and embraced our band before Los Angeles did, even," Roderick says. "It's sort of a special one-off between friends."

9 p.m. Saturday, April 7. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City. $12. 314-727-4444. Also playing at 4 p.m. at Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar Boulevard, University City. Free. 314-721-4096.

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