Who thought Sam up?
December 24, 2008 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Songfilter: Heard it on the radio, schizophrenia, prostitution, weirdness.

Somewhere between Redding and Sacramento on I-5 last Saturday I was channel surfing on the radio and caught the end of a song that was completely bizarre and now I want to know what it was.

The basics:
A guy, (Sam, I think) goes to a Mexican brothel, he doesn't speak Spanish and they don't speak English, he picks a younger prettier one, they go upstairs, she wants the money upfront, he wants her nude, she refuses, she relents, she has scars, burned in a car accident, during sex he becomes schizophrenic and imagines himself outside his body, he keeps asking himself it it's real, he leaves and goes back to his hotel, he shakes and shakes.

Anyone have an idea?

Hearing this song on the radio sort of blew my mind, it is pretty graphic sexually and completely random. The next song that came on was a Country-boy christmas song with bits about going to the quickee mart for Marlboro reds and fake snow. Hearing the 2nd song after the first was rather shocking.

Thanks in advance!
posted by M Edward to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Well, from the subject matter, it sounds to me like something Richmond Fontaine might write about. The singer's voice is very distinctive, so give it a listen and you should be able to tell.

Even if not, if this sort of bleak, dare I say fucked up -- oh, the mister says "Carver-esque" would be the flattering way to say it -- subject matter appeals to you, you might like Richmond Fontaine.
posted by librarina at 7:37 PM on December 24, 2008

This doesn't help you directly, but the next song that came on was more than likely this.

More recently, it has appeared as this.
posted by crazyray at 8:00 PM on December 24, 2008

I heart free form radio where this sort of thing actually happens.

Merry Christmas from the Family is a complete classic and it warms my grinch-like heart.
posted by Ponderance at 8:19 PM on December 24, 2008

Response by poster: crazyray - that is the 2nd song. Thanks. I did like that one too.
posted by M Edward at 9:44 PM on December 24, 2008

Response by poster: librarina - could very well be Richmond, that "el Cortez" song sounds a lot like the type of singing I remember. But the distinctive thing about the song was there was no refrain, no chorus, nothing at all resembling a musical arc, just narrative prose. That's what I liked. It was more storytelling than singing.

I'll go through Fontaine on last.fm and maybe come across it. Thanks.
posted by M Edward at 10:01 PM on December 24, 2008

Many, many moons ago, I parodied the genre. Not a brothel, but a hospital, not weird, but sentimental and I'm gonna check out this fontaine guy right away.
posted by ouke at 3:07 AM on December 25, 2008

Oh, to clarify, Richmond Fontaine is the band's name; Willy Vlautin is the singer & songwriter.
posted by librarina at 10:41 AM on December 25, 2008

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