Nov 292019
 
james kochalka superstar

On the surface, “Old North Ender” would seem to offer pretty regionally-limited appeal. It’s about one specific neighborhood in Burlington, Vermont, with a population of 11,000 (one of which is James Kochalka himself). Writing a song so specifically about one’s ‘hood may create an anthem for people within a ten-block radius, but presents an impediment to a track’s wider success.

Forget all that. “Old North Ender” requires zero geographic context. It’s an immediately-engaging novelty song about living rough: siphoning gas and spitting out blood, all with a twinkle in your eye. Think a dirtbag They Might Be Giants with louder guitars and gratuitous violence. The latter surely wouldn’t fly in Kochalka’s day job, as a popular children’s book author, so it sounds like a joyous exorcism for him to holler about beating kids and firebombing cars over a roaring punk band.

Check out more entries in our month-long series on The Best Songs of the 2010s.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)