Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 27: No One Listens to the Band Anymore

Honored to have Alex Dezen from The Damnwells contribute to the RNRHS archives this time around. His band is one of my absolute favorites, a designation that’s easy to throw around, but I’ve been around the old musical block a few times. Steve and I own a kajillion records. We don’t hire a babysitter and drag our butts to Raleigh on a Tuesday to see anybody unless it’s majorly cushy backstage with an open bar and behind-stage parking. What can I say? We’re jaded. But, alas, we did exactly that a few months ago for The Damnwells. Even one man down (due to an unanticipated medical emergency), the show was incredible. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself when you’re thinking “Yay! I love this one!” every time they start a new song. One highlight of the show was “Soundtrack”, which Alex performed acoustically. There was a highly annoying woman standing near the stage, yammering above the music, and the icy stares of her fellow audience members weren’t enough to get her to shut her trap. Alex stood back from the mic and sang the second half of the song, loud and clear, which ends with one of my fave Damnwells lines: “But can you shut up long enough to fall in love?” It didn’t actually get her to stop talking, but an awesome f-you moment I won’t soon forget. If you’re interested in more info about the band (or “collective”), please visit their website at or check out the documentary “Golden Days”, which cleaned up in the film festival circuit and is a heartbreaking lesson in exactly how scuzzy the music industry can be.  I can’t say enough good things about the new record, “No One Listens to the Band Anymore”, so check that out, too.

Alex Dezen

Birch Wathen Lenox, NYC, Class of ’96, Currently: I rock and roll and write

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: I hated high school. I listened to The Jesus Lizard.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: A De La Soul t-shirt

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Creed.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: 13 Stitches at Acme Underground.

Optional bonus question:  Best high school make-out song: “Barely Real” by Codeine or “Road to Madrid” by Seam. It’s a tie.

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