Category Archives: Dudeism in music

Tattoo it on your for'ead

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Robert Earl Keen

Sometimes there’s a song – and I don’t mean a #1 hit – but sometimes there’s a song and it’s the song for it’s time and its time and place. You see, earlier this week I was browsing YouTube for Robert Earl Keen songs, and I came across this song. Now, you might say it’s an easygoing song -quite possibly the most easygoing song you’ll hear today, but if you ask me the song fits right in there on a Take ‘Er Easy Thursday.

Remember when The Dude is being chastised by The Big Lebowski and he just puts his sunglasses on and says, “Fuck it!” The Big Lebowski is so uptight that he tells The Dude to tattoo it on his for’ead.

I suppose some people might be offended because they think the message is vulgar. But you know, sometimes the message delivered by The Dude and in this a-here song I’m about to unfold is the best one. You know, when bad things seem to pile up, but in the grand scheme of things don’t mean anything, sometimes you just have to say…look at me. I’m ramblin’. I done innerduced it enough. Anyway, I think you’ll agree that Robert Earl Keen does it better than me. That about wraps ‘er up. I’ll catch ya later on down the trail. Until next time, take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Laurie Morvan Band

The Dude says, "No working during drinking hours."

The Dude says, “No working during drinking hours.”

Yes, I know. The posts have been sporadic this week. They (for better or worse) will probably remain that way for a while as I make some changes here at Incognito HQ. Obviously I couldn’t let anything stand in the way of another Take ‘Er Easy Thursday post. That’s right. I have been working on some other things, but I won’t let those other things interfere with our weekly tribute to the ethos of The Dude.

The thing about these Take ‘Er Easy Thursday posts is…I have no idea if these artists are Dudeists. What I do know is that these artists are great at capturing the Dudeist ethos in song. Take Laurie Morvan for instance. She basically wraps ‘er up with the first line of this song: “Ain’t nobody working during drinking hours.” Think about it. The Dude’s drinking hours are basically when he’s awake and you can bet your boots he’s not going to be working. And there’s a lot to be said for that. After all, do you think The Dude is going to choose being a cubicle jockey over fixing himself a White Russian whenever he feels like it? Not likely.

Now, I realize that Laurie Morvan goes on to sing about the working stiff who has worked hard all week and now the drinking hours (the weekend) have arrived. But let’s face it. No one would choose to be that working stiff instead of The Dude, whose most strenuous activity (when he’s not pursuing nihilists) is “driving around and the occasional acid flashback.” You tell me who has it figured out. That about wraps ‘er up, don’tcha think? Don’t let work get in the way of your drinking hours. And until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Skavenjah

The more you can relax...

The more you can relax…

Greetings again, loyal reader. It’s Thursday once again and you know what that means. That means it’s our weekly celebration of the ethos of Jeff Lebowski aka The Dude, Duder, His Dudeness, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. Sure The Dude might be someone the square community doesn’t care about, but he’s got it pretty well figured out as far as takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.

It seems that Skavenjah, a ska band from Regina, Saskatchewan, also has it pretty well figured out with just the first line of “Relax.” (Click the link to hear the tune.

Relax by Skavenjah

Dig these lyrics: “The more you can relax, the easier your life gets.” Tell me that doesn’t sum up The Dude. He takes it easy enough for all of us and let’s face it, he has it pretty easy. He bowls, he drinks, he drives around, and more than all of that, he doesn’t ever sit in a cubicle. I mean, it’s a pretty good life. To take it even one step further, the only time The Dude doesn’t take it easy is when he gets uptight about the whole Bunnie case. Ultimately, The Dude finds his center again and realizes that indeed the more he relaxes, the easier his life gets.

Frankly, it’s a lesson we can all take to heart. Sure, there’s the job where it seems like you spend most of your time and all the other things that threaten your happiness on a daily basis. But when you feel yourself getting uptight, just remember the words of Skavenjah and relax. Your life will probably improve once you can master that. Well, that about wraps ‘er up, don’tcha think. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Lazy Man Blues

Chuck Mathieu: bluesman, Dudeist

Chuck Mathieu: bluesman, Dudeist

Welcome to another Dudesday, loyal reader. If you’re just joining us, this is our weekly celebration of the ethos of my favorite movie character: The Dude. Yes, The Dude is a lazy man, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate him. And today’s song…if it wasn’t written about The Dude, well, it was written by someone who is firmly on the path of Dudeism. Just look at the title: “Lazy Man Blues“ (click the link to hear the tune).

And the first line is, “Don’t feel like doin’ nothin’.” Well, you don’t need me to tell you that describes The Dude perfectly. He doesn’t feel like doin’ nothin’ except bowling, drinking white Russians, and listening to Bob. He follows that line with “Don’t want no part of workin’” You’re not alone there, Mr. Mathieu.

Then Chuck Mathieu gets to the heart of Take ‘Er Easy Thursday when he sings

There’s workin’ folks that just can’t relax

They’re working hard and breakin’ their backs

One day, they’ll all be dead from heart attacks.

Brothers and sisters, friends of the revolution, can I get an AMEN for Mr. Chuck Mathieu? Yea verily, he speaks the truth! He has seen the light just like The Dude, who is expert at taking it easy, and he sure isn’t gonna break his back working for The Man. And why would he when he can spend all his time at leisure?

Mathieu also has his own version of “Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!” when he warns against going too fast because he might fall and break his glass. Clearly, this is a man who follows the righteous path of Dudeism. And I take comfort in that. It’s nice to know that lazy guys like this are out there takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners. That about wraps ‘er up. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Todd Snider

Sometimes, loyal reader, I just have to give myself a head slap. This is one of those times. After all, how many installments of Take ‘Er Easy Thursday have I done? And I’m just now getting around to featuring quite possibly the most Dudelike singer out there: Todd Snider. To make up for this glaring omission, I’m going to give you two songs by Todd Snider.

The first is “All Right Guy.” In this song, Todd Snider discusses some behaviors that others see as foibles, but that ultimately he feels like he’s an all-right guy.

Likewise, The Dude does a lot of things that the square community doesn’t approve of. He doesn’t have a job. He smokes dope. He probably drinks too much. He curses excessively. He’s late on his rent. He drinks while he’s driving (OK, so that one is a valid complaint by the square community). He has casual sex (he’s just helping her conceive, man!).

But then look at the other side. He’s not trying to scam anyone. He doesn’t want a lot – just compensation for his rug that was micturated upon. And his Creedence tapes. He tells his landlord Marty that he will be there to witness Marty’s interpretive dance cycles. And then he follows through. He is very complimentary of both Jacky Treehorn and The Stranger. He helps Maude conceive.

So yeah, The Dude has his foibles and shortcomings. But you know something? Deep down he really is an all-right guy. After all, Walter might have your back in a fight, but The Dude will help you avoid a fight altogether.

Now, this second song has the potential to be a little more controversial. I avoid politics like the plague, but this song…well, you might say it fits right in there. I mean, it’s called “Hippies Like Me,” and that’s right up The Dude’s alley. Todd Snider describes himself as a “tree-hugging, peace-loving, pot-smoking, porn-watching, lazy-ass hippie.”

Now tell me that isn’t a summary of The Dude. He spent his college years occupying various administration buildings. He enjoys the occasional acid flashback. He wants Walter to take it easy. He does a J right in Mr. Lebowski’s home. And as for the porn…Logjammin’ anyone? Like I said, the song fits right in there. It is the song for The Dude’s time and place – no matter what side of the fence you fall on - and it’s not even by CCR.

Well, I guess that about wraps ‘er up. Until next time, you be an all-right guy or gal, and take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: The Apple Scruffs

The Apple Scruffs with a funky version of "Just Dropped In"

The Apple Scruffs with a funky version of “Just Dropped In”

Welcome again, loyal reader, to our weekly Dudesday, where we celebrate the ethos of The Dude and things related to The Big Lebowski.Not long ago, loyal reader, I featured Murder By Death’s cover of “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” for Take ‘Er Easy Thursday. Well, in perusing Bandcamp, I found another great version of this song.

Ask yourself this question. What makes a great cover song? If you ask me, a great cover song is where a band takes the original and puts its own stamp on the song. The Apple Scruffs most certainly have put their own stamp on this song by making it a funk song. I’m willing to bet this song has never made you want to dance like this particular version. I don’t know about you, but I wonder what kind of dream sequence The Dude might have had if this version of the song were used in the movie. Specifically, I wonder what kind of dance moves we might have seen from The Dude if this song were the accompaniment. But then, maybe that’s…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, I done innerduced the song enough. Give it a listen, and until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: The Dualers

Well loyal reader, here we are again. It’s our weekly Dudesday celebrating the ethos of one Jeffery Lebowski (at least that’s the handle his lovin’ parents gave him). Yes, I know I didn’t do a Take ‘Er Easy Thursday post last week, but that was only because I was working on publishing the May issue of the magazine. But enough of that. Let’s get on with takin’ ‘er easy.

Will you just take it easy, man?

Will you just take it easy, man?

The Dualers is a band I featured once upon a Ska Saturday, but this band has a song that fits right in there for our theme. Before writing about the song, I should say that this post is largely inspired by my four-year-old son who discovered The Dualers in my iTunes and really grooved to this song. “Take It Easy” (no, it is most certainly not a cover of The Eagles, man!) has the perfect combination of melody and message. The melody is a real easygoing one that is perfect for just relaxing. Then you get the message and it’s just one great line after another. The chorus states, “Take your time, no need to hurry. Take it easy, there’s no need to worry.” Is that Dudely or what? After a brief freakout in which The Dude and Walter don’t make the exchange for Bunny, The Dude realizes that the whole thing is out of his control and he just needs to take it easy.

Then chew on these lyrics:

If you fall from the race

there’s no disgrace

just pick yourself from off the ground.

Sure, those are words we should all live by. When you look at The Dude, he gets knocked out, drugged, and hit in the head with a coffee mug. But he just keeps abiding. And really, isn’t that how the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuating itself? You fall, you pick yourself up, and ultimately you abide. I take comfort in that. That about wraps ‘er up, don’tcha think? Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

No Take ‘Er Easy tune today

I know you’re expecting another installment of Take ‘Er Easy Thursday. Don’t worry. I haven’t retired it yet. I was working on publishing the May issue of the magazine last night and didn’t get around to writing a Take ‘Er Easy Thursday post. But fear not, loyal reader. We have an interview that you’re really going to like.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Daphne Lee Martin and Raise the Rent

Stay in bed and take 'er easy

Stay in bed and take ‘er easy

Welcome once again to our weekly celebration of the ethos of The Dude. Our very own weekly Dudesday if you will. I found this particular song by Daphne Martin and Raise the Rent when I was searching ReverbNation for songs about sleeping in. After all, it’s not like The Dude has any pressing appointments. He can sleep as late as he wants.

The Dudeist philosophy is immediately evident with the first lyrics being “You’ve got your coffee and your robe…” OK, so The Dude would have a White Russian, not a cup of coffee, but still…a leisurely beverage while wearing a robe. It’s off to a good start, and it gets better. “Let the worries of the world just be the worries of the world. There ain’t no room for them here.” Sound familiar? It should. How about when The Dude says, “I can’t be worried about that shit! Life goes on, man!” Daphne carries on the Dudeist philosophy when she sings about having bills and errands to take care of, but decides to stay in bed all day. Hey, do you think The Dude gets weighed down by errands? We know he doesn’t get weighed down by bills because he gets a very gentle reminder about his rent…on the 9th of the month.

This song can be your anthem the next time your alarm goes off and you’re filled with dread about having to go to some job that you can’t stand. Just ask yourself, what would The Dude do? OK, The Dude would probably fix a White Russian and do a J. I’m not necessarily advocating that. However, if you feel like  you need a day to stay in your robe and sip White Russians, who am I to stop you? Let the worries of the world be the worries of the world. Well, that about wraps ‘er up. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Simmer Down

One of these guys needs to simmer down

One of these guys needs to simmer down

It’s time once again for our weekly celebration of the ethos of The Dude. The way I see it, we could all stand to take things a little easier. Now, this particular song came along long before The Dude was ever innerduced to the world. However, the message of the song is basically the same one The Dude delivered to Walter after Walter decided to pull his piece on Smokey during a league game: “Will you just take it easy, man?” Only Bob Marley (or whoever sings it) put it this way:

Simmer down, oh control your temper
Simmer down, for the battle will be hotter.

Am I wrong? Am I wrong?

Just think about how many people need to hear the message to simmer down. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s that jerk behind you on the freeway (he’s probably driving a Corvette) who looks like he’s making his best effort to park his car in your trunk…while going 75 miles per hour and gesticulating at you because you’re not going 90 like he wants. Or maybe it’s your boss who keeps pressing you for that report that you know no one is going to read anyway. The point is that we’ve allowed ourselves to get way too uptight and maybe we’d all be better off if we just simmer down. In fact, I think it’s such a necessary message for all of us that I am including three different versions of the tune. Until next time, you take ‘er easy. I know that you will.