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Music / Harvey Danger

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Harvey Danger was a rock band from Seattle, Washington who formed in 1992 and released three albums before disbanding in 2009. They're best known for their indie-pop sound and the witty lyrics of their lead singer Sean Nelson, a respected Seattle music journalist, as well as their 1998 debut hit "Flagpole Sitta."

The band's discography (With notable tracks) includes:

Other notable recordings:

  • "The Show Must Not Go On," their final song performed and recorded before breaking up.
  • A cover of English Beat's "Save it for Later" from the soundtrack of 200 Cigarettes
  • "Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas" from the eponymous EP (Which also featured a demo of "Wine, Women, and Song" and a live version of "Jack the Lion") which was not sold in stores

This band and their works include examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: In Merrymakers the title question is asked in the final track, "Radio Silence"
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas"
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Averted with a vengeance! They released Little By Little... onto their website for free download, along with a BitTorrent of the whole album!
  • Double Entendre
    • "War Buddies" has been referred to as "A song using war as a metaphor for sex as a metaphor for war".
    • The line "I run it up it up the flagpole and see/Who salutes, but no-one ever does" in "Flagpole Sitta." "Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes" is another way of saying "Let's throw everything at the wall and see what sticks," tying into the song's theme of dead trends while sounding like an obvious masturbation joke.
  • End of the World as We Know It: "Plague of Locusts".
  • Epic Rocking: "Radio Silence" and "Little Round Mirrors".
    • Along with "War Buddies". It's not as long as some other examples, but still goes through many different tempo and beat changes.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Radio Silence" multiple times.
  • "I Am" Song: "Flagpole Sitta"
  • I Just Want to Be Special: "Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo"
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "Little Round Mirrors" starts off as one, but picks up as the singer continues to sympathize with the subject.
    All alone
    On the floor
    Next to your twin-bed and box-spring mattress
  • New Sound Album: Little By Little...
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Flagpole Sitta"
  • Precision F-Strike: A perfectly-delivered one in "Terminal Annex" (besides from the use of "shit" earlier in the same song, it's the only real swear on the entire album!)
    You complain about an overflowing cup
    Don't forget that I'm the one who filled that fucker up!
  • Power Ballad: "Little Round Mirrors"
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Flagpole Sitta" is a more tongue-in-cheek example (riffing on angsty songs that were popular among the youth of The '90s), but has occasionally been used as a Standard Snippet for scenes of this trope played straight (most notably in The Nostalgia Critic's when showing movies with particularly bizarre scenes).
  • Shout-Out
    • "Cream and Bastards Rise" and the album's title, "Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?", are both lines from the movie Harper.
    • "Happiness Writes White" is a maxim from the French writer Henry de Montherlant, referring to how happiness cannot be represented on paper — it's like using white ink on white paper.
    • "Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo" has characters named Edith (after Edith Frost) and Norman (Possibly a shout-out to Norman Rockwell). It also refers to The Lusty Men and the Marlboro Man
    Norman says you should take a Valium,
    Or maybe something stronger...
    Because he doesn't understand how you get so excited watching The Lusty Men
    "Y'know, the Marlboro Man died of cancer..."
    "... Aaaaaand he wasn't a rocket scientist when he was healthy, haha!"
    • Also on King James was "Meetings With Remarkable Men," which had shout-outs to Kip Winger and Morrissey.
    • "Carlotta Valdez" condenses the entire plot of Vertigo into three minutes.
  • Stealth Insult: "Flagpole Sitta" is named after a long-forgotten trend from the 1920s in which college students would climb onto flagpoles and sit there for as long as they could. The song is effectively calling the trends of the 90s alt. rock scene just as stupid.
  • Stealth Parody: "Flagpole Sitta" is a satire of teen angst and the then-dying Alternative Rock scene circa 1998.
  • Subdued Section: The beginning of "Little Round Mirrors." The entire song is this, compared to the rest of the much heavier album.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song
    • "Cream and Bastards"
    • All of Little By Little... to anyone who only knew "Flagpole Sitta" before that.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The ending of "Little Round Mirrors" is the start of the first verse, only more triumphant.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: "Save It For Later", although the clips from 200 Cigarettes are edited so the cast of the movie and the band frequently appear to interact.