I couldn’t get enough of Streethawk, really. It was clever, it was melodic, it had genuine opinions about the relationship(s) between allusion, appropriation, and theft. Bejar stole not just lines from songs, but whole sections—the “I’ve got the spirit/but lose the feeling” recognition-of-doom segment of Joy Division’s “Disorder” became, in Bejar’s artistic chop shop, “You’ve got the spirit/Don’t lose the feeling,” the melody transformed from an expression of creeping dread to a major-key celebration of introspectively false hope. You Manchester fiends who are cringing at the thought are only encouraging guys like Daniel Bejar, so you might as well just get with the program. The deeply affecting melodies that hold up Bejar’s very writerly lyrics lend them an air of sincerity that they perversely and quite vigorously attack and defend at the same time. Bejar not only “didn’t mean it”; he didn’t mean that he didn’t mean that he didn’t mean it. If ever the joys of postmodernism were spelled out plainly for Doubting Thomases like myself, it was in Streethawk.

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