Jackie Wants a Black Eye

Album: Shame, Shame (2010)
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Songfacts®:

  • Co-frontman Scott McMicken explained this song's meaning to Express Night Out: "It definitely is very literal-minded and I think of all the songs I've ever written it's the most literal. The event that led to the song, as well as the writing of the song itself, was one of those things that came to me because it was so literal and because I had had such a profound experience with those two people that the writing of the song was so easy - it was all right there on the table. I was having a bad night and I wanted to go find my friend, John, and I found him at a bar with another friend of ours, Jackie, and I was having a tough time on account of a break-up-type scenario. Though my tough time wasn't directly tied to the breakup situation, it was directly tied to all the negative emotions that come with it: self-doubt, lack of control, lack of confidence.

    So anyway, I found them and we were all in the same boat - John and Jackie were coming from exactly the same spot I was and I just stumbled into this little club all of a sudden. The three of us became a club, we had this thing in common, so we just sat around this table at this bar up the street from here and talked and it was just amazing. The difference between how I felt walking into there from how I felt walking out was startling and was very hopeful to me, considering the state I had been in for so long leading up to that and I felt it was my first step out of the fog and it actually was. It was a real overt moment in time where things just got better, so I just went home and [wrote].

    Initially I wrote that song and I thought we were going to be getting together a lot, very self consciously as this lonely hearts club kind of thing. Of course we hung out a lot more but after that night it wasn't as self-conscious. So I made that chorus this really sing-songy thing for us. It's just kind of a story about me and my two friends. They were both so psyched to come in and sing in a studio and have headphones on - it's not something they get to do every day. To me the whole thing comes full circle with that to have had that experience, the impact it had on me.

    When you're struggling it's hard to write music that isn't this dark, heavy stuff, which I don't want as part of my songwriting. I always try to pursue something more hopeful and use songwriting as a positive device, not just a dredge. Because that experience inspired me to write that song, it inspired me to write more. It let a little sunlight in the windows and then I started writing a lot more songs after that, so to have them come in and sing on it just felt very nice."

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