When they formed a band for the school's Battle of the Bands competition, the choice of name was obvious. These days, Buchanan (guitar), Dohan (bass), Stewart (back-up vocals, handclaps), and Terweilleger (back-up vocals, hand-claps) play occasional shows at art galleries, theaters, and the Full Moon Club. They've gained a small following, mostly because of one comical hit song, "Hey Mr. Beifuss," about the Commercial Appeal's movie critic, John Beifuss.
It goes like this:
"Hey Mr. Beifuss
I didn't like your Moulin Rouge review
But what you wrote about Ghost World connected me to you.
It made me so glad when you visited my English class
Even when that one kid said that you'd been smokin' da grass.
Ooh Beifuss Joe
You're such a cool bloke
I want to get to know you
Hey Mr. Beifuss
I can be your Frankenstein Bride
We'll make homemade horror movies
We'll be screaming side by side
I'll sit with you in dark theaters when it's really late at night
And if you can't see to make your notes, I'll have brought a flashlight
Hey Mr. Beifuss
I respect all that flows from your pen
How long is it 'til Saturday?
I can't wait to read your column again
I know that you are not a slob
I know that you are sometimes wrong
I know your favorite movie ..."
With the summer movie season upon us, we decided to ask them about Beifuss, film, and their other, non-Beifuss-related music.
Flyer: What inspired the Beifuss song?
Stewart: We had this English teacher in ninth grade at White Station, and we had a project where we were supposed to be writing movie and music reviews. She thought it would be good to have a real live critic come to class. So he came and he gave a speech, and Katherine and I thought he was great. He was so strange.
What was wrong with the Moulin Rouge review?
Stewart: I liked [the movie], and he didn't like it. I like Baz Luhrman movies. But Ghost World, that was a really good review.
Buchanan: It connected me to you.
In the song, you mention that you know his favorite movie. What is it?
Stewart: Bride of Frankenstein! We were thinking about making a music video for it because Katherine and I make films also. He told us he'd loan us his Bride of Frankenstein doll.
Has Beifuss heard the song?
Stewart: Yes. He loves it! I think he really likes it because it's about him, but also he's like, 'It's a really great song.' He plays our other songs on his WEVL show. He came to a show at the Full Moon Club, and he just kept talking and he bought a shirt.
What are your other songs about?
Buchanan: We sing a song called "You're Too Cool" about hipsters. We also have a song called "Geek to Chic" about geeks that go chic.
Dohan: I wrote a song about my two old English sheepdogs. It's called "I Wish I Were an Old English Sheepdog," and it's about days when you wish you were a dog and you could lay around the house and have people pat your head and stuff.
So what does Beifuss think? He describes the song as "very clever and insidiously catchy."
"Now I know how Alex Chilton felt when he heard that Replacements song," he says.