One for Friday: Pee Shy, “Little Dudes”

I cannot overemphasize how wondrous it was for me to discover any music that existed outside of the monolithic wall of derivative grunge that dominated alternative radio in the mid-nineties. So if I found my way to a charming bit of understated indie pop, couching somewhat humorous lyrics in a lovely wistfulness–completely different from the anguished bravado that Pearl Jam made the norm–I was certainly going to embrace it. I may not be able to play it on the radio, thanks to our impenetrable playlists, but that’s what my home stereo and all the mix tapes manufactured in its dual cassette deck were for. I knew almost nothing about the band Pee Shy, but I was damn appreciative that their song “Little Dudes” found a place on one of the many magazine-issued compilation CDs I desperately sought out to help me believe there was something available in the musical atomsphere besides ceaselessly pummeling guitars.

What I can discover now is that Pee Shy hailed from Tampa, Florida that started as duo comprised of accordionist/vocalist Cindy Wheeler and clarinetist/keyboardist Jenny Juristo. The line-up had expanded by the time I heard them, but the music maintained an unassuming simplicity that seemed spun directly from their leaner origins. “Little Dudes” was apparently written by Wheeler from the direct inspiration of the predilection that she and her musical partner had for younger men, although presumably not quite as youthful as the teens still edging through puberty that are noted in the song. Considering the lyrics include the line “Please don’t think I’m a pedophile,” almost by necessity, it’s a disarmingly sweet song.

Realistically, there was one other reason this song caught my attention. I couldn’t ever hear it–still can’t, really–without thinking about how one of my good friends had an entirely innocent crush on Elijah Wood at the time, despite the fact that, as the song says, he was six-years-old when she went to the prom. I’ve no idea how well that crush sustained through the hobbit years, but it was pretty dang cute back in the day.

Pee Shy, “Little Dudes”

(Disclaimer: As best as I can tell, Pee Shy’s full-length debut, Who Let All the Monkeys Out? is out of print, seemingly even as a digital purchase. That’s the album that houses “Little Dudes.” Their follow-up, Don’t Get Too Comfortable, is available as a CD through major online retailers, so presumably one could also go and order it through one’s favorite local, independently-owned record store if one wanted to provide some fiscal support to the band. This song is posted under the belief that there is no way to acquire it that provides that sort of fiscal support to the band and it is therefore hurting no one to have it here. Maybe I’m wrong. If someone with due authority to request its removal wants to tell me that I’m wrong, or simply request its removal for any reason whatsoever, I will gladly and promptly comply.)

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