From The Desk Of The Old Ceremony’s Django Haskins: Finley Peter Dunne

The Old Ceremony, the orchestral-pop quintet Django Haskins has led since 2004, just released its fifth album, Fairy Tales And Other Forms Of Suicide. The band’s first LP for Yep Roc is also its first to receive a vinyl pressing, as well as its first to be released in Europe. In other words, it’s the perfect time for a provocative album title. Like many of the reinvented and rejuvenated performers the band now calls label mates (such as Robyn Hitchcock, Nick Lowe, John Doe and Paul Weller), the Old Ceremony makes music unencumbered by the ever-shifting demands of new and now. Haskins will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Old Ceremony feature.

Haskins: Like Stephen Colbert and Mark Twain? Well, you might just fall in love with the turn-of-the-century Chicago satirist Finley Peter Dunne. His alter ego was an Irish bartender named Mister Dooley, who dispensed hard-earned wisdom in a heavy brogue. A typical commentary on the dizzying pace of 1890s technological progress begins, “If annybody says th’ wurruld ain’t betther off thin it was, tell him that a masheen has been invinted that makes honey out of pethrolyum. If he asts ye why they ain’t anny Shakesperes today, say, ‘No, but we no longer make sausages be hand.’” Dunne is no longer as famous as his friend Twain, but his hard-edged humor is no less relevant today than it was back when the super-rich controlled nearly everything and new technologies threatened to make us obsolete. Oh, wait.

Video after the jump.