Sometimes the best way to illustrate absurdity is by being absurd. Sometimes the best way to protest something is through parody. Songwriter, producer, singer, and performer Dustin Christensen does both in a new song he’s released randomly under the pseudonym Dean Summerwind called “Parked By The Lake.” And with all deference to Steve Goodman, it just might be the perfect country and western song.
The former frontman of the rock group Jerrytown, and a current member of the bluegrass gospel project The Lower Lights, Dustin Christensen is a journeyman in the music business, and a jack of all trades, working as a songwriter signed to Carnival Music, a producer on other projects, and even once auditioned and competed on The Voice.
But his efforts may have not resonated any stronger than when he released this ridiculous modern country parody song that has since taken on a bit of a life of its own by illustrating so adeptly the art of earnestly saying nothing at all—a skill that much of modern popular country has nearly perfected.
Set to the same formulaic drum beat that plagues just about everything in the mainstream, and featuring redundant lyrics that work really hard to not go anywhere, it takes a lot of wit and skill to make a song sound this stupid. And luckily, Dustin Christensen possesses them. Radio country’s rabid obsession with trucks and lakes knows no bounds, and since complaining about it doesn’t seem to have put a dent in the trend, perhaps illustrating it in song will.
You can sometimes feel sorry for mainstream listeners when you hear what passes for a “deep” song. Often it’s simply the chord structure that makes it sound meaningful, when actually listening to the lyrics reveals there’s not much there. Christensen is just trying to be funny here and not openly trying to insult anybody. But beyond being an enjoyable exercise in how silly popular country can be, “Parked By The Lake” makes you appreciative of the gifts bestowed by so many of your favorite artists who disregard the commerce involved in music, and just try to put their important experiences in songs that remind us of our own.