New York Dolls singer and general alternative music icon David Johansen has shared a new video for his song “Sinking Ship,” which is accompanied by a new video which is equal parts comical and tragic. Johansen, who’s also well known for his Buster Poindexter persona, dances and grooves to the funky horn-inflected reggae-pop instrumentals, though the words coming out of his mouth spell out a horrible metaphor for the United States: under the leadership of Donald Trump, we’re a sinking ship.
The track opens with Johansen, masked up, removing his face covering to declare, “He’s unhinged; he’s gonna kill us all!” The singer appears in front of a green screen, with imagery of failed voyages flashing before our eyes. He paints a picture of a serene voyage the United States were on under Barack Obama, before the “scoundrel” Donald Trump took the helm.
“Captain, the ship is sinking / Captian these seas are rough” he sings, asking if we should “Shall we abandon ship / or shall we sit on it / and perish slow / Captian, you tell me what to do.” The song is done in a classic ska style, with calypso touches and tons of horn blasts throughout the song – flutes even make an appearance, though at one point in the middle of the track it takes on an arena rock influence with a distorted guitar solo.
The song even features one of Donald Trump’s more bizarre and racially-charged comments. They came as a response to a question from an Asian-American reporter and his delivery is particularly acrimonious. “Maybe that’s a question you should ask CHINA,” he says in the sample. “Don’t ask me that question, you should ask CHINA.” Johansen, seemingly a bit beat from all of the dancing around, can only roll his eyes at these statements.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried