“Make a Circuit with Me” / “M.A.C. 2000,” by The Polecats
By T.J. Dempsey | Music Editor Published: 06/11/2013 8:00 am EST
The video for today’s song is strangely prophetic of the situation I now find myself in. As the video opens on a futuristic, dystopian city-scape, we see a police automaton burning stacks of vinyl records, specifically those of the band in question, The Polecats. Incident thusly incited, the band sets about a jarringly upbeat attempt at overly convoluted subterfuge. Their scheme: start playing in a random location, on the assumption that the ludicrously slow fuzz-bots would reach them before their song ends, and trust that said guards would be so enraptured by an out-of-nowhere fem-bot that their heads would explode. Classic guerrilla tactics, to be sure.
Of course, record burning doesn’t quite hold the same grave significance that it would have back then. With the internet’s limitless memory for even the most inane of subjects, such acts of effigy immolation are rendered impotent, a waste of resources at best. Those diligent enough to take on the search can usually find what they’re looking for online, one way or another. Today, however, that fact was temporarily tested, as the song I actually wanted to review eluded my grasp time and again. As good as “Make a Circuit with Me” is, I’d actually set out to share with you my preferred version: “M.A.C. 2000,” off The Polecats’ greatest hits record.
As with many things, it all came down to a matter of phrasing. Turns out that simply typing “Make a Circuit with Me remix” isn’t specific enough to make results, despite there not being any other similar song to “M.A.C. 2000″ that I know of. One could argue that it’s only fair, considering that my initial encounter with the song was largely fortuitous to begin with: it came sandwiched densely amid a folder of myriad other tracks of rockabilly obscura, old and new. Granted, one would be hard pressed to find an instance of “mainstream” rockabilly in this day and age, yet the genre has proven remarkably resilient sub-genre. Like it’s rougher cousin, punk rock, rockabilly possesses a surprising depth of versatility and elasticity, branching out and emulating other genres as need be.
Take “M.A.C. 2000″ as a prime example, or even the song it’s based on. When The Polecats wrote “Make a Circuit with Me,” it displayed a deft interweaving of Rockabilly and New Wave, those opening bass chords evoking the likes of The B-52s. Then, over 20 years later, some intrepid DJ took the bones of that bouncy little gem and fleshed it out into an intriguing novelty. The retro-camp samples and echoing layers somehow successfully bridge the gap between old and new, creating a piece of pop-art that resembles a wooden fence luridly plastered with bright poster advertisements. Given how charmingly modern yet anachronistic “M.A.C. 2000″ feels, it’s actually a better fit for “Make a Circuit with Me’s” video than the original.
Thomas Dempsey hails from Greenville County, South Carolina, where he has made a name for himself assembling and delivering sandwiches. A graduate of Presbyterian College with a duel major in Creative Writing and History and a minor in film, he’s achieved the technical status of professional writer by contributing to Examiner.com as a DVD critic. An aficionado of all media, Thomas harbors a particular affinity for visual storytelling and music.