The Dream Syndicate recorded this in 1982 on their first record, a self-titled EP on their own Down There label. You might be able to find that one on eBay still, if you're really patient. Some sources1 say that the EP was reissued the same year by Enigma Records, but all three copies2 I've seen were the Down There version.

"Some Kinda Itch" was a stomping runaway train of a song, a near-ideal glimpse of the band in their early full-tilt wall of noise mode. Later in the year the Dream Syndicate released their first album, The Days of Wine and Roses. Out of four songs on the Down There EP, they re-recorded two for the album because they weren't happy with how those turned out the first time. This was one of the ones they left as-was. Meanwhile, this song had mutated in a very leisurely direction. In 1983, Rough Trade picked up Days for distribution purposes (IIRC) and released another four-song 12" EP, with "Tell Me When It's Over" from the album and three live tracks on the reverse (all from the KPFK show which turned up intact, many years later, on The Day Before Wine and Roses.) One of those three live tracks was this one, reworked and made strangely mellow. That version has grown on me over the years, all six and a half minutes of it. That record stayed in print for a while, too.

In any case, the Down There EP was out of print from 1982 until the summer of 2001, when Rhino Records included it as bonus tracks on a CD reissue of Days. (I just found out about this reissue, by chance, at 11:00 pm, and all the record stores are closed. Do you have any idea how frustrating that is?)

Well, anyhow, for some perspective: The Dream Syndicate were part of the so-called "paisley underground" in Los Angeles all those long years ago. They never had any commercial success. Starting with their second album they crashed and burned artistically, too.

Steve Wynn wrote most of their songs, and he wrote this one. I don't think anybody should need much help figuring it out.

She says right now it's stupid,
but you know how I feel?
Sometimes when I'm alone I can't believe that I'm real.
Some kind of itch.

And there's two rooms and there's beds
and there's walls all around.
Sometimes I stay in bed until the sun goes down
and all I feel is some kind of itch
And still there's some kind of itch.

Well, those were better days,
those were better days,
we were sure that there had to be better days.
Now I'm not sure.
Some kind of itch.

Oh, well, it all gets done anyway.

I read my life story twenty times a day,
and still there's some kinda itch.
Still there's some kinda itch.

(guitar solo)

Well, those were better days,
those were better days,
we were sure that there had to be better days.
Now I'm not sure.
Some kind of itch.

And I don't need no savior to take me by the hand
and no madonna's ever gonna get to me again.
Oh, no no no, no no.
Some kind of itch.
No, some kind of itch,
like this:

(instrumental break, rhythm guitar motherfucker KILL KILL)


2 Might be only two. It's possible that my friend Tom's copy is the same copy I spotted on a cashless day in my youth at Play it Again Records in Bethlehem, PA. It was gone the next time I was in, a week later. He probably bought his copy there at around that time, but for years I forgot to ask, and now it's all so long ago there's no way to be sure whether the time fits. The third (or maybe just second) copy is my own, which I finally got my hands on a long time later. I want you to visualize twelve or fourteen years of, literally, sometimes having dreams about finding a copy of that damned record.

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