When I wrote the article I vaguely remembered that one of my favourite bands, The Weakerthans, had a song called “Sun in an Empty Room,” and so I suspected that it was probably inspired by Edward Hopper‘s painting of the same name (I mentioned the painting in the article). Well, in the absence of liner notes that suspicion is now confirmed, confirmed by both a quick Internet search and this line from another song (“Hospital Vespers”) on their previous album which I noticed for the first time while listening to the CD in the car:
I brought books on Hopper, and the Arctic, something called “The Politics of Lonely”
It’s a very brief reference, in a short song that serves as one of the interludes that permeate “Reconstruction Site.” John K. Samson, the lyricist and lead singer for the band, is quite adept at weaving all kinds of intertextual allusions into the strange, melancholy stories he tells through his songs. Apparently he was going to make a whole album of songs inspired by Hopper paintings, but decided to treat the same themes through original stories (about relationships, medical oddities and Winnipeg); and so the album “Reunion Tour” was born.
As far as I can tell, “The Politics of Lonely” is not a real book… but it sure is a pithy title.