Posts tagged music
It’s been 30 years since Violent Femmes debut album. Which means I was four and probably have no business feeling nostalgic about it.
Part of the reason the album endures is the music itself: simply constructed songs with sticky melodies, sung by a young man with a conversational delivery and a voice like a fire-truck siren, backed by frenzied bass playing and primal, intuitive drumming. The performances are burning things, alternately spare and spacious, then suddenly taut and rigid and nervous. Things never fall apart, but they continually threaten to. The lyrics are gutting and funny, too: sordid but somehow pleasant teenage confessionals penned by an actual teenager.
Has the vinyl revival gone too far? Probably.
No one’s twisting anyone’s arm, and I’m not saying people are getting ripped off. But when things like the deluxe Gambler reissue are being timed in anticipation of Record Store Day—this year’s falls on April 20—I can’t help but feel that the vinyl revival has jumped the shark. Even The Onion recently poked fun at the fact that ubiquitous works like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours—a far better album than The Gambler, to be sure, and one with far more millions of copies in existence—are now being treated like holy objects. It’s a fucking record. Seriously, Rumours? I adore it. But when I worked at Wax Trax, I also used to fill our dollar bins with it. Last time I stopped by, they were still there.
Flaming Lips – Hit to Death in the Future Head (Warner Bros., 1992)
The Flaming Lips of the late-’80s/early-’90s were miles from the arena-sized life-punk of “Do You Realize??” or the Pet Sounds poptimism of “Waiting For A Superman,” or even the taut alterna-bashing of “She Don’t Use Jelly.” It was raspy, chaotic Oklahoma acid-casualty punk with guitar drones and feedback bursts that buzzed like alien transmissions. They barely cleaned up for this major-label debut, which is full of sloppy shoegaze doo-wop (“Talkin’ Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever)”), a nauseating ballad for acoustic guitar and wubbing oscillator (“Felt Good to Burn”), and a 29-minute “bonus track” of looping noise.
In this show Chang is creating a record store that stocks only White Albums. But rather than selling the albums, he buys more from anyone willing to part with an original pressing in any condition.