“I got a rock.”
“Charlie Brown is the one person I identify with. C.B. is such a loser. He wasn’t even the star of his own Halloween special”
So this is one of those songs for driving, when the light turns green and throttle goes down, surging down the on ramp, windows open, the road open ahead.
Kristen Hersh and her band, Throwing Muses, have been among my very favorites since I initially heard the song “Juno” from their first full length album, House Tornado, grind it’s way out of my stereo speakers back in 1988. I’ve begun to realize what a magnificent year that was for my musical tastes–maybe there was something special in the air, maybe something in me, but I discovered a phenomenal number of artists that year that still hear regular play at my house, and for the next several Tunesdays I’ll be sharing some of them with you.
That album, House Tornado, was utterly vital and fantastic, and Hersh’s deeply personal writing struck a note with my poetry-addicted mind. And doesn’t she look cool in her modest skirt, cardigan, and bad-ass rock and roll guitar pose? Of note: I bought House Tornado on vinyl a few weeks after its release, then bought it again as one of the first three CDs I ever bought (the same day I bought my first CD player–I was a late and reluctant adopter) because, at the time, it was my favorite album.
Juno (1988) Not the best quality video, but….
Bright Yellow Gun (1995) Doesn’t this one want you to break traffic laws?
Not Too Soon (1991)
What else could follow my last post?
Veruca Salt. One of my favorite songs from the 90’s–used to play it for my daughters just to show them that girls can rock just like boys. One of my favorite all-time performance videos–the song’s been stuck in my head for a week, and I just thought I’d stick it in yours. too. Starts slow, then goes 99 Octane, so stick with it…
A lot of folks know Carrie Brownstein from her Portlandia brilliance, but long before she was a TV star, she was in one of the best, coolest bands ever: Sleater-Kinney. The band peaked in the mid-90s, but spiritually they’re directly related to the best 80s punk had to offer–and their spirit lives on with the band Wild Flag.
And because you’ve been good, here’s this:
Poi Dog Pondering–I can’t think of a better band to throw out here as we enjoy the first truly warm days of spring.
One of the most enjoyable shows I ever saw was in the old Graffiti Lounge in Pittsburgh, late Spring 1990, for a triple bill featuring John Wesley Harding, Poi Dog Pondering, and the mercurial Michele Shocked. The show started off on a great note–I’d picked up two comp tickets from the now-legendary progressive rock radio station WXXP. You can’t beat a free show.
I remember nothing about Harding, and Shocked provided a solid if unspectacular show–though I liked her at the time, the album she was touring to promote, 1989’s “Captain Swing” wasn’t a favorite.
The real highlight of the evening turned out to be the quirky Texas-Hawaiian Folk-Pop-Rock-Hippie fusion collective Poi Dog Pondering, who had launched out of Austin Texas on the strength of a fun little song called “Living With The Dreaming Body” and landed in Pittsburgh with, it seemed, about two dozen members–including a flutist, a mandolin player, a fiddler, and a bunch of hippie-looking folks banging on drums and looking like they’d been picked up at the youth hostel and added to band the night before. Whatever was going on, Poi Dog brought the goods, and I was hooked. Hard to believe it was 24 years ago.
Bonus: my favorite PDP song, recorded with Abra Moore in a motel bathroom (read the description on the youtube page)
What can I say about the DK’s? I never listened to a lot of hardcore, but at the risk of revealing that I am and always was a bit of a poseur, I’d call them “accessible hardcore,” owing to their intelligent, often scathingly satirical social, cultural, and political underpinnings. I missed out on the Sex Pistols at the top of their popularity, so when I began to become aware of music outside the dreck on mainstream radio, the Dead Kennedys seemed pretty much like the Kings of Punk–and an argument could be made that they always were and always will be.
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Man, I loved these guys. If a band ever deserved to be rich and famous, it was The Reivers
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