Friday, March 20, 2009

I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record: Strange Days Soundtrack


Track Listing:

1. Skunk Anansie - Selling Jesus
2. Lords of Acid - The Real Thing
3. Tricky - Overcome
4. Deep Forest - Coral Lounge
5. Strange Fruit - No White Clouds
6. Juliette Lewis - Hardly Wait
7. ME PHI ME/Jeriko One - Here We Come
8. Skunk Anansie - Feed
9. Prong/Ray Manzarek - Strange Days
10. Satchel - Walk In Freedom
11. Kate Gibson - Dance Me to the End of Love
12. Lori Carson/Graeme Revell - Fall in the Light
13. Deep Forest feat. Peter Gabriel - While the Earth Sleeps

As far as I can remember, I have yet to write a about a soundtrack for this feature, and it's entirely fitting that this would be the first one. In an era that had no shortage of killer movie soundtracks (Singles, The Crow, Reality Bites, Natural Born Killers and Lost Highway come to mind), this was always my favorite (besides Singles and The Crow). The only thing it lacks is Juliette Lewis's version of PJ Harvey's 1993 classic "Rid of Me," and this is only a minor complaint.

Unmatched English band Skunk Anansie's "Selling Jesus" from their 1995 album, "Paranoid and Sunburnt," always seemed to me to be the unofficial anthem of "Strange Days," appearing both at the beginning and the end of the film. In fact, the band itself plays the song live in the film, and this is where most Americans first caught a glimpse of the fiercely primal and sexy lead singer, Skin, with her bald head and booming voice. This track just rules, period.

My next fave track was Peter Gabriel's collaboration with Deep Forest called "While The Earth Sleeps," which played over the closing credits of the film. This is both one of my favorite Peter Gabriel tracks and electronic music tracks of the 90's. Deep Forest always struck me as a bit too New Age-y for me prior to this, but this song really forced me to respect this French band's worth as electronic musicians. In fact, the collabo totally makes sense given both artists' groundbreaking work in the world and dance music genres. The techno beat drives hard, and its dark and foreboding atmosphere, broken up by the redemptive notes of Gabriel's voice, sampled chants and sweet breaks in the rhythm make this an unsung dance/electronic classic.

The curiosity surrounding Juliette Lewis's ability to sing and whether or not she got signed to a recording contract seems funny now that her band, Juliette and The Licks, have recorded three albums in the '00's, and she's moved on this year to a new project called Juliette and the New Romantiques. But back in 1995, all we had heard out of her was a snippet of a song that she sang in the 1994 Oliver Stone film, "Natural Born Killers" (that's "Born Bad" for you Limewire junkies).

Well, lemme tell you, Juliette Lewis was the bomb singer in "Strange Days." I would not trust many folks to pull off PJ Harvey covers with any success, but she did so admirably and memorably in the film. Actually, the scene of her character Faith in concert is one of my favorites in the film. She nails "Hardly Wait" (original version can be found on PJ Harvey's 1993 record,"4-Track Demos") and its sexy gothic melodrama with panache and without just copying PJ Harvey's uniquely dark and bluesy vocal style. Superb.

The rest of the songs are that ish, too. I especially was a fan of ME PHI ME's "Here We Come." I did not understand why this song wasn't a hit in the hip-hop and rock worlds. This song is so deep about racism and being a black person in contemporary society it makes me cry. Check it out.

Video Corner! Enjoy!

This video is hell of strange. I like when Skin's all pregnant in the truck with the redneck on crank and the Confederate flag behind her. Ha! Slamming track, though.

I remember when people thought Juliette Lewis was crazy walking around with that hair, not knowing it was for an upcoming role. Probably not as crazy as when she sported cornrows at the Academy Awards, though.

This is of course a cover of the 1967 classic Doors song featuring Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzarek with one of my fave industrial/metal bands, Prong.

That pic of Ralph Fiennes makes feel funny in my bad place.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Movies You Might Have Missed: Strange Days

STRANGE DAYS (1995) - dir. Kathryn Bigelow

I was just reading viewer reviews on IMDB for the celluloid abortion, "Twilight" (2008), when one commentator said something really funny in regard to the film's director, Catherine Hardwicke: "Everyone knows that there's only one Catherine, and it ain't's BIGELOW!" That sums up everything I feel for this unjustly obscure cinematic gem from the mid-90's.

Kathryn Bigelow, director of the cult classics "Point Break" (1991) and "Near Dark" (1987), melted my heart with this apocalyptic sci-fi/action collaboration with the megalomaniacal genius James Cameron, who co-wrote the piece brilliantly with screenwriter Jay Cocks. Nearly every year since 1995, I have seen at least one or two films that emulate the mesmerizing cool, techno-savvy style, and socio-politically conscious story of "Strange Days," to varying degrees of success. This year it was "The Watchmen" (yes, I know Alan Moore's comic is from 1987.) Last year, it was "War,Inc." In 2006, it was "Southland Tales." In 1999, it was "The Matrix." And on and on.

The plot of the film concerns itself with one Lenny Nero (played by the excellent Ralph Fiennes), a Los Angeles ex-cop who is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Faith (slinky Juliette Lewis), an aspiring singer under the oppressive control of manager and Svengali, Philo Gant (the underrated Michael Wincott). Lenny has been surviving by living a hustler's life: he deals in trading black market clips that can be played directly into the cerebral cortex with the use of the illegal SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) receptor, used by police in undercover surveillance. Life turns upside down for him when one of his customers is found dead and the tape of her murder is delivered to him mysteriously. His buddies Mace (the powerful yet vulnerable Angela Bassett) and cop Max (total scumbag and 90's fixture Tom Sizemore) help Lenny uncover the truth about what happened, getting much more than they bargained for in the process. Oh, and did I mention it will be the year 2000 in two days, and the world is ending?

This plot does not even start to describe just how great "Strange Days" is. You've got the kit and caboodle in this thing, but Bigelow's assured direction and Cameron and Cocks's very intelligent and oddly romantic script keep the focus on the fascinating characters. The daring casting of the film in particular makes this film a winner. Ralph Fiennes plays against type as the smarmy but lovable Lenny Nero, and Fiennes is called on to do some very action-y things in this film that he wasn't known for at the time (or now, for that matter, except for, maybe, his very cool turn as a hitman in "In Bruges"). I think his casting as the lead in an epic Hollywood action film was confusing to critics and viewers, but it was an absolutely brilliant choice since he truly nails the sensitively idealistic heart of what could have been a one-dimensional loser. He was hot in a way no action star has been since.

Angela Bassett as Lenny's long-time friend and eventual love interest is the second major casting coup of "Strange Days." I love her performance. She's a strong black woman whose loyalty and courage help Lenny Nero from going off the deep end as he sinks into the underworld of virtual sex and violence. But she's no Magical Negro: she tells Lenny time and again about himself, not out of self-righteousness, but out of love. Critics felt at the time that Angela Bassett's rockin' hard body and forceful athleticism made the love story between herself and Ralph Fiennes's softer, weaker character unbelievable and laughable. On the contrary: the reversal of gender roles (which are again upset in the climax when Lenny is called upon to risk his life to save Mace) and the interracial aspect of their relationship allowed this to be the freshest onscreen romance folks had seen in a long time. It made one wonder, what did Lenny see in Faith?

Juliette Lewis as Faith completed the clever casting troika of this film. Juliette Lewis is, of course, a 90's acting goddess. She was like Parker Posey's kickass mainstream sister. Again, critics were perplexed as to what Fiennes 's character might find so attractive about her, but it was and remains so clear to me. Like Fiennes and Bassett, Lewis is great at finding the vulnerable place in the heart of an ugly or misunderstood character. Faith's aspiration to be a popular singer is very effectively dramatized by what was, at the time, a highly anticipated show of vocal talent by Juliette, who ably covered PJ Harvey's songs "Hardly Wait" and "Rid of Me" for the film. Her passionately ragged bellow belies the shallow preoccupations of her character, who rejects Lenny's pure love for her because he had nothing to offer her financially or professionally. It's another great performance from a lady who knocked everyone's sox off sucking on Robert DeNiro's thumb in the scary 1991 film, "Cape Fear."

The soundtrack to this movie deserves its own "I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record" post. Often people are familiar with the soundtrack of this movie over the actual movie itself. I'll cover it in the next entry.

I hate to talk about this last, as this was one of the most innovative things about "Strange Days," but the cinematography was ahead of its time. It used 1st person POV in the scenes depicting the blackjack clips that the user sees when they connect to the SQUID device, and the result is some of the most exciting action sequences that you have ever seen in a film of this kind. Really must-see stuff.

The proto-punk costumes, the Y2K millenium madness atmosphere, the cyberpunk details (SQUID, Lenny's gadget-crazy apartment, the club they frequent called The Retinal Fetish), its commendable confrontation of American racism and police corruption/racial profiling, and its remarkably emotionally effective ending involving a riot of Rodney King proportions (one of my favorite film endings of all time, in fact) make "Strange Days" a definite add to yr Netflix queue. It owes its heart to "Blade Runner"(1982) and William Gibson's 1984 book "Neuromancer" and it's one of the best films of the 90's, period.

This is the fun part. This first video is one incredibly innovative trailer for the film that shows nothing but hottie Ralph Fiennes talking about "jacking in" and "wiretripping..." like, what? I wish Hollywood would refrain from telling the entire story in trailers and find more creative ways to present a film like this:

This next one is NSFW, for you cube monkeys lucky enough to still have a job:

There is a clip of the fantabulous ending up on YouTube, but I don't like the way it looks and don't want to ruin it for you if you've never seen it. It kills me every time as I see it. I'm still madly in love with Ralph Fiennes because of this film.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

That would be so dope if you commented, a'ight?

Dionne called Cher of 1995 film "Clueless" about Damn The Man, Save The Empire blog, okay? And she was all, "It would be totally dope if you, like, commented, when you have, uh, a totally deep thought,'kay Cher?" And Cher was like, "Objection! I totally comment all the time." Di was all, "Not really." And Cher was like, "As if!"

You know what to do. Your 90's-ologist thanks you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Please visit the Damn The Man! YouTube Channel

Hey I just finished cleaning up the Damn The Man! YouTube Channel, so please go over and take a look at the newly organized 90's and non-90's video playlists:

If you like my channel, please subscribe! I love entertaining you guys, and there's only more to come...I'm just getting started! I appreciate everyone who follows this blog, so let me know yr out there.

I love YouTube. I could spend days looking for obscure films, TV and music on it. It's a pop culture junkie's fix.

Lelaina Pierce of Reality Bites wants you to subscribe...and tell your friends too!

Damn The Man, Save The Empire! 90's babe Lelaina Pierce of the 1994 classic film "Reality Bites" urges you to please subscribe to this blog if you like what yr seeing! How? Handily! To the right of this post is a place for you to enter your email address to subscribe via email. If you prefer to read this blog RSS feed-style, just click on the big orange button next to the words "Subscribe in a reader." How easy was that?

If you subscribe, don't forget to tell a friend about this awesome blog that keeps you updated on news, tour dates and album info on 90's artists that you know and love. There's also features on film and politics, and very soon there will be a feature on 90's fashion called "House of Style," in honor of the Cindy Crawford-hosted MTV show of the same name. Too much fun.

Thanks for stopping by Damn The Man, Save The Empire!

Soundtrack of Your Life: Superdrag - Sucked Out & Do The Vampire

SUPERDRAG - SUCKED OUT from their 1996 album, "Regretfully Yours"
" " - DO THE VAMPIRE from their 1998 album, "Head Trip In Every Key"

I was psyched to see Superdrag in the lineup for one of Paste Magazine's parties at this week's SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. This Knoxville, TN band provided 90's radio with sparkling pop with a punkish attitude that I myself loved to death. I don't normally like to focus on more than one song for Soundtrack of Your Life, but these singles begged to be reviewed simultaneously.

"Who sucked out the feeling?" describes everything that I feel about music these days. Ironically, this is the rousing call to arms that forms the foundation for Superdrag's 1996 single "Sucked Out," a badass tune about record industry greed and cluelessness; a popular theme with 90's rock bands, many of whom were often on major labels. Again, ironically, this single proved to do so well for Superdrag and its label, Elektra Records, that Elektra provided support for their next album on the condition that there be another radio hit just like "Sucked Out."

To this, Superdrag was like hell-to-the-naw, and took that money and made 1998's "Head Trip In Every Key," an album full of songs they liked but everyone else didn't, which yielded only one radio-friendly tune, "Do The Vampire." I am a fan of this record, and especially loved "Do The Vampire." It was one of my practice songs on my guitar after I first learned how to play at 19. Fun song to play and to listen to.

Please enjoy this extremely pleasant blast from the past:

That Caesar 'do was the Rachel 'do for white guys back in the 90's. Remember George Clooney back then? Future "House of Style" post!

Superdrag - "Do The Vampire" (2002 - Live at 12th and Porter, Nashville, TN)

Monday, March 16, 2009

South By Southwest Music Festival, Austin, TX - March 18 - 22


South By Southwest has been kicking ass since 1987 offering new music to the world, and in 1994 film and interactive (the web and emerging technology) conferences were added to the whole shebang, for a more well-rounded spectrum of fun. This year, the festival's already been swinging in the film and interactive arenas since the 13th, but the music conference doesn't start until the 18th. Still time for a road trip or hop on a plane for a mini-vacay!

I love that on the front page of the SXSW site that they asked singer-songwriter Meiko to pretend she's 15 and put three songs on a mixtape for her crush, and since it would have been 1997 when she was that age, she puts down DJ Kool's "Let Me Clear My Throat," Luscious Jackson's "Naked Eye," and Erykah Badu's "On and On." Perfectly 90's.

Here's a copy of the music schedule, and Paste Magazine, Oh My Rockness, and Afro-Punk all have the dirty lowdown on parties and must-see bands.

If you're going out there, lucky you! As Rick James might say, "Enjoy yourself!"

Soundtrack of Your Life: Depeche Mode - The Bottom Line

DEPECHE MODE - THE BOTTOM LINE from their 1997 album, "Ultra"

"Ultra" saw Depeche Mode at a low point in their career after the 1995 departure of keyboardist and songwriter Alan Wilder (who was a DM founding member and, later, Erasure founding member Vince Clarke's replacement after his departure in 1981) for his own project Recoil. He was acknowledged by fans and critics to be an important (if not lower-profile) contributor to the evolution of DM's sound. Dave Gahan also managed to live through a suicide attempt in 1995 and a drug overdose that landed him in Cedars-Sinai in 1996. This did not bode well for a new album of the superlative quality that was expected of them.

Unfortunately, to my ears, "Ultra" somewhat under-performed as feared. Though I had a hard time choosing either "Sister of Night" or "The Bottom Line" for this post, I found many of the songs on this record to be rather slow and dreary. "The Bottom Line" always stuck in my head, however, because it was connected to the first time that, as a young, wild innocent, I had to meet the M-word face-to-face. No, not mortality. Marriage.

A high school friend of mine made what seemed to be a poorly thought-out decision to get engaged to her boyfriend. We were all about 17 or 18 at the time. Though I liked both sides of the equation and wished them well, I could not fathom what in the Sam Hell could compel them to make this momentous, earth-shattering decision at our jobless, directionless age. Then I went to their engagement party, and their song, "The Bottom Line" played as they swayed in formalwear on the dance floor; practice for the real thing, I guess.

This song almost made it possible to believe that these two were doing the right thing. The lyrics may help you understand this intense song of loyalty and slavish devotion, once again sung by the angel Martin Gore:

Like a cat
Dragged in from the rain
Who goes straight back out
To do it all over again
I'll be back for more
It's something
That is out of our hands
Something we will never understand
It's a hidden law
The apple falls
Destiny calls
I follow you

Like a pawn
On the eternal board
Who's never quite sure
What he's moved towards
I walk blindly on
And heaven is in front of me
Your heaven beckons me enticingly
When I arrive
It's gone
The river flows
The wise man knows
I follow you

I'm yearning
I'm burning
I feel love's wheels turning

Like a moth on love's bright light
I will get burned
each and every night
I'm dying to(o)
The sun will shine
The bottom line
I follow you

I would follow Martin Gore through five football fields full of horse-puckey like Tim Robbins in "Shawshank" if he sang these words to me in his lilting tenor. I can see why my friends made this foolish decision if this was the soundtrack. They didn't make it to the altar, but this song lives on in their memory.

Here is a live video of Martin Gore tearing up this song:

Yes, it is a rather dark song for a wedding. We were full-on goth back then. My husband and I got married to U2's "All I Want Is You," personally.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Soundtrack of Your Life: Depeche Mode - One Caress

DEPECHE MODE - ONE CARESS from their 1993 album, "Songs of Faith and Devotion"

I wrote in the Soundtrack of Your Life featuring "Enjoy The Silence" about the wonderful play in opposites that lead singer Dave Gahan and chief songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and singer Martin Gore's voices are in Depeche Mode. If "Enjoy The Silence" is Dave Gahan's consummate vocal showcase, then "One Caress," on their second official album of the 90's, "Songs of Faith and Devotion" is his.

"Songs of Faith and Devotion" saw DM going in a similar musical direction as their song "Personal Jesus" from 1990's "Violator," continuing to adapt to the raw rock sound that pervaded the top of the charts and incorporate electric guitars into their own electronic sound, as well as taking full advantage of Dave Gahan's raspy growl. Dave's aggressively unpretty voice was comfortably matched by the aggressive guitar arrangements, a 90's coup that catapulted its "I Feel You" and "Walking In My Shoes" to the top of singles charts in the U.S. and the U.K.

While I totally respect all of the above, it was "One Caress" that I looked forward to each time I popped "Songs" into my Walkman.

Martin Gore's "Counterfeit e.p." (1989) was a much-loved, much-discussed, much-passed around item with my black kohl eye makeup and fishnet-wearing cohorts. We yearned to hear more of Martin's clear-as-a-bell, sweet tenor. "One Caress" made our goth dreams come true. I'm also a weak one for string arrangements in pop and rock music, so I was all over this overwhelmingly romantic tune. It is radically different than anything else on "Songs of Faith and Devotion," and I love it.

Please enjoy the weird video (complete with snakes and bugs and whatnot) to this singular song:

Can we please, in the next racial draft, claim Martin Gore for African-Americans? He is half-black. For serious, he is!

I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record: Tindersticks - Tindersticks (1995)


The terrific English band Tindersticks has two self-titled albums, one released in 1993 and one in 1995. We'll be discussing the latter, just so we're on the same page about which wonderful Tindersticks album we're gushing about here.

This record changed my perception of what modern rock music could sound like. Now that I'm older, I keep seeing something about Lee Hazlewood-inspired sound, but at 15-years-old, I did not know who Lee Hazlewood was, and to me, the Tindersticks was as far from Nancy Sinatra as you could get (I was wrong, by the way).

"Travelling Light," the duet with Seattle band The Walkabouts' Carla Torgerson, was my introduction to this band and its second record, and what a fitting intro it is. Those of you who listened to the copy I attached to the previous post will know what I'm talking about when I say this song is so good, it's addictive. This beautiful song, about the break-up of a romance and the emotional baggage it leaves, blends lead singer Stuart Staples's and Carla Torgerson's distinctly masculine and feminine voices heartbreakingly. The propulsive strings in the chorus have to be heard to be believed. It's an overlooked gem of the 90's.

"Travelling Light" threatens to overshadow the rest of this album's strong work like "A Night In," "She's Gone," "No More Affairs," "Sleepy Song" and personal fave, the ballad "Tiny Tears," which actually found its way onto a "Sopranos" episode. Writing about this album is like dancing about architecture; you just have to hear it.

Here you go:

I think the video for "No More Affairs" is sex-say!

Tindersticks' "Tiny Tears" on Season 1 Episode 12 of "The Sopranos!!"

Love the hell out of this record. I want "Tiny Tears" at my funeral. Or "U Can't Touch This." Not sure what tone I want yet.

Special treat...Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood FTW!

Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood - "Summer Wine" (1967)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

See You At The Show: Tindersticks at The Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles, CA - Friday, March 13


English band The Tindersticks is one of my all-time favorite bands from the 90's and I actually felt really privileged to catch them in Hollywood at the Music Box last night. If you aren't familiar with this unique band and their compelling brand of 60's style, baroque orchestral rock, you're in for a musical treat.

Another one of my 90's favorites, the classy band Spain (fronted by Josh Haden, son of jazz legend, bassist Charlie Haden), opened up for the Tindersticks, which I did not know about beforehand and was quite pleased to learn upon getting to the venue. Their 1995 debut album, "The Blue Moods of Spain" is one of my favorite records period, which I will explain further in an upcoming I Can't Believe You Don't Own This F%#kin' Record post, I promise.

I have to be honest and admit that the reason that I was even at this show is not just because I love The Tindersticks, but because I am still in love with their second self-titled album after fourteen years. Sure, I admire the rest of their output, but this album, which brought this band its first measure of mainstream attention in the United States, especially with the single "Travelling Light," a duet with Seattle band The Walkabouts' Carla Torgerson, brought me to my knees nearly every time I listened to it with its mixture of lead singer Stuart Staples's black velvet baritone voice (it's like Bowie, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus had a wonderful child that they trained in the art of the troubadour), literate lyrics, and lush string arrangements.

Staples's voice is just as velvety live as it is on record, and the band pulled out gems from that album, including "Sleepy Song," "She's Gone," and the pièce de résistance, "My Sister," a mostly spoken-word track that I never thought would be reproduced sufficiently live that was pulled off impeccably by the band. It's just too bad that the band was plagued by technical problems, causing them to abort one song prematurely. Plus, the venue put down seats in what would normally be a standing-room-only space, upsetting the overdressed drunk rock types that were there (a lot of ascots and faux-Boateng skinny suits), including one particularly pickled fellow who danced up the main aisle toward the band right into the arms of security, prompting a fairly noisy and rough tussle by the back bar area once he resisted a forced exit, and cognitive dissonance in the band and fans alike. Good times.

Please enjoy some videos from their 2008 album, "The Hungry Saw" and their 1995 album, "Tindersticks":

Tindersticks - "Hungry Saw" (2008 Acoustic Performance filmed at Stuart Staples's home studio in Limoges, France)

Tindersticks - "The Flicker of a Little Girl" (Live January 2008 - De-Laaste Show)

Tindersticks - "Travelling Light" from their 1995 album, "Tindersticks"

I used to pump up that jam so loud back in the day that the neighbors used to complain to my parents. I am a geek.

Soundtrack of Your Life: Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence

DEPECHE MODE - "ENJOY THE SILENCE" from their 1990 album, "Violator"

I was just watching clips of Depeche Mode in the studio for their new album, set to be released in the US on April 21, "Sounds of the Universe" (which you can check out on their website, and I stumbled upon the great video for their inimitable 1990 single "Enjoy The Silence." How much do you love this song? How much?

Me and my goth friends could not get enough of this track in the 90's. What else can be said for a song that speaks for itself? My husband and I were talking about the quality of frontman Dave Gahan's voice versus DM resident genius Martin Gore's, and while I believe Martin's is technically brilliant and pure, Dave's voice has a raw, naked quality that represents Depeche Mode's dark worldview quite nicely, thank you very much. "Enjoy The Silence" is the ultimate expression of that quality, IMO.

By the way, Depeche Mode's Tour of the Universe 2009 in support of their new album hits the States beginning July 28 in Washington,DC and wends its way around to the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. for two nights, August 16 and 17. For tour dates in other parts of the country, click here for the info. In celebration, I'll post a "Soundtrack of Your Life" feature of a song off of each of DM's 90's albums, beginning today with 1990's "Violator."

After the video for "Enjoy The Silence," please check out the very twisted video for "Wrong," the first single from DM's 2009 album, "Sounds of the Universe":

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Touch and Go Records Goes Bye-Bye

Chicago indie record label Touch and Go will be closing its business after nearly 30 years. For those of you who don't know, this is pretty sad since they are responsible for bringing the world music by great bands like Girls Against Boys, Jesus Lizard, Big Black, Slint and Butthole Surfers from the good ol' days, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (who jumped from Bay Area punk label Lookout! Records when they were about to fold in 2006 to the label) from today. They will cease releasing new albums and concentrate on managing the back catalog solely. You can read the official statement by Touch and Go label head Corey Rusk over at Time Out Chicago.

I was and still am a big fan of defunct Touch and Go band Girls Against Boys, or GVSB, in popular parlance. Here is audio and video from their Touch and Go records "Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby" (1993), "Cruise Yourself" (1994), and "House of GVSB" (1996), respectively. Enjoy!

I miss these guys. I danced with GVSB's lead singer Scott McCloud in a small club in NYC once. I know, hawt.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Songs The Cramps Taught Us: Lux and Ivy's Favorites

Your 90's-ologist has been mad busy researching 90's lore for this website, so I apologize for the delay in 90's goodness, but I'm almost done and rarin' to give you more juicy tidbits from days gone by.

In the meantime, I have to thank Very Short List for alerting me to New Jersey radio station WMFU's very generous offering of downloading Lux and Ivy's faves! Lux Interior, frontman of The (Illustrious) Cramps, died last month (here's my post for those who missed it),and this seems like such a fitting tribute to a punk rock original.

It seems that Lux and his fab wife and bandmate Poison Ivy named a slew of the musicians and songs that they admired in an interview with WFMU. They've made all 300 songs available for downloading. Very Short List did us a solid and referred us to Phawker Radio, who has very neatly made the files available without convoluted website rigamarole.

I'm pretty psyched about diving into these tunes. Enjoy!