Thursday, February 05, 2004

 
Weird Bands

Two bands today that were strange in very different ways, both from the late 80's.

The Ophelias have always struck me as what Game Theory might have sounded like if Scott Miller had 1. never heard Big Star and 2. been a genuine crackpot. Interestingly, Mr. Miller ranks their self-titled debut as his second favorite album of 1987, so there may be something to my theory (which I see is shared, up to a point, by the allmusic reviewer). They had one "hit" of sorts on college radio, Mr. Rabbit, but the album it's on never came out on CD so it's not as well known these days. I love the unneccesary gasps that singer Leslie Medford emits following each chorus ("Every little soul must shine, shine, gyaaaaaah!"). I'm saving my second favorite Ophelias track, a cover of the Kinks' Wicked Annabella from a 12" single, for a rainy day. They have two other albums, both on CD though out of print, and each has at least one (possibly more, depending on your taste) essential track. One song from the Ophelias' final album The Big 'O' also appear on the interesting More Oar tribute to Skip Spence (this tribute pulls together artists from all over the spectrum: Beck, Robyn Hitchcock, Robert Plant, Flying Saucer Attack...I'd assume that most people will like at least one track and few will like them all).

Given that this blog is getting more hits lately, this is probably the wrong time to focus on Lisa Suckdog, but I noticed this article the other day and figured "now or never." I hope you'll read the article first [I assume that the fact that Lisa Suckdog may not be work-appropriate surfing is self-evident]. God, it's incredible to think back and realize that there was a time when Spin devoted an entire feature to Suckdog related projects. How times change!

Basically, I agree with a lot of what the author of the article has to say. He gets a little dramatic, but that's part of the fun in writing about "bad" albums. The aspect that needs to be emphasized is that there really is something compelling about Drugs Are Nice. If I had to pick a moment that kind of metaphorically describes the experience of letting the album into your life, it would be this (segment) from The Song of the Flying Cats of the Stars. A knock at the door, an introduction and then...

The idea of picking "songs" from Drugs Are Nice is silly since the record (it was also available on CD, but that's really silly) is more of an experience than anything else. I was going to just rip all of side 1 as one big mp3, but then decided that that was being controlling, plus there are some bits from side 2 that I wanted to include. Without further ado, here are Your Dragon (Lisa introduces herself and sings the only thing approaching a normal song on the record), Beasts of the Night Gather Together (there is a bit of a Where The Wild Things Are subtext to this record), Alligators Lurking (normal drugged up trailer trash kids wouldn't have come up with "breathing through their nose") and The Number of the Priest (I now have trouble saying Harrison Ford's name in the correct order thanks to this). I'm leaving out Oh Mighty Pigeon and Ugh Ugh Ugh only for space considerations. Then with side two we get Lisa's artistic statement: Jokes About Women (their ankles...hah hah). Damn, I don't have enough room for her Chaka Khan tribute Being In Love...why did I feel the need to rip these at 128k? Also, sadly, I don't have space for the album-closer Brontes In The Attic which is kind of sweet: Lisa and Rachel (coming down, from the sound of things) murmer along to a slowly-running-down music box as rain pitter-patters in the distance.

So what's left to say after that? I hope you'll trust me when I tell you that I genuinely like this album and don't just keep it on hand to torture people with. Like the author of the article, I probably play it a few times a year, but I have a big problem with people who choose their "favorites" based on what iTunes tells them they listened to the most. Some records are too special to play every day. The worst record ever made? Obviously this person has never heard Welcome Interstate Managers.

Tomorrow's post will not resemble today's.



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