Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Forgot What Eight Was For

Original Facebook post here.
Today's whole-album listen-through: Violent Femmes. Probably as transgressive a record as I heard in high school until the Replacements' Let It Be, but so exuberant and infectious I didn't think twice about embracing it, and not just the familiar standards (I've always been partial to the sunny-major-key two-part harmonies of "Please Do Not Go" and "Prove My Love"). The transgression was as much in the gritty, Velvet Underground-meets-hillbilly-guitar sound as in the disturbing subject matter, and listening to it again I'm struck by how prominent that bouncing acoustic bass guitar is in the mix; it's practically the lead instrument on most of the songs. And I know they're a Midwestern band, but the twang of their sound has always sounded distinctly Western to me; no joke, I once literally had a dream that they were guests on "Hee Haw." (Can't you just see it? They could do "Jesus Walking on the Water" and "Good Feeling.")

Kerry Reid I saw them at the old Blue Note in Columbia, MO in the fall of 1983 with a friend who was interviewing them for the campus paper. It was absolutely unlike anything I'd ever seen before.

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