Saturday, May 31, 2008
Philadelphia has given us a lot of great music over the years, some of the Staxx stuff - Isaac Hayes and that, Hall and Oates, The Roots just to name a few. Mostly notable for soul and R&B, Philly was also the birthplace of one of Jackson's pet bands, The Dead Milkmen.
1989/90 was a remarkable year for music in my life. 'Paul's Boutique', 'Flood', 'Shake Your Moneymaker', 'Ritual de lo Habitual', 'Pretty Hate Machine', 'Don't Tell a Soul'......
'Alternative' was the flavor of the day, and it included everything from Hard Rock, Goth, Industrial, to Hip Hop.
A music fan was a music fan, and I was a music fan.
In 1989 my good friend Brian Spears suggested I buy 'Beelzabubba' by the Dead Milkmen. Brian had been involved in turning me onto many of my favorite bands (Replacements, Marillion....), and so I trusted his judgement.
As usual, Brian was on to something.
'Beelzabubba' has remained on Jackson's heavy rotation list ever since. The influence this record has had upon me is incalculable. During my acting days I'd use 'Stuart' as one of my audition monologues.
Let's start at the top, shall we?
'Brat In the Frat' kicks the whole thing off with the opening line:
I do not like you college brat
I do not like you and your frat
I do not like you at the shore
I do not like you drunk on Coors
I do not like your average life
I hope you do not take a wife
I hope you don't decide to breed
Cause that's one thing I do not need"
Well Jackson could easily get behind that sentiment.
'RC's Mom' is a confusing ode to James Brown and spousal abuse. Very funky groove for white punks.
Ah, 'Stuart'. What can one say? Genius. I mean, jumpin' jesus on a pogo stick, why the hell do you think they call it a Burrow Owl anyway? "Stuart' alone is worth the price of admission.
'Sri Lanka Sex Hotel', 'Bad Party' (let's play Big Black at three am, tell the neighbors they can all get fucked), 'Bleach Boys', 'My Many Smells', 'Smokin' Banana Peels', 'Born to Love Volcanoes', 'Everybody's Got Nice Stuff But Me', 'Ringo Buys a Rifle'.....all great tracks.
Of course there's the hit, 'Punk Rock Girl', a timeless classic.
"If you don't know Mojo Nixon
Your store could use some fixin"
'The Guitar Song' is another standout. Just a perfect tune, gentleness building into bombast.
The LP wraps with the brilliant 'Life Is Shit'.
"....And a vision came
And I new it was Bob Crane
And Bob sang:
Life is shit, life is shit
The world is shit, the world is shit
This is life as I know it
This is life as I know it"
I need 'Beelzabubba' on vinyl, my CD copy is just about shot.
Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick! Everybody knows that a burrow owl lives in a hole in the ground! Why the hell do you think they call it a burrow owl anyway?
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