Every blog has that special day where, in their retarded delusions of a readership, they get thematic. Here’s my pathetic entry into that new and needless genre: Lost 80s Day. The intention: there’s an indie rock canon, and then there’s the really lost stuff, the quality influences bound to be rediscovered by hipsters any second now. If not, screw em.
Oh, and it’s Good Friday today, so here’s a good joke:
Q: Why do Catholic school girls love Jesus so much?
A: Because he’s hung like this (joke teller makes crucifixtion pose with outstretched arms).
First we have the Mice, an Ohio power pop trio in the vein of the orginal Nerves, but a tad more punk than that, circa early to mid eighties, not much to offer but a great single cd collection, For Almost Ever Scooter. Singer songwriter Bill Fox faded into coffee house folkieness and the rest must have succumbed to the generally brutal ignorance of the Ohio public.
Second, we have the Flying Lizards, best known for their novelty hit “Money,” wherein an accented woman speak-sings the Jerry Lee Lewis-famed “that’s what I want” etc hit over a wonderful bare bones electro beat complete with what sounds like laser beams during the fadeout. Fact is, the Flying Lizards were the front for studio whiz David Cunningham, who saw some retro interest ten years ago, leading to the The Secret Dub Life of the Flying Lizards, from which two of the following tracks were taken. In 1978, Cunningham actually tripped to Jamaica and recorded stuff that went unused, mostly, until he tape manipulated (his specialty) and studio-ized the recordings for this 1995 release.
But understand the dub stuff was a detour; most Flying Lizards material is fascinating and wacky, especially their hard to find (still?) albums, like their self titled debut, a straighforward, fantastic slab of left field eighties electro pop, and Top Ten, as nuts a cover album as ever. Check out the version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.”
This doesn’t begin to cover Cunningham’s career, which included ambient sound experiments, numerous singles under assumed names, and the Flying Lizards chicanery.