I Saw an X-Ray of Fred Schneider Passing Gas

Really try to catch Lewis Black’s Red, White, and Screwed. Comedy is the only way I can swallow current politics, and Black’s a pretty good chaser. But for once our prez & especially Cheney have been of significant use to me at the job recently, in that I can use them, in discussions with baby gangstas, as a good example of how earning an education and attaining institutional power, first, is how real gangsters get rich. Cheney doesn’t work the block, he buys it. Guys like him don’t even worry about breaking the law anymore (wiretaps, Valerie Plame, torture) because they can change law, and the polling public seems to care little about that, or about shady business ethics (Halliburton). So there’s no accountability to worry about.

Unless you’re Ken Lay, of course. I’m sure they’re all like Dammit, Kenny Boy, things were going so well, we even used your private jet during the 2000 election … what? No, there’ll be no pardon. In fact, don’t call this line again, it’s tapped …

Makes me want to go neurasthenic, all of it. A mood well-tapped into by (oh!) Canada’s Deadly Snakes, on their vastly superior (to anything else they’ve done) 2003 release Ode to Joy. And becuase I can’t find my mp3 of Fear’s “Let’s Have a War.”

Deadly Snakes – There Goes Your Corpse Again

In other news, Emusic has a slew of Popol Vuh up, some of it quite difficult to find. Their early 70s soundtrack to Werner Herzog’s Aguirre is a must have for self-described fans of the bloopy bleepy and/or ambient and/or progressive electro weirdness unconcerned with pop structures.

Popol Vuh – Aguirre I

And they put up the Grifters’ One Sock Missing. Talk about your lost 90s recordings. This one made Pavement sweat a little in 1993. So did the Grifters’ follow up, Crapping You Negative. And then they broke up, and Pavement didn’t until after they should’ve, and you know the rest. Great live show, Grifters, during these two albums. I caught them in Philly in 1995 with Red Red Meat, whom I wish I hadn’t caught.

Grifters — Encrusted

Grifters -Bummer

Otherwise, the thin-pickings over at Emusic aren’t getting better, at least with new stuff. Unless you really want Chris DeBurgh’s Live in Dortmund. Might be worth a laugh, actually.

So what’s exciting? Nothing, unless you love having Fred Schneider of the Shake Society (ok, just kidding – of the B52s) say ‘excuse me’ to you while you’re shopping for records yesterday in Tribeca. It’s kind of funny to hear his voice, completely unchanged from his recorded voice (since he doesn’t really sing) saying something so mundane. I’d pay less than $5 for a recording of just him, saying nothing of consequence. For a laugh.

He was wearing red pants.

B-52s – Private Idaho


4 thoughts on “I Saw an X-Ray of Fred Schneider Passing Gas

  1. Don’t … pay … the ferryman!Fred Schneider is always wearing red pants. “I’ve got a boner as big as a whale and it’s about to set saaaaaaill!”


  2. Mr. Parnell:Nice post. I saw the Grifters in NYC about 5-6 years ago and they seemed sincerely bored with their material. They absolutely destroyed the best songs from Crapping You. The bass player would announce a song by saying, “This is the 8th hundred timed we have played this.The Grifters remind me a lot of Das Damen – we wanted great things but never quite got it. By the way, being a fan of the early Grifters stuff, I strongly believe that something about signing to Sup Pop made them write the very worst lyrics in all of indie pop. ?The cringe factor on those last two-three albums is off the hook yo. The ep after Crappin starts with perhaps their best song. Quiet, slid guitar, strong melody, hushed, like some of the better Pavement b-sides. Wish the would have pursued their kinder, gentler side more. They had it in them for sure.


  3. Thanks. Never much liked Fear beyond that one track, although “New York City’s alright if you like Saxophones” was worth a laugh or two. And didn’t they cover DeBurgh’s “Lady in Red”? Lee Ving had the perfect voice for it …And you, Anonymous Grifters commenter: spot-on about that post Crappin EP. That opening song was about the last best thing they had in them. I think I might have burned any subsequent releases with my pocket blowtorch. What a fall-off. I didn’t even know they were able to last until 2000. But I do think they were less failed than Das Damen. One sock and Crappin are just great, and still sound good, not even dated, really. They even frighten me a little more these days than they did back when i bought them.


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