Check out this well-pieced-together video that was just posted for AMY GASSNER’s 1979 “Brown Sugar”, a falling-apart ramshackle sexpot cover of the Stones, all cobbled together in the great Memphis falling-apart tradition.
“Recorded in the haze of 1979 and possibly under the influence of hog tranquilizers”.
Gassner was in THE KLITZ in the late 70s, Memphis’ first all-female punk band – and their posthumous 45 from last year is also essential listening.
Get Amy Gassner’s 45 here.
AQUARIAN BLOOD, live, crazed and done in less than two minutes. Opening whistle is an excellent touch.
One of the many fantastic new bands that’s caught our ear of late are Memphis’ THE NOTS, who just put out their debut 45 on Goner Records. They’re captured cranking out some fast-n-bulbous off-kilter pop music live in concert here.
Tav Falco’s Panther Burns (with Alex Chilton on guitar!) on “Straight Talk with Marge Thrasher” in 1979
Watch through the halfway point to hear Tav argue his case for “anti-rockabilly” with the host.
WOW. MIND SHATTERING CLIP!!!
This was one of my favorite moments in the BIG STAR documentary, and almost single-handedly has me reconsidering my decades-long aversion to Tav Falco. “Axel Chitlin”!
Here’s what our favorite 2013 new wave/Rock of the 80s/modern music band TOXIE looks like, live in concert.
I’m always the last to know, but this 45, “Newgate” from TOXIE has been out a year now, and after three listens, it finally hit me – what a great song.
It’s what we used to call “new wave” in the 1980s, propelled beyond the category with buzzing, raw guitar and breathy female vocals from Alexandra Burden. Eric at Goner Records put it out. He’s probably seen them live right there in his and their hometown of Memphis. I’ll bet he likes ‘em. I’m pretty sure I do too. Check out their brand-new thing as well, which I just bought this week & which is just as good.
THE GIBSON BROS, scanned from Wipe Out fanzine, during their visit to Sun Studios in Memphis around ‘92 or so.
Here’s a great stupid 45 from from earlier this year – FERAL BEAT’s “Canned Heat”. Absolutely love this thing. Here’s what I wrote about it on my Hedonist Jive blog back in March:
When I was a younger man I definitely went through a very pronounced “dumb is good” phase with regard to punk-inspired music. The whole “KBD” thing was in full swing in the early 90s, and 70s/80s bands like The Mentally Ill, The Mad and The Authorities proved that having absurd lyrics and retardo riffs were no hindrance to creating transcendent punk rock art. So it was with current bands of the era as well. I loved simple, minimalist garage punk as long as it captured that Urinals/Desperate Bicycles sense of barely knowing how to play but still succeeding to bash out something brilliant anyway. So bands like The Motards, The Inhalants and even The Red Aunts (!) were on my cool radar at the time. A lot of it didn’t age too well – one could argue that I haven’t either – and I’ve been a lot of more skeptical of dumb-ass rock and roll for at least a decade or two of quote-unquote adulthood ever since.
Until FERAL BEAT, that is. Feral Beat are an active two-person guitar/drum, boy/girl act from Memphis. The fella is from a punk band called The Useless Eaters, which is a great name for those of you who’ve studied your Bloodlands history and such, but not a band I can say has moved me to date. When I first heard their new 45, “Canned Heat/Cold Lover”, I thought it was maybe the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a coon’s age. Like something a 24-year-old would like! Then I listened to it again. And again. And then that feeling showed up again, that one in which you know that the band you’re listening to has moved beyond lyrical ineptitude and musical ineptitude and into an otherworldly, godlike level of calculated primitive, raw and savage ineptitude that’s somehow absolute genius. They made me into a philistine again, one who loves dumb riffs, faggy vocals, awful lyrics and the like. And all was then good. And one of my favorite records in the world right now was so enshrined. And now I tell everyone who asks me what’s good, I say, I tell ‘em, "Feral Beat is what’s good". And now you shall know as well.