Friday, March 04, 2005


Depeche Mode- Singles 86>98

As a general rule, I only listen to the first disc of this two disc set. The second one is okay and all, the later stuff, but for me, it’s always been about the early stuff and ‘Violator.’ No, that’s not right- the early stuff and the singles off of ‘Violator.’ Exactly half of that album is totally okay, and the other half (‘Personal Jesus,’ ‘World In My Eyes,’ and especially ‘Enjoy The Silence’ and ‘Policy Of Truth’) kicks so much ass that I never feel any need to listen to any more. I did, for the sake of the marathon (I did it for the KIDS, man, the KIDS!) but, just so you know, it’s usually one and done for me when the late stuff is concerned. And if you don’t like my math, start yr. own _____________.

Devo- Greatest Hits

At the tender age of ten, I remember being the only kid in the neighborhood who liked Devo and Adam Ant- all the other kids listened to Quiet Riot and the Police. The whole weirdo sensibility (if you wanna call it that) hit me pretty early.

Jesus, what to say about Devo? After so many years, their stuff continues to sound crisp and fresh and gets even crazier when you stop and listen to what each member of the band is individually playing. There’s no way that all the jagged, disparate electronic bits should fit together. Yeah, the later stuff wanes drastically, and the general public will remember them, sadly, as the novelty act that did ‘Whip It,’ but whatever. I know that each time they put a new single out on MTV, every kid in the aforementioned neighborhood knew all the words after like the third listen, even the haters.

Dinosaur Jr.- Bug

One of a handful of bands I was turned onto by skate videos. Santa Cruz always got great stuff to back their shoots, using SST Records almost exclusively for a few years. I remember thinking some of the skaters were riding to relevatory stuff- Tom Knox skating curbs to fIREHOSE (Natas Kaupas, too- that sick scene where he spins and spins and spins on top of a fire hydrant,) a session in the some indoor park in Wisconsin over ‘(I’ve Got A) Catholic Block’ off of ‘Sister,’ Jason Jessee riding to the Minutemen (the singular moment that got me into my favorite band of all time, for the record.) And, of course, Mike Vallely’s first post-Powell video bit to ‘Freak Scene’ at the very end of the ‘Speed Freaks’ video- “Why do I have to run through a graveyard?”

Years later now and I still think of Neil Blender when ‘Let It Ride’ comes on (remember that bit? “Keep On Truckin’ to fakie.”) When ‘Bug’ plays, I can’t think of anything else but being seventeen and having the world of SST opened up right before me, skating for two or three hours every afternoon when I got home from school. I can recognize that it’s a totally solid record, good songwriting and playing (as well as being the last record of the Lou/Murph/J. era, if you care to pick up that particular hot potato [which, strangely, I have no opinion on either way]) but prefer not to, choosing instead to keep things squarely in the realm of good times.


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