28 July 2022

28 July 2022 - Lush - Nothing Natural

You know how we like themes.

Let's keep up the shoegaze stuff with the band that literally defined the genre - Lush.  I think Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson are literally gazing at their shoes in this video.  

At 2:13.  I don't just say stuff to be funny.

Written by Anderson, and produced by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, this song is one of the noisiest from their 1992 Spooky album - but even this noise doesn't cancel out the dreamlike music and beautiful harmonies of Anderson and Berenyi on dual lead vocal.

27 July 2022

27 July 2022 - Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Kill Your Television

I know, I know.  We've been AWOL for a while.  It's been a busy summer.  But we're back.  And we aren't leaving for a long time.  

The opening track to the 1991 debut album (God Fodder) by Ned's Atomic Dustbin originally started life as a song that had nothing to do with television.... until Alex Griffin saw a sticker in Mystic, Connecticut.  Why he was in Mystic, I'm not sure - but that changed his album and his song for good.  

The shoegaze genre, which was so damned popular among the kids whose parents just didn't understand them, was set on its ear with this album, which took the genre and turned up the amps.  This song - and in fact the whole album - was somewhat groundbreaking.

By the way, they're still around, still touring, and still killing televisions.

01 July 2022

1 July 2022 - A "Blame Canada" Special

Wishing all our Canadian readers a happy Canada Day with this South Park Oscar-nominated classic.

Don't worry, we're not really going to declare war on y'all.   And, to the American readers, they are a real country.

If you are so inclined, here is the Academy Awards show performance of this song, featuring Robin Williams.

30 June 2022

30 June 2022 - Weird Al Yankovic - Amish Paradise

Are song parodies covers or originals?

In the case of Mr. Yankovic, it's elevated to an art form. This particular song did piss Coolio off, but it's biting and clever, like so much of his other music.  

It would not have been a novelty music week without including Weird Al, either, so I couldn't relegate him to the Covers blog.

29 June 2022

29 June 2022 - Rick Dees - Disco Duck

In 1976, disco was everywhere.  So, Memphis, TN DJ Rick Dees wrote a parody of disco featuring a vaguely Donald-sounding duck.  

Surprisingly, and despite initial resistance from his bosses in Memphis, it became a Number One hit and set up Rick Dees for a career that ended up being a whole lot bigger than Memphis - he was quickly moved to the Los Angeles market soon after.  

28 June 2022

28 June 2022 - Barnes & Barnes - Fish Heads

There are few songs I know all the lyrics to, without mistake, unprompted.  This is one of them.  

Released in 1978, it remains the most requested song on Dr. Demento's radio show to this day - but there's more to the story of this rather surreal tribute to a fish from the neck up.

The video was directed by and stars friend of Barnes & Barnes, Bill Paxton.  Yes.  THAT Bill Paxton.

27 June 2022

27 June 2022 - Julie Brown - The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun

In 2022, this song could never be made.  It's violent, in a school, and quite politically incorrect.

In 1983, it was the B-side to a song that didn't have the staying power of this one.  

Julie Brown is an actress, a comedian, a musician, a screenwriter (she wrote BOTH Camp Rock movies) and sometimes an MTV VJ.  Her songs - not just this one - still crack me up all these years later.  

But even in 1983, this song wasn't well-received by critics.  It was a novelty song, to be sure - but it wasn't like the cute and funny ones of the past like "Disco Duck",  It was dark, and graphic, and appealed to a different sense of humor.

The people loved it, though - and the song still endures as one of the best known novelty songs ever.