Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Music That Saved me--letter D

There are less bands for this letter, but I have been agonising as to what songs to choose to represent them. Some I know hands down what my choice will be (Duran Duran and Depeche Mode I am talking to you) but others--I want to play you everything! Which I obviously can't. But my other two choices--the "Dead" choices if you will, have so many songs for so many moods it will be hard to narrow it down, so indulge me, ok?

Duran Duran
Image result for duran duran
What can I say? The 80's were a glamorous time for everyone. I am a fan of Duran Duran and I can sing all their popular songs like Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film and Save a Prayer. I am not in love with them enough to have their logo tattooed on my hip like our friend Sharon from LC. But there is one song off the Rio album that I always loved. It was weird and poetical and shimmery like how the summer heat makes everything wavy and distorted. Plus there was this flute in it that was mesmerising. It turns out (thank you Wikipedia) that the flute in question is a ocarina. Legend has it this was the poem that Simon Le Bon used to audition for Duran Duran. Sing blue silver--I give you now The Chauffeur.  ( I am just giving you the audio version as the official video can be quite distracting with two women in lingerie mirror dancing in a car park where a topless chauffeur --played by Billy Idol's girlfriend Peri Lister--does a weird angular robot dance. Seriously.)
Listen to it here:
It may be the only pop song to mention aphids. I was also introduced to the artwork of Patrick Nagel who did the artwork for the Rio cover. (see above) Some bitchy girl from Saint Thomas More school said to me in her best valley girl accent (why did all the girls there talk like they were from California???) "Like yeahhhh. Didn't you, like, know that Nagel did the cover arrrt for Rio. like DUH!" and I went, "Yeah, of course I knew. Nagel, DUH!" and then I had to go to the public library to try to find out about him as this was the days before you could google everything.

Depeche Mode
 Image result for depeche mode
Depeche Mode went through some line up changes when Vince Clark keyboardist and chief songwriter left and formed Yaz(oo) with Alison Moyet (you will DEFINITELY here more about Yaz later) as well as Erasure with Andy Bell. They were an electronic band with lots of synthesizers so you can see what a pickle it was when VC left.

I have two favourite ones, both are story songs. The first is Blasphemous Rumours that I first heard on my treasured Greenpeace compilation cassette. The songs on this cassette (now owned on CD) made me want to be an environmentalist after reading  about the sinking of the ship the Rainbow Warrior in the liner notes.

The song describes a 16 year old girl who has a failed suicide attempt and then experiences a religious revival only to be killed in a car accident at age 18. It is in no way mean or anti-religious--just a real feeling story about how you can feel detached and possibly angry with God when bad things happen to good people. There are also haunting sound effects like a rolling hubcap and life support machine. Plus the use of everyday objects like metal pipes and corrugated iron to make music. And you have the deep velvety voice (and perfect makeup--if only I could look that good!) of Dave Gahan.
Watch it here:

My second choice by Depeche Mode is a lesser known track called But Not Tonight. I have had my ups and downs in life and have battled with depression on and off since I was about seven years old when i wanted to quit every after school activity, and then wanted to quit school and then started sleeping with a pillow over my face hoping I would suffocate in the night. I haven't had a crippling attack of depression in many years, but i religiously observe my moods and feelings and notice any changes in my internal chemistry so i can seek help before it gets too bad. There are many songs that accurately represent what it is like to feel depressed, but this is the only song i know that sings about the feeling of getting well. It is a song that talks about coming out of the darkness and the joyous feeling of being able to appreciate simple pleasures like walking in the rain. My favourite line: My eyes have been so red, I've been mistaken for dead. But not tonight. 

Ignore the video--it was from the soundtrack from some dumbass looking Rom-Com with some actresses you vaguely remember from the 80's. Just listen to the words.
Watch it here: 

My boyfriend Tim T introduced me to this song and we puzzled over the line get away from this constant debauchery as we could not work out the word debauchery to save our lives. we settled on deforgery which we knew wasn't a real word but was the closest we could come. Thank you google lyrics for clearing that up!

Now for my two favourite Deads (the ones my mother despised!) The Dead Milkmen and The dead Kennedys. 

 The Dead Milkmen
Image result for dead milkmen
The Dead Milkmen (named after the character Milkman Dead from Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon) were a satirical punk band from Philadelphia. They were loud and often out of tune, but funny and took the piss out of everything. Their classic opening to Bitchin' Camaro contains brilliant stuff  like this:
Rodney AnonymousWell, uh, rumour around town says you might be thinkin' 'bout goin' down to the shore.
Joe Jack Talcum: Uh, yeah, I think I'm gonna go down to the shore.
Rodney Anonymous: What ya gonna do down there?
 Joe Jack Talcum: Uh, I don't know, p-play some video games, buy some Def Leppard t-shirts.

Rodney Anonymous: Don't forget your Motley Crue t-shirt; y'know all proceeds go to get their lead singer out a' jail.
and later on:
Rodney Anonymous:The important thing here is that we get to the part where you ask me how I'm gonna get down to the shore.
Joe Jack Talcum:Oh, how you gettin' down to the shore?

Rodney Anonymous: Funny you should ask, I've got a car now.
Joe Jack Talcum: Ah wow, how'd ya get a car?

 Rodney Anonymous:Oh, my folks drove it up here from the Bahamas.
 Joe Jack Talcum: You're kidding!
 Rodney Anonymous:  I must be, the Bahamas are islands.
Did you notice the swap there? Classic.

They also had a song off of Bucky Fellini called Instant Club Hit (you'll dance to anything) that took the piss out of all those cool alternative bands and their gothy dressed all in black, caked in makeup, big haired followers which ends with:

You'll dance to anything by The Communards
You'll dance to anything by Book of Love
You'll dance to anything by The Smiths
You'll dance to anything by Depeche Commode
You'll dance to anything by Public Image Limited
You'll dance to anything by Naked Truth

You'll dance to anything by any bunch of stupid
Europeans who come over here
With their big hairdos intent on taking our money
Instead of giving your cash, where it belongs
To a decent American artist like myself
You'll dance to anything
Several of these bands make my list so i guess they were talking to me! So what to choose?? I will go with two--my first choice is my favourite song off of Big Lizard in my Backyard and it is called Dean's Dream. It is the perfect representation of how time moves in a dream--either in slow motion or instantly where you are suddenly somewhere else. Or how things like talking to a horse make sense and it seems perfectly natural that Steve McGarrett from Hawaii 5-0 could be driving your car.                                                                                                                      Listen to it here:                                                                                                                           

My other choice is their most commercially successful song and also most polished song Punk Rock Girl.  Watch it here: (sorry about the big gap to the video--it is acting weird and I can't be arsed to figure out why it won't let me post the video directly under this. Sorry. Just scroll down, yeah? )
The Dead Kennedys                                                                                                                          Led by outspoken lead singer Jello Biafra they told it like it was. My mum I think just dismissed them outright because of their name. But they really hit a topical button with me. They spoke about unemployment and attitudes toward the poor, the mindlessness of being a number not a name at your factory job, the jock culture, our indifference  to the suffering and starving of children in faraway countries. They said it all and with a snarl and a sneer. I bought the album Frankenchrist from Peppermint Records. It was supposed to have come with a free poster of HR Giger's penis landscape, but there had been an obscenity trial and so it had to be removed before it could be sold.  My first choice is Soup is Good Food.                                      Listen to it here: (again, mind the gap)
My other choice is the one about jock culture called Jock-o-rama and perfectly sums up what it was like going to high school at ASH where football players were allowed to get away with all sorts of bad behaviour because they were golden boys who were going lead our team to victory. I once actually used lyrics to this song in a debate in a class with Mrs Barham about why team sports are or are not good for the morale of the individual. She was on the side of the team sports. I clearly was not. I used the lines about:  Boys this game ain't played for fun. We're going out there to win. how do ya win? Get out there and snap the other guy's knee.                     (cheering) beat 'em up, beat 'em up, rah rah rah! Snap those spinal chords. ha ha ha!                   You should have seen her face when she asked me to name my source as I replied--"Jello Biafra." Listen to it here: (again--what's with that gap? it is driving me batty.) 
So that's letter D for me. Did you have music your parents hated? What was it? Was it justified? 


  1. Duran the music, love the look. You should check out the Girls on Film video! So hot and I even love that they got their name from Barbarella!
    Depeche Mode... on the Say Anything soundtrack, the liner notes talk about seeing them in concert and getting a standing ovation for a chord! 1 chord from a song and people were going ape for them.
    My others...DAVID FREAKING BOWIE! Dire Straits, Damn Yankees

  2. "Yeah, of course I knew. Nagel, DUH!" and then I had to go to the public library to try to find out about him as this was the days before you could google everything. LAUGHING OUTLOUD, AS I DID THIS TO GLT WHEN WE FIRST MET AND HE REFERENCED "FRANNY AND ZOOEY". I HEADED TO LIBRARY AS SOON AS HE WALKED OFF.
    Blasphemous Rumors blocked. Says "blocked in your country on copyright grounds." Video must be available only in the U.K.
    I actually kinda liked Punk Rock Girl (or at least I didn't want to shut it off immediately), but the other dead milkmen song sounded just like I remembered..........yuck, dead, sour milk.
    Soup is Good Food sounds interesting---if I could take away that clanging background noise, I might have been able to follow the lyrics! Bwahahaha. Still don't like that sound. Your mum hasn't changed on that.
    Jock-O-Rama was great!!! I couldn't really hear the actual words to the lyrics, but I loved the whole idea of the song. Good for you for being brave enough to stand up to Mrs. B about the cultural mindset at school. I also liked the way the song sounded, even though they went too fast for me to pick out words. Especially the opening "how 'bout dem boys" in that southern hillbilly accent.