Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dialectical sprechstimme

Listening to Pulsallama's "The Devil Lives in My Husband's Body" tonight I realized that there is an entire genre of punk songs built around, or out of, a spoken narrative. Songs that seem to have excerpts of This American Life slipped into them. I wanted to include "Rock Lobster" and "Jilted John," but those only toe the line of sprechstimme, not hop over it. Rex Harrison, speak-sing yr heart out:

Pulsallama, "The Devil Lives in My Husband's Body"
'Donald, Donald honey, what are you doing down there in the basement?' That's what I said to my husband Donald when he came home from work last night. He said, "Honey. I gotta fix something downstairs.' Well, as I was pulling out the casserole I heard this weird barking noise coming from the basement, and you know, we don't have a dog. So this went on for two weeks. Every night he'd go down to the basement and I'd hear this barking. So finally I called up Hilda, the next door neighbor. Well, everybody in town thinks she's a witch. But just because she has seventeen cats doesn't make her a witch...does it?

Cold Cold Hearts, "Maybe Scabies"
So you know how last summer everyone thought that Jerry Garcia was dead? Well me and my sister, we have this theory that really he's not dead, that really he was abducted by aliens. So these aliens came down from one of those planets like Pluto, Jupiter, or Mars, and took him back up to their spaceship and then they conducted all these tests and experiments on him, you know, like on The X-Files, and they gave him scabies, and they set him back down on the planet Earth, and that's how all the hippies in America got scabies!

Gang of Four, "Anthrax"
These groups and singers think that they appeal to everyone by singing about love because apparently everyone has or can love--or so they would have you believe anyway. But these groups seem to go along with what, the belief that love is deep in everyone's personality. I don't think we're saying there's anything wrong with love, we just dont think that what goes on between two people should be shrouded with mystery.

Sleater-Kinney, "Surf Song"
Dear Corin-you're the only student in the whole school who can keep an open mind about music, and accept a little wild loudness. Keep listening to those crazy new wave bands and keep an eye out for Sheena, 'cause she's a punk rocker. Keep the faith and new bands will appear...we've got to start a band this summer, but we've got to find a better name than "Sleater-Kinney."

Also noteworthy:
Splodgenessabounds, "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet Of Crisps Please"
Bikini Kill, "Thurston Hearts the Who"
The Gymslips, "Take Away"

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