Friday, July 8, 2011

Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Published in 1983

A recent (as of writing this) complaint about the album project has crept up.  Looking through the archives, I have realized that this complaint is a good one. It's difficult for someone like me to admit, but it's definately true.

Out of all the albums suggested to me, I have been negative about one, neutral about two, and think the rest are good.  I have not really let go and torn up someone's favorite album.  I think there is a perfectly valid reason for this.

First, let's just admit it.  I've mainly gotten suggestions from my friends.  My friends are awesome people, and therefore have considerable taste.  That taste extends to music, and therefore they only suggest good things.  These good things vary within good, but for the most part, they're just solid.

Second, I don't go out of my way to listen to shitty music.  It's not like I have a giant wheel of crazy suggestions that I need to get through, so when I am picking an album to do, I try to find a good one that I have something to say about.

Thirdly, I find it difficult to be negative about music.  I find the act of creation and recording to be a somewhat beautiful thing, and the fact that someone has put themselves out there enough to have me listen to things is incredible to me.  Even the shittiest of shitty shit has some redeeming quality that can be drawn out of it by the right artist.  For instance, when Travis covered Britney Spears, he brought out a feeling that the song didn't have.  Whoever did the Bob Dylan cover of Rebecca Black's Friday found something beautiful in the inanity of that song.  There is, for the most part, something inside every act of music that can be nursed into something good.

But, if I get something that actively antagonizes me and makes me crazy, I promise to let go with both barrels. I will unleash the pessimistic hyperbolic nature that lives in tandem with my positive hyperbolic one.

Speaking of positive hyperbole, if you haven't heard the Violent Femmes first CD, you should be dragged through a mine full of those creatures from The Decent and under a parking lot full of moving firetrucks.  It's that good.

Growing up, I never realized how fucked up it was that my parents allowed me to listen to Alternative Radio. Alternative Radio is to clean and wholesome as dancing is to that town in Footloose.  Listening to the albums of my youth for this project has been somewhat eye opening.  Not surprising exactly, but hearing it now, over and over, I get a lot more of them than when I was, say, six years old.

If I were to write an alternative rock song book, I'd divide it into roughly four categories. Anger, Lust, Alienation, Weird.  Not that these are hard and fast categories.  For the most part, every one flows into every other one.  This album covers all the bases.

It's, simply put, spectacular.  The production is solid, the vocals are tight, the sound is different, and the songs are fucking awesome.  The singles from this album, Add It Up, Blister in the Sun, Gone Daddy Gone and Kiss Off are just great songs.  Also, for an album with ten songs, five singles seems like a good indicator that they captured something.

As usual, I am just glowing with praise.  So here we go, some things that I don't like about this album.  One, it is too short, and it should be longer. Two, it should already be preloaded into any computer I buy.  Three, the fact that I have never listened to this album before is a shame that I will have to live with for the rest of my life, and I blame this album for doing that to me.

Seriously, though, pick up this album.  It's not optional.  I love this album. I want this album to play for the rest of my life.  You guys are in charge of that.

"Mike, did we take powerful hallucinogenic drugs?"

PS. Veg Live If Hip

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