Original Format: cassette
Year: 1991

You know, I only just now realized that “S&M” could also be “smoke and mirrors.” (Not just “Spaniards and Mexicans.”)

Anyway… as I listen to this now, there’s a lot of good stuff in there, but there seem to be all kinds of perplexing left turns. It must have made some kind of sense at the time.

Playlist:

My Dog Barks Some Jack Nance
Nance was a David Lynch favorite. Though his part in Wild at Heart was small — basically just this one brief monologue — he was the lead in Eraserhead, and as Pete Martell in Twin Peaks he got to deliver the immortal line “She’s dead… wrapped in plastic.” And if IMDB is to be believed, he was in the running for the Dustin Hoffmann part in The Graduate right up to the last minute. And he was married to Dick Van Dyke’s niece, who committed suicide, then later to the Log Lady (real name Catherine Coulson). And he died after getting into a fight in a donut shop. He had quite a life.

Me and My Shadow Daniel Ash
“‘Me and My Shadow’ is a 1927 popular song. Officially the credits show it as written by Al Jolson, Billy Rose, and Dave Dreyer; in fact, Billy Rose was exclusively a lyricist, Dreyer a composer, and Al Jolson a performer who was often given credits so he could earn more money. The actual apportionment of the credits would be likely to be music by Dreyer, lyrics by Rose, and possibly some small contribution by Jolson. The song has become a standard, with many artists performing it [including] Dave Brubeck, Maurice Chevalier, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Liberace, Mantovani, The Mills Brothers, Mandy Patinkin, Lou Rawls (1965), [and] Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. (added special and timely lyric: ‘Closer than Bobby is to JFK.’).” —Wikipedia

You’re Still Beautiful The Church
“I’ve loved the Church for 33 years now, but this is the worst song on their worst album. Sorry.” —YouTube commenter “Otto Pärt”

Sea Ferring Butthole Surfers
In my semi-educated opinion, despite being the great psychedelic band of the last third of the 20th century, the Butthole Surfers were and remain consistently underrated. The name may have something to do with it. But they even underrate themselves, feeling that their recordings never fully captured the deranged glory of their live performances. And they are right, no doubt. I only caught their shows of later years, long after the days of explosions and go-go dancers, and still I feel permanently warped by the experience. But their discography is nothing to sneeze at — exhibit A, this hypnotic delight from Rembrandt Pussyhorse, punctuated by Gibby Haynes’ unhinged and highly influential screaming (Charles Thompson was listening, I’m sure).

Crystal Wrists Peter Murphy
Listening to this song 30 years later — I haven’t heard it much in the interim — three things are very clear: 1) it is way overproduced; 2) the lyrics are ridiculous; and 3) it still sounds good anyway.

Pink Jazz Trancers Devo
But I’m not so sure about this one.

Kid, It Was Tasty William S. Burroughs
Ah, good old Uncle Bill. You are missed, sir.

Bad Miss “M” Danielle Dax
The soundtrack to a demented hootenanny.

Burn-Up Siouxsie & the Banshees
A master class in dynamics. At first it seems to be going nowhere, then boom — upside your head.

Glider Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band
“Im a sexy, healthy male — I’ve got blood running everywhere. I have a group of men, who play men’s music, to women. Other men can enjoy it too, but it is definitely to women because I’m playing to a receiver.” —Don Van Vliet

Pineapple Tuesday The Jazz Butcher
Vodka and gatorade is actually a pretty good drink. And good for you, relatively speaking.

One Rainy Wish The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Now that’s tasty.

Raintime The Wolfgang Press
I saw the Press in SF once, many moons ago, at the I-Beam I think. I think it was a great show, wish I remembered it better. Such is rock, I guess.

Stormy Weather ?
I taped this off a radio documentary, I think about Kemal Atatürk. Great use of the word “physiognomy.

Stormy Weather Pixies
This is a great song, but really it’s all about that moment, about a minute in, when they suddenly stomp on the gas. The rest is extra.

After Hours Velvet Underground
“Although [Moe] Tucker sang alongside her bandmates on ‘The Murder Mystery,’ she took lead for the first time ever on album closer ‘After Hours,’ which featured just her voice and Reed’s acoustic guitar. The frontman had given her the song because, as he said in Up-Tight, she “had a very innocent voice.” But the drummer wasn’t so thrilled about her spotlight moment. ‘I was very, very nervous,’ she recalls. ‘I wound up making everybody leave except for Lou, ’cause he was playing guitar with me, and the engineer. It took quite a few takes for me to be calmed down enough to do it OK.’” —Kory Grow, Rolling Stone

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