We Lived Among the People

Year: 1992
Original Format: cassette


We Lived Among the People Al Strobel
So which convenience store did they live above, do you think? 7-11? AM/PM? Kum & Go, maybe? Wawa seems unlikely, as the Twin Peaks universe is Wahington/Oregon-centric; more likely something Northwestern like Plaid Pantry. These are the sorts of things I wonder about when no one’s around.

Theme from Narc Pixies
All these years I thought this instrumental was a Black Francis original and that calling it “Theme from Narc” was sheer whimsy. But no: It is a cover of the theme song from a video game. Says the Wikipedia: “Narc is a 1988 run and gun arcade game designed by Eugene Jarvis for Williams Electronics and programmed by George Petro. It was one of the first ultra-violent video games and a frequent target of parental criticism of the video game industry. The object is to arrest and kill drug offenders, confiscate their money and drugs, and defeat ‘Mr. Big.’” In its original form, the theme sounds like this:

Frequency The Jesus and Mary Chain
Splicing in bits of “Roadrunner” is a clever touch.

A Good Idea Sugar
Since the Pixies had admitted being influenced by Bob Mould’s previous band — once placing a classified ad that said “Band seeks bassist into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul & Mary” — I guess he felt comfortable, em, “borrowing” their sound for this song. It could pass for an outtake from Doolittle, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Dress PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey’s first album was a bolt from the blue. One day nobody had ever heard of her, the next day everybody I knew had the record. I believe we all went to see her at Slim’s in SF around this time — I have only foggy mental images and a general feeling that it was a great show. Wish I remembered it better, but such is rock.

The Story Begins Where the Program Ends Producers for Bob
Baby Universal Tin Machine
Now that — if you don’t mind my saying so — is a segue.

Back of My Cab Happyhead
There was also a song on the Happyhead album called “Get Out the Cab, Babe,” which makes me wonder if Carl Marsh didn’t spend some time driving a cab between bands.

Rainy Day Sun Spinal Tap
In the guise of “fake” bands including the Tap and the Folksmen, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer have written more great songs than most “real” bands. I’m just saying.

Harry Irene Good and Gone
Not only did this band of nobodies cover Captain Beefheart, and have the temerity to change the words, they somehow actually made the song better. The nerve!

What’s Wrong with Crippler? Mr. Burns & Smithers
A search for the word “crippler” turned up a strain of weed called “Hippie Crippler,” which made me giggle. It does look formidable:

Blood Makes Noise Suzanne Vega
Blood Makes Noise was also the name of a short film made in 2005. According to IMDB, “When a successful writer/director suggests brunch on her patio little do her four guests realize that by noon the patio will be stained with their blood.”

The Pink Room Angelo Badalamenti
“This has to be the sexiest, sleaziest piece of music ever written.” —YouTube commenter “Femininestep”

The Xists Have Landed Producers for Bob
“X-Day is a traditional part of the Church of the SubGenius, a religion formed as a parody of cults and extreme religious groups, and their pamphlets and claims. X-Day fell on July 5, 1998, the scheduled ‘end of the world,’ and has been celebrated on July 5 each year since then. From its inception in 1980, the Church had prophesied that an army of alien invaders (known as the ‘X-ists’ or ‘Men From Planet X‘) would land on the planet Earth and destroy the world of ‘normals,’ ‘pinks,’ and ‘glorps,’ while the members of the Church of the SubGenius would be rescued by the aliens and taken away into space…. When July 5, 1998 arrived and no alien fleet appeared in the sky, members of the Church began citing a large number of conspiracy theories to explain why the predicted end of the world did not take place…. The most popular explanation for the failure of the prophecy in the Church is usually summarized with the statement, ‘the calendar is wrong and July 5th, 1998 has not really arrived yet.’” —Wikipedia

Call Mr. Lee Television
Television made a music video for this song, their first and last, when it was released as a single in 1992 — a little late for the heyday of MTV. Note also that “Mr. Lee” was a name often used by William S. Burroughs. That must mean something.

Love in Vain Robert Johnson
There I go again, cramming Robert Johnson in everywhere. It’s a great song, though, and I guess fits the general Lynchiness of the context.

The Strangeness in Me The Cramps
Never knew this was a cover, either. Probably should have.

Jets (Cupid’s Kiss vs. the Psyche of Death) The Flaming Lips
This song was included on the CD version of the Lips’ Greatest Hits Vol. 1, which I guess is their idea of a joke, as it was a two-track demo used as a B-side and known only to the discerning few (he said in his smug hipster voice). There is no extant studio version that I know of.

Touched by the Devilish One Al Strobel
In real life, Al Strobel lost his arm in a car accident.

May the Circle Remain Unbroken 13th Floor Elevators
Note that unlike the traditional hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?,” the Elevators’ song is phrased as an affirmative benediction, not an interrogative. Interesting that the Christians express doubt while the dope fiends seem sure of themselves. A web search turned up this cool video:

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