When I first heard this song I was puzzled. How can a voice (Glen Danzig) be so terrifying but beautiful at the same time? The Misfits (Glenn Danzig’s most known-later band) has proven to be a huge influence on teenage youth generation after generation. As a vocalist myself I find it puzzling how it sounds like he’s talking, yet he is still hitting his notes spot on. This song is terrifyingly beautiful. I never thought I could say those words in the same sentence. But that’s exactly how I would describe this ear-catching tune.
Walking through a record store in the early 2000’s as a young teenager trying to find something new. Mediocre Pop/Alternative music was being overplayed on the radio and my ears were TIRED. I rebelled. I went to find something different. I walked in and saw this picture of a nude woman dancing in the shadow with a crucifix looking thing hanging on the wall. How nutty! I had never seen anything like it. My first thought was “WHAT A WEIRD VOICE THIS GUY HAS!” His voice became a musical lemon. I would walk away due to the sour taste. But, I wanted more. I craved the pixies. I became obsessed with this record “Surfer Rosa.” I didn’t completely understand what the songs were about due to the vague imagery. But I didn’t care. It was awesome. It was different. I felt like I dug up a treasure chest. Instead of gold there was music inside!
This band was at their peak when I was getting into my early teenage years. Once again. With a powerhouse of a female front person. So cool. So dirty. So raw. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. The lyrics to this song remain ironic. Even some years later after it came out in 2004. Every time I head down to LA. I make sure to blast this one. All I see is dead wings!!!
The first record I bought! 30 years after this song was released this record caught my eye at 1-2-3-4 GO Records in Oakland. My fellow band mates in The Uptones were always talking it up about some band named “The Selecter” and how they were the “IT” band of ska way back before I was around. I had to find out what this was all about! AND, with a lead super-cool chick singer? I’m IN! So I brought it home and listened to it nonstop. I still am! Here’s one my all time favorite songs.
This classic instrumental track by Link Wray made an indelible mark on rock and guitar playing. The rhythm section just cooks along behind Wray as he methodically increases the tension, using the amp vibrato and his expert technique to speak volumes without words in a short space of time. This is as cool as it gets.
Another hugely influential instrumental track, this gem from UK’s The Tornados went all the way to number one in the USA in 1962. “Telstar” is like a time capsule, with rock n’ roll, the space race, and science fiction preserved in an other-worldly blend. It’s a superb recording too, produced by the composer, Joe Meek, a pioneer in electronic music and recording technology.
“Not From Here” is a classic song about the feeling being of alienated in familiar surroundings. The Berkeley, California Ska band, The Uptones, have recorded a song that discusses just this. Their song “Not From Here” is perfect example of a thinking person’s song that really rocks.
My favorite song from the album (2 Disc set) “Land.” My mom gave it to me as a gift for the holidays when I was about 16. The first time I heard a female singer “talk sing.” I was used to pop music on the radio at that time. With over sung/over glorified choruses. Yet, here was a woman screaming and talking out powerful messages throughout. I was immediately blown away by the amount of FEMALE POWERHOUSE ROCK going through my speakers. This track was brutal. To the point. And RAW. I got one great taste of Patti Smith and her insanely beautiful, poetic lines. And I had to hear more. She is the superwoman of rock n roll poetry.