One more great summer song, so far the only other piece of music I’ve been cheerleading this season was Primary 1’s The Blues. Now, I found a new song to bombard my friends with. How can you not like a song the asks the listener to “murder me with orgasms”? Sure Letter to Wendel is a bit melancholy but it fits with the troublesome times of 2010. The languid vocals, the discordant harmonies and the eastern instrumentation are reminiscent of The Knife.
Pollyester (I mess up your post!!!wawawawawa! Looodydydlooddydloo!- message from chimatli’s house pest guest*) is a German performance artist and musician. Mock and Toof are British DJs known for their remixes of famous boring artists like Madonna. Despite this, the inspired collaboration between Pollyester and the Mock and Toof has resulted in a very excellent tune!
*Be careful when stepping away from your computer in the middle of a post. You never know what can magically appear on the screen.
I’m no reader or researcher of serial killers, they hardly interest me. Unlike lots of Chicanos from this part of town who seem to be fascinated with the genre, the less I think about the ugliness of humanity, the better. However, they have been the theme of some great songs, a few examples below.
Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy Jr
A song documenting the sad evolution of John Wayne Gacy, one of this country’s most notorious serial killers.
His father was a drinker
And his mother cried in bed
Folding John Wayne’s t-shirts
When the swingset hit his head
Sufjan Stevens asks at the end of the song, “And in my best behavior, I am really just like him. Look underneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid.”
Super Heroines – Night Stalker
Super Heroines were a popular band in the early 80s LA punk/goth rock scene. According to local punk rock historian Jimmy Alvarado, the lead singer Eva was penpals with The Night Stalker. I guess she was taken in by the cheekbones and pentagrams.
Most everyone else in Los Angeles during this time was terrorized by Richard Ramirez. He was dubbed The Night Stalker by the media for his night time criminal activities which included horrific murders and rapes and the infamous juvenile Satanic scribblings he left behind.
I lived in South San Gabriel during his summer rampage, it was an extremely hot brutal summer too. Our family seared in our stuffy house, all our windows and doors were closed and fortified at all times. A few of his first victims were killed a mile away in nearby Monterey Park causing much fear in our household – my mother slept with a bat keeping vigil at night. My mom’s comadre and her daughters who also lived in South San Gabriel swear they were followed home one late night by The Night Stalker after leaving our house. The city was in a state of paranoia and true terror! When his photo and name were announced, we were all taken by surprise. A Chicano serial killer? There was an unspoken sense of collective shame. Imagine how proud we Chicanos and Eastsiders were then, when Richard Ramirez was caught and beat down in good ol’ East LA! Everyone celebrated on that day.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of this infamous bit of Los Angeles history, my blog compadre Al Desmadre is planning a kick-ass walking tour “..with numerous stops and sights beginning in Downtown’s Skid Row and a trip to the “Eastside”, culminating on Richard’s street of broken Satanic dreams;…Hubbard Avenue in E.L.A.” Sounds interesting, no? Here’s the link for more info: The 25th Anniversary Night Stalker Tour.
Amandititita – La Mata Viejitas
Amandititita, the queen of excessive Mexican diminutives and the originator of anarcumbia (anarchist cumbia) uses her music to explore the everyday life troubles of Mexicans, especially of DFeros. With songs covering everything from metrosexual boyfriends to not fitting in on Mexican television for being too dark and short to this “fun” song about a crazy nurse who befriends elderly women and kills them to collect their dentures.
One last note, while doing a small amount of research for this post, I discovered both Richard Ramirez and John Wayne Gacy suffered moderate head injuries as children, Gacy from a swing and Ramirez had a dresser fall on him. In both cases, some feel there might be a relation between these injuries and the abnormal behavior that followed them into adulthood.
The following speech was delivered by top of the class student Erica Goldson during the graduation ceremony at Coxsackie-Athens High School on June 25, 2010
I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.
Xeroz (or Zerox), Polaroids, copy and pasting…songs about mundane tasks and objects made all the more interesting by a bit of guitar and an electronic beat or two.
Adam & The Ants – Zerøx (1979)
This was a previously unreleased video, towards the end there are some strange outakes. Perhaps it was a bad copy? har har. Early Adam Ant sounds fresher than the later pop-ier, pirate themed stuff. Another favorite is his take on bondage, Whip in My Valise.
Ruth – Polaroid Roman Photo (Synthwave France, 1985)
Ruth was an 80’s synth/artsy new wave group from France consisting of Thiery Müller, Phillippe Doray and Ruth Ellyeri. From what I can gather, they only released one full-length LP, also titled Polaroid/Roman/Photo on the ultra-obscure Paris Album records. The record was out of print for quite some time, but has since been reissued by UK label Infrastition Records
Plastic Operator – Folder (2005)
As someone who does a lot of blogging, I think this tune could be a potential theme song. Always copying and pasting, editing, cropping…come to think of it, isn’t love the same?
Plastic Operator are the perfect pop group for our times. Internationally minded, technically savvy and most importantly blessed with the ability to sculpt sublimely soulful pop moments from raw digital clay, Plastic Operator may exist in a parallel space to the tired pop pap in the Top 10, but what a wonderful space it is.