“The first time I ever heard Snow in San Anselmo, it was my first night in a new apartment, all my stuff still in boxes and whatever. Though I did have my cassette player unpacked. And there on the windowsill, like it had been left specifically for me, was a homemade Van Morrison tape, care of the previous tenant whoever he was. Moondance on one side, Hard Nose the Highway on the other, with the Hard Nose side cued up. So when I put it on, a little too wired to sleep, too tired to do anything else except just listen, the first song that came up was Snow in San Anselmo, like an offering out of all the chaos of my life, the universe, everything. Like it was meant to be. Thanks, whoever. Eternal thanks.” (Philip Random)
In which Severed Heads remind us that there’s joy in repetition, or maybe just madness; and truth in the notion that many of the so-called Industrial artists of the 1980s only got worse as they got better at figuring out their instruments and related technology, got to sounding more and more like normal musicians. In Severed Heads case, that means they’d peaked long before I ever heard them via any number of cassette only releases. But fortunately, that truth eventually found me via Clifford Darling, Please Don’t Live In The Past, a double vinyl compilation full of delightfully strange and, if needs be, antagonistic excursions. Alaskan Polar Bear Heater seems to concern a cocktail.
A much loved Rolling Stones nugget gets eviscerated by Eugene Chadbourne, one of those unique geniuses who started out with rock and roll but quickly grew bored, thus free jazz, bluegrass, country, noise – everything really. And a huge discography in which, if you dig deep enough (often through limited run cassette releases), you discover that he’s probably covered every song known to man (and woman) at some point or other, and in doing so, he’s singlehandedly kept the world from ending.
“The Soft Boys are one of those outfits I managed to miss at the time, but rather stumbled across maybe fifteen years late via a cassette I found lying around of their 1980 album Underwater Moonlight. I Wanna Destroy You was the track that immediately grabbed me – not quite punk but full of bile regardless. Dedicated as always to everyone who ever f***ed me over, big or small, deliberately or otherwise.” (Philip Random)