Okay.....so this one is a little onanistic and self congratulatory, but I felt compelled to write this one to try and prove a point to Griff and Ray.
You see, as you can imagine from these Blogs, Griff, Ray and myself pretty much share a heftily similar taste in music.....we all like roughly the same things. However, if there is one band that they(especially Griff) cannot get their head around my absolute devotion for, it is The Butthole Surfers. Even fairly recently Griff AGAIN questioned quite why I love this band so.....how can someone like The Smiths, The Field Mice, The Marine Girls and Belle And Sebastian AND The Butthole Surfers. Well.....here's where I'm going to try and prove a point....to prove that amongst all the mad screaming, the skronking skreeching guitars, and the scatological humour, there are some choice plums of pure skewiff pop majesty. To me, The Butthole Surfers are the David Lynch of Pop Music....in fact I'm surprised he's never used them in his films instead of rubbish like Rammstein and Marilyn Manson!
So let's choose a few of my favourites and we'll see how we go....
First off is a sweet little nugget called simply 'Hey!'. This was the first track that proved to me that the Buttholes were something other than some acid ravaged punk avant garde nightmare. It stems from their debut album which is either called 'Brown Reasons To Live' or 'Pee Pee The Sailor Man' depending on what you've heard and it's a cute little post-punk love song that contains one of my favourite ever lyrics: "Now I'm in love// Not with he or she// It's burning hate// Why don't they see?// Get your hands off me!!"
Now we come to 'Creep In The Cellar' from 'Rembrandt Pussy Horse' which originated from a time when the band attempted a cover of Neil Young's 'Heart Of Gold'(if you listen, the opening piano motif is identical). This song, for me, proves that while guitarist Paul Leary is hailed as a deranged guitar genius by some, the rest of the band are good musicians too and can certainly play(Mike Mills of REM agrees with this!), the piano and violin on this track are excellent.
Ah, now we have 'Strangers Die Everyday', a song that is pure atmosphere. When Griff and I had the ~Lost Gloaming~ project running along with ~Sighrens~, THIS is what I wanted ~LG~ to sound like....in fact I even used a sample of this track in on of our own('Lunar Bay(Phase 1)') to be exact. I really love this piece of music and I think the video that has been made to accompany it really adds to it's sinister surrealism.
Which brings us to the incomparable 'Johnny Smoke', a song that I heard gestating over several bootleg tapes until it arrived fully formed on the 'Hairway To Steven' album. This sees vocalist Gibby Haynes at his most 'mad preacher'-ish and his rambling, insane oration is just a joy to listen to.
I had this song on a mix-tape that I took with me when I went on holiday to Arbroath with some friends at I now can never listen to it without thinking of walking along the cliffs at Seaton Sands.
Next is 'TV Star', another really sweet pop tune and a tribute to the actress Christina Applegate it is alleged. Actually I say 'it is alleged', it sounds pretty direct to me! Why are these songs never hits I wonder? Maybe it's just me.
And now another beautiful little song simply called 'The Wooden Song'. This song stems from around 1994 when I was listening to a lot of Alt-Country(which we have already covered in the 'Red Wine And Downers' Blog) and this really fitted in with the mood of that whole period. I really love this song and I think this song more than any shows WHY I love them so much. There is a haunted wounded melancholy in Gibby's voice sometimes that really strikes a chord with me.
So there you are!
Six slices of Butthole Surfery that I hope will find a place in your hearts. I hope you will agree with me that these are fine pop songs indeed and worthy of their place in the ~Streetlamp~ canon.
This Butt is definitely for you!