Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the violent femmes owe bobtown for this one

A few postys ago, I talked about a Bobtown concert in Southold (which is a town about 140 bajillion miles East of me on Long Island. One of the things I mentioned was their performance of the Violent Femmes' song, "Jesus Walking on the Water," and how I am likely to buy the VF's CD with the song.

That's the background to mentioning that I bouight Hallowed Ground, the Violent Femmes' CD with the song. I just finished my first listen, and it'sw an enthusiastic thumbs up. The album is kind of an alt-country effort -- though it dates back to 1984, before the term "alt-country" had been coined. At the time it probably would have been described as cowpunk -- though it's slower than most of what I think of as cowpunk (bands like The Beat Farmers, Rank & File and E*I*E*I*O). It has a kind of haunting sound that I probably wouldn't have liked when it came out, but which I really appreciate now. But "Jesus..." is by far the best track on thealbum -- It would have easily been at home on a Beat Farmers album (especially one of their later ones where they were venturing more into sacrilege (remember "Are You Drinking with Me, Jesus?"?) or one by Mojo Nixon (though it's not up to his raunchiest efforts like "Tie My Pecker to My Leg").

What's funny about all this is that, in the last few months I've had a kind of awakening regarding the Violent Femmes. Their existence has been one of these things that I've known of for years, but I have been completely unaware of -- perhaps "mistaken about" is a better phrase -- their style. I kind of assumed that they were something like, Everything But the Girl or 'Til Tuesday. Post-New Wave bands that don't interest me. But I've had to rethink this. One of the big Freecycle hauls I got last year included Viva Wisconsin, a live album of theirs. I particularly liked "Blister in the Sun." There were opther tracks I liked, but "Blister..." was the standout. Now there's this. My conceptions have been blown.

That said, I still like Bobtown's live version better.

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