Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Feature :: Guest Post :: Echo & the Bunnymen

Today's post was written by Mt. P's very own Duke de la Roach Fuck-O (toldja i could spell that shit).

When I was starting high school cable television came to town in the form of a telephone call to my parents telling them that our family had been the first selected in our town of 24,000 to get wired for cable, if only they could be there on a certain day. A minor rebellion broke out amongst the teens in the family when we were told that the cable company was told to come another day and that we would not be the first. That rebellion was bloodily suppressed.

But get it we did, a few days later and with it came something known as mtv. Back then it was not the home of teen soaps, game shows about tv, spring break marathons or anything else. It was music video after music video with only commercials and breaks for the vjs.. These were J.J. “Triple J” Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and the mainspring of cool, Martha Quinn. And since there were few american bands doing videos, we were treated to the best of the british in the early 1980s with a smattering of near-independents, such as DEVO.

The music and look—spiky hair, synth, it was nothing like rock radio—if you liked it, you were on the outs, baby. Like it I did, though, through multiple trips to the aptly named rave-on musuc in the neighboring suburb, the source of anything worth having in life.

And the suburbs were the only existence we knew. Life was like John Hughes film, Hughes was basically filming the lives of the million-teen occupied-collar counties of chicago. It was like the movies were made about me, my friends, and enemies.

And those bands on mtv? I loved them all, Joy Division, New Order, the Cure, and most importantly, Echo and the Bunnymen. They got me on to the high school radio station, got me into life and music.

Echo and the Bunnymen originally consisted of a store-bought cassette tape of Crocodiles, which ran past the play head of a yellow “Sports” walkman, and into my unbelieving ears. These three-chord charlies with the jarring guitar, the bouncy, wry lyrics suggesting immediate disaster and pain, why they were high school personified. They completely understood my isolation, my need for the girls to notice me, my need to be something other than the two poses offered by midwest whitebread high school existence. Maybe they didn’t know it, being, you know, british and all, but they got me straight on. But you have to give a band credit when they have the cojones to call their fourth album “the greatest album ever made” without batting an eye.

Echo has lost some members to motorcycle accidents and attrition, but the core is there, McCullogh’s cigarette-soaked voice and Will Sergeant’s jangly single-coiled soaking wet reverbed-out delay. You’d either be a fool or plain broke to miss them.

Kelley Stoltz :: I Don't Get That

Echo & the Bunnymen play tonight at 9:30 Club. Kelley Stoltz opens. Werd is few tickets remain for what could be an easy way to relive the vomit-spattered nightmare that was your pretty pretty prom night.

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