I never realised. I’m not sure how I never realised. Maybe I did realise, but I plumb forgot. After all, when I first travelled out to Olympia in ’89 I’m fairly sure that I purchased every cassette Calvin Johnson had then released on his K label (privilege of being a staff writer, and having expenses) – but maybe he’d sold out of his debut release, Shonen Knife’s Burning Farm. Oh maybe I plumb forgot. But I’m amazed and astonished if I did forget, because the past 24 hours I’ve just been rediscovering Shonen Knife’s first two albums – 1982′s Minna Tanoshiku and 1983′s Burning Farm – and my ears have been burning up in part shame, part delight. Because, however much I loved and cherished the Knife by the time the 90s came along… and I did, trust me I did, the day they all came up to the Melody Maker offices to be interviewed by me was notable indeed, they were all shy giggles and hiding their faces behind the hands, I was reduced to the role of a “screaming girl at a Beatles concert”, or however Kurt put it so memorably… I am simply aghast at how even more charming and ramshackle and human and melodic and Ramones-like and wonderful their early 80s stuff is, particularly Burning Farm.
And the song I’m about to link you too, ‘One Day Of The Factory’, was even on Sub Pop 100 – so clearly I was aware of it. Goddamn but it’s genius.
One of these days, someone is going to credit me for that interview where Kurt talks about all his favourite bands (especially as most of the actual wording is mine, not his).