Song of the day – 366: Julie Cafritz (a four-part love sonnet)
Julie. Oh Julie.
The first of these videos – and the one which is officially featuring as Song of the Day – is from a great new compilation, ’78 LTD. The collection features many members of a former strain of the New York rock nobility, Jad and David Fair (who of course are about the most noble creatures any of us will ever encounter), some former Seattle grunge-heads and (DISCLAIMER ALERT) the first official recording of The Deadnotes + The Legend! (which you can also find via YouTube). But for now. Julie. Worship at the shrine of her beloved guitar: scuzzy and dirty and all ripped-up, with mewling vocals to match. Shot through with old school Manhattan. Nasty. Vicious. Sweet. The way rock music once was, and still sometimes is. Noble.
The second of these videos is from one of the best damn dirty grunge-y and shortest singles of the early 90s, produced by my old chess-playing buddy and musical collaborator Don Fleming (Velvet Monkeys, Gumball, B.A.L.L.) whose stated way to get the required vocal sound out of Courtney Love on the first Hole album was pour half a bottle of whiskey down her throat. That was back when they sounded amazing: like this (a little) and like Babes In Toyland (a little). DISCLAIMER ALERT: I believe I never interviewed STP for this, their one record. I still whip myself raw every Saturday night in penance. If anyone wants to join in, email me.
The third of these videos is from Pussy Galore, a band that defined themselves. This is is all out of sync, of course. Their sound was so fucking cheap and tinny and trebly and vicious and … wait, you begin to detect a theme going on down here? Best damn thing Jon Spencer was ever involved in, of course. It was the 80s, or thereabouts. You could only imagine they argued, constantly. Killer drum sound. A reinvention of rock’n’roll that went far beyond most. Saw ’em a few times, intimidated and ensnared and enthralled … they claimed to be all about SEX and I was nothing like. DISCLAIMER ALERT: I was going to tell a scuzzy r’n’r story featuring myself, two German sisters and the Pussy Galore song ‘Cunt Tease’ but then realised I am still nothing like.
The fourth video features Free Kitten – Kim Gordon and Julie (and Yoshimi P-We). The Riot Grrrls. (The most musically interesting of any of these bands took direct influence from both Sonic Youth and Pussy Galore, as well as Talulah Gosh.) Most Sonic Youth fans, who were only into the whole ‘sensitive masculinity’ side of that band anyway, just didn’t understand Free Kitten. Many Pussy Galore fans, who were fucking retard idiots only into them because The Rolling Stones ceased being relevant the day Mick Jagger picked up a microphone, really didn’t get this music. DISCLAIMER ALERT: I have no memory of the years between 1990 and 1993.