Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Secret of Life and Punk Rock Girl, by The Dead Milkmen

The secret of a band's success or failure is still impossible to reveal. Some bands are bigger than others, but this does not mean that the former are always better than the latter. Before The Flaming Lips became THE Flaming Lips, The Dead Milkmen ruled my world with their melancholic psychedelia and their romantic punkness. I adored my Soul Rotation tee-shirt and treasured their recordings like my most precious and obscure comic books. Actually, their comic book aesthetics was one reason why I guess I liked them so much back in the mythical past, when things were still amorphous and the painful process of taking human physical and intellectual shape was still at its highest point. Only a few of the people around me knew who The Dead Milkmen were, and this gave them a cult status that heightened their cultural value for me. For me they had the sound of falling in love, of wasting time, of spending hours doing nothing with the people you liked. Even though they made me happy there was a structural sadness to their songs, something not unlike those nostalgic harmonies in The Cure's keyboards or the Violent Femmes' guitar arrangements. I can't remember how I found out about them, must have been through my younger brother or through Thrasher magazine. I remember we included tracks by them in our Skate Rock tape compilations. So recently, as one gets that age in which people expect you to do the stuff the people your age are supposed to do, when finding virtually innocent, mutual, disinterested friendship and crazy, drug-induced, alcohol-propelled, sleep-deprived love is nothing but fantasy or past memories, The Dead Milkmen come back with all their strength, their pure, immediate teenage intensity full of passion and silliness and sadness and joy.

1 comment:

Patch said...

Great post