Saturday, November 16, 2013

Honey Can You Pass Me a Tissue?

Give a man an Amazon gift card and there’s no telling what he’ll do. Give him enough time to research and he’ll l dig out some real gems. And if he's me, why not an all girl punk band from Switzerland?  I’m sure that category is uppermost on your list, too.

They start out as Kleenex, but, pressured by the Runny Nose industry, change their name to Liliput. I actually got this before Shoes, back in June(?) but this took much longer to absorb. There’s just so much of it - 46 songs. Plus, Mrs. Jaybee hates it, and so I have to find the right time to put it on.

But think about it for a second. Punk. All female. 1977! That’s pretty impressive.

Over the course of two CDs worth of music, they move from minimalist punk to arty rhythm and texture. The first half takes some getting used to since they keep it REALLY simple.  The second CD is more sinuous and tuneful.
They are usually singing in English, although it’s sometimes hard to tell.  The accents can distract a stupid American like me from noticing how their riffs stand up to any punk this side of the Atlantic. (Speaking of this kind of stupid, I let this same tone deafness affect my reaction to the krautrock Friend Mike used to send me during his stint in Germany in the 80s. It comes from watching too many World War II movies - you develop a negative association with any German who speaks or sings with any stridency. I’m sorry, I know it’s wrong, but there it is.)

And the joke’s on me of course. I missed out on some great music. But I don’t plan to let that happen with Kleenex/Liliput, whose then-young women were smarter than I ever was or will be.  

“So when will this CD be over?” An even smarter woman - Mrs. Jaybee - asks.  Not a good sign. I can patiently explain that, in fact, it’s an mp3, but I don’t it’ll help. So I’ll just file it under “music to listen to when alone and NOT feeling suicidal”, which is an expanding genre in my house. B+

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