Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Su Tissue-SALON DE MUSIQUE (1982)

Raise your hand if you remember the Suburban Lawns. Now rotate your arm in a circle for some needed cardiovascular exercise, because you are OLD. I owned their first 45 "Gidget Goes to Hell" (not as bad as it sounds from the title) b/w "My Boyfriend". Or was it "He's My Boyfriend"? Can't say for sure because I got a handsome offer to sell it and I pulled the trigger. The flip ripped off the riff from Bowie's "Panic in Detroit" and had Su Tissue's burbling, Betty Boop-ish vocals coasting over the top. Hey, it was o.k. you know?

I heard, but never bought, the next release by the band, a song called "My Janitor". I believe Chris even reviewed it in an ancient issue of PFUDD, back when he was still jazzed about Metallica. The best thing about it was it sounded like Su was singing "Oh my genitals..." as the chorus. It seemed as if the band were becoming yet another anonymous gloopy hair caught in the drain basin known as "gnu wave" (copyright 1981 Bill Shute). I wouldn't have been surprised if the next move for Su was to dress in a day-glo Wilma Flintstone ensemble while singing with a fishbowl over her head. One Cyndi Lauper was plenty.

But there the trail went cold. Su Tissue, who had graced the cover of SLASH magazine on the strength of a sole 45, disappeared. Yes, and we all thought SLASH was a STAR MAKER

When I received a burn of SALON DE MUSIQUE I expected the worst, but this is a 180 degree turn from the cutseyrama road the Suburban Lawns seemed ready to hightail down. The backbone of the three tracks is a hypnotic piano riff that Paul Marotta of the Styrenes might have come up with had he been trying to impress some chick by writing a score for a modern dance troupe. There is a dash of guitar here, a pinch of sax there, and oddly Su's wordless vocals appear only on the final track.

Not that this is a wowzer of a release, but given that Su seemed poised to sing about houses made of cellophane wrapped cheese substitute while being backed by a synth line that the Cars would have rejected as too wimpy, it was a nice surprise. And proof that not EVERYONE took a dive into the mire that was the early 80's.

The person that burned this told me Su is a tax consultant or something along those lines now. Well, I say here's to you Su Tissue, faded SLASH cover gal, in your sensible pumps and prim business outfit. If this was indeed the last we hear from you well, plenty of artists have gone out on a worse note, and may the I.R.S. never appear at your door.
Ground Zero-LIVING IN TANDEM (Bung records and tapes)

Pittsburgh punk. Too dark xeroxed sleeve. I didn't even bother to put it on, to hear it for the first time in thirty-odd years. Short hardcore songs. I remember that the only long(er) track sounded like they were trying very earnestly to be the Clash.

The reason I paused when I saw it in the "G" section of the milk crate was the cover photo. The band are pictured playing live outside somewhere, with a bus in the background. Back when this record came out bands could get a permit and play a spot called Market Square, a little spot in downtown Pittsburgh.  There were head shops and other seedy spots, and winos would sit on benches and look at the crazy kids jumping around on a makeshift stage with their friends all dressed in black and leather in the sun. Now they've chased away the street element and stopped buses from going through. There are upscale eateries and the like, and of course no more bands setting up equipment, still fuzzy headed from too much cheap beer the night before. It's not like it was some Golden Age or anything, but it was different and...well, if you're young and have time on your hands and figuring out there is just not something right about the bill of goods you're being sold all down the line...it doesn't matter what time or place you're in, or if buses run through it.

By the way, the Five were the best local band of that era, even though their two 45s (like a lot of bands) don't really do them justice. And they wasted one of those sides doing a cover of "Angel of the Morning" when they had so many great originals they could've waxed. Bands did that kind of thing then. Forget the posthumous LP and try to find a tape of them at CBGB's where the singer keeps baiting the crowd about New Yorkers putting gerbils up their rectums.

A Casablanca Filmworks and Record Production, which means it was probably a tax write off to cover cocaine deals. Jodie Foster is totally unconvincing as a teenager or a real person. Scott Baio calls someone a "turkey" and has a thing for Cherie Currie. Little did he know he'd have to settle for Erin Moran. The band Angel appear. They were the coolest because their logo read the same upside down or right side up or forwards or backwards or something. Randy Quaid and his performing chin is cast as a nice guy even though he deflowers a sixteen-year-old. Much screen time is give to a wall hanging f eaturing the LP covers for the Kiss solo releases. There is a sign on the wall of a concert hall that says something to the effect of "This is not a sanctuary for pot smoking".  The cool thing is, you know no one took it seriously and no one did a thing. Now people act like we've progressed because you won't get busted for having a minimal amount on your person but the important battle is seen as allowing transgendered people (one-percent of the population, if that) to use the bathroom they want. Hey, I've seen turds in urinals at concerts, try and shock me. I fell asleep before the end, I think Reagan waved a magic wand and made all the Quaaludes in the world vanish but maybe I was dreaming.

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