Yes, it has been a few weeks since there was a new Musings post, but there should be two this week. The second one is going to be mind-blowing, just doing the final edits on it now.
Why the Femmes for this week’s pick? Well, because high school wrestling season just started and even though I am not coaching this year the Violent Femmes remain an important part of the beginning of wrestling season.
Here is the deal. The debut self-titled album from the Violent Femmes was released in April 1983. That fall I was a freshman at the greatest high school in the Valley, Sunnyslope High School. I know all of you completely agree with that assessment. Wrestling season commenced and our coaches have a couple of the girls from the school’s dance club come in and take our team through a 10-15 minute aerobics session for stretching. Yes, aerobics. It was horrible at first because the girls were playing Madonna’s debut album for us to work out to, which of course we hated.
I won’t divulge names but any Sloper reading this can probably guess which junior from that squad brought in a tape of Violent Femmes for us to play. That was the first time I heard the magic of that great band and for parts of the next two seasons we were treated to “Blister in the Sun”, “Kiss Off” and “Add it Up” while stretching out for practice. Our coaches kicked the girls out of the room 1/4 of the way into my sophomore season for reasons that shall not be discussed.
Violent Femmes was released 29 years ago and still sounds as fresh today as when I first bought it on vinyl. October 2011 a Musings post about my all-time favorite debut albums has that album at #7 and another Musings post from January 2010 about my top 40 at 40 albums talked about the debut as well. It really was a unique piece of work and contains a myriad of pop hooks within the folk-punk aesthetic the band created.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the band you have probably heard “Add it Up” before. Enjoy.