Monday, September 08, 2008

Well, She Held a Bass Guitar and She Was Playing in a Band

Here is a picture of me and some dorm kids when I was at UNI in 1983. I'm the one without sunglasses on. Too bad you can't see my argyle sweater vest with the black t-shirt underneath, because that was such a great look back then.

Tonight the girls were supposed to go to their dad's, but Coadster has show choir almost all night and Stinky would rather be at my house, so she stayed over. Stinky wasn't feeling very well and basically went to sleep at 7:30.

I decided to make some refried beans and fry up some tortillas to make tostadas to go with all that de gallo I made over the weekend. While all that was going on, I also tried to work on this 80's college radio mix CD for my friend K.. K. is eight years younger than me and said she hadn't heard a lot of the more alternative music from the 80's, so I told her I'd make her a mix of some stuff. When I went to open up my Public Image Limited CD, this other homemade CD that an ex-boyfriend made me almost ten years ago, was in the case too. I forgot I had it. Of course, there was no song list, but I new it was different versions of songs. So, I spent some time trying to figure out which band did what covers. It was tricky, like I think the version of "Lowrider" was done by JFA, (Jody Foster's Army) but I'm not absolutely certain.

Anyway, after I finished obsessing over music, I finally made my friend's playlist. Talk about your nostalgia. All this stuff takes me back to that time in my late teens and early twenties when I was too fucked up to know just how fucked up I was. I tried to include several genres, but there is definitely a hardcore bias (shut-up, it's my nostalgia music). I also fudged a bit on a few songs that were more late 70's than early 80's, but they still had tons of college radio play well into the eighties.

Okay, rip up your t-shirt, shellac big spikes in your hair, put on your motorcycle boots and wear safety pins as earrings. It's my 80's college radio station playlist:

Here is my college roommate when I transferred to this fine institution with some of our guy friends. She sings and plays stand-up bass in a band out of the Bay Area called Red Meat. At the academy awards, they played the song she wrote for The Monster's Ball soundtrack when Halle Berry went up to accept her award. See the guy tilting his head? His dad used to be the head of the international writing program here and his mom is an East Indian writer who had been in the workshop, but I think she lives and teaches in Berkeley now. So, not all my friends were as messed up as me.

1. "Public Image" - Public Image Limited

2. "The Model" - Kraftwerk. This is one of those from the late 70's but I figure they pretty much fathered the whole techno movement, so they deserve to be on here.

3. "Viva Las Vegas" - The Dead Kennedys. This was one of the ones on the found covers mix CD.

4. "Take the Skinheads Bowling" - Camper Van Beethoven

5. "Beverly Hills" - The Circle Jerks

6. "I Love a Man in Uniform" - Gang of Four. Along with Camper Van Beethoven, this band reminds me the most of my time in San Francisco in the mid 80's.

7. "Making Plans for Nigel" - XTC. I think this came out in 1979, but my boss Ciaran at my first job, played this album all the time and I had the hugest crush on him in 1984. I finally admitted it to him this Summer and he was like, "Why the hell didn't you tell me? I would have dated you in a heartbeat." But at the time, I was sure he'd never like me. Self-Esteem? What's that?

8. "Banned in DC" - Bad Brains

9. "Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?" - The Cramps

10. "The Killing Moon" - Echo and the Bunnymen. This was one of my most favorite songs from the time period. It was almost as moody as I was.

11. "General Public" - General Public.

12. "She's Like Heroin to Me" - The Gun Club. I put this cut on every mixed tape I made back then, so I felt obligated to include it here too.

13. "Town Called Malice" - The Jam. This is the happiest sounding song ever.

14. "People Who Died" - The Jim Carroll Band. Was I the only who read the Basketball Diaries and listened to this album and felt all misunderstood in Ottumwa, Iowa in high school? Uh, yeah. Probably.

15. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Joy Division. It's so deliciously self-indulgent.

16. "Straight Edge" - Minor Threat. My friends and I always joke about how we wish we had been straight edge, so we could remember all the incredible shows we went to back then.

17. "Amanda Ruth" - Rank and File (featuring Alejandro Escovedo on guitar). I saw these guys when they played at the Crow's Nest. They put on an awesome show...From what I can remember.

18. "A Girl in Trouble (is a Temporary Thing)" - Romeo Void

19. "Behind the Wall of Sleep" - The Smithereens.

20. "Concrete Jungle" - The Specials. I remember introducing my California boyfriend to this album and he went crazy over them.

21. "I Got You" - Split Enz. This band reminds me so much of being in high school and going to speech and debate tournaments. We'd go to Iowa City, and try to expose ourselves to as much culture as we could in one weekend, before we went back to O-town.

22. "Ring of Fire" - Wall of Voodoo. You may know this band for "Mexican Radio". But I really like this cover.

23. "Los Angeles" - X. We thought X was so cool when they first came out.

24. "Marie Marie" - The Blasters. My roommate Jill, was so into these guys and now they play together sometimes. Weird how things turn out.

So, I think this post has gone on long enough, don't you?


matt said...

Awesome list! I always put "Ahead" by Chrome on most of my 80's mixes. Something about that one for me.

evilesb138 said...

what a tremendous list this is....I have a few of these on the iPod...

Beverly Hills century city
everything's so nice and pretty
all the people they look the same
don't they know they're some damn lame

sorry....could not help it, the Circle Jerks are one of those very under appreciated bands

I used to drink beer and smoke cigarettes to Minor Threat..along with a few other things, "but at least I can fucking think".

sorry post

dmarks said...

I blogged about that Wall of Voodoo cover of "Ring of Fire" a while back.

Anonymous said...

I've heard some of those songs before. Of course, the refried beans and tortillas sound good to me.

another good thing said...

you should post the whole songlist on IMEEM, then I could hear what you are saying. I am ALWAYS looking for new-old music. Or anything interesting- I steal most tips from Sirius radio feeds.

Mr Atrocity said...

Ooh, some great choices there. My list would have a little more Kraftwerk and possibly a Clash number or two as well.

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

I didn't listen to that kind of music.. I feel somewhat deprived..I bet MPR knows about this mix though..

Cricket said...

What planet was I on? College at the same time, but sheesh. Must be a wall at the Mason Dixon line.

Even Lowrider didn't click until my brain suddenly said lo.RI.der and it all fell into place.

Susan said...

Ok, I'm showing my lack of age 'cause I haven't heard a lot of these songs. I'm going to check them out now though.

Dana said...

No sunglasses? You are such a nonconformist. What's wrong with you?

Poptart said...

If I send you a blank CD will you urn one for me?! THIS IS AWESOME!!!

Also, I LIKE argyle sweater vests with t-shirts, and yum, the food you make is always delicious. No wonder stinky wanted to stay home!

Poptart said...

burn not urn...

DJSassafrass said...

I think the argyle sweater vest look is back--at least with a collard shirt attached that is supposed to look like it's 2 pieces but really it's one piece. I keep seeing these and wondering if I can do it again because although I didn't rock it in '83, I did during my "I only shop at thrift stores" teenage years.

I don't think I can do it again

laura b. said...

What a list! I was reading it and almost like humming with pleasure...I still love all that stuff! Camper Van Beethoven! And The Killing Moon has a place on lots of my mixes just because it is so cool. Joy Division, Romeo Void, The Smithereens, X...
Ah, you just made my day Churlita.

-RM said...

I LOVE IT!!!! Ich liebe Kraftwerk!!! GrrrrrrrEAT LIST!

Churlita said...


Thanks. I know. After I finished it, I kept thinking of songs I should have put on there. I can't believe I forgot to put a Husker Du song on it too.


Thanks. It is right up your alley, isn't it? I'm glad you enjoyed it.


It's a great cover of it. I really liked Wall of Voodoo in high school.


Tortillas and refried beans always sound good to me. They're so cheap too. It's win/win.


I would if I had those kind of skills. I think you can find a lot of this on Youtube. Some of it is pretty loud and obnoxious,I'll warn you.

Mr Atrocity,

I wanted to give her a wide variety so I tried to limit it to one song per artist. I didn't put any Clash on there, because I knew she was familiar with them and I was trying to find stuff she didn't know as well.


It sure isn't for everyone. I bet MPR would at least know a couple of these songs.


You probably just weren't as weird and damaged as I was at the time. I was one of those slam dancing freaks in college.


They didn't get regular radio play, so even people my age, won't know many of them either.


That's exactly why I transferred out of that school - I was too weird.


You don't have to give me money. I'll burn or urn you a copy of it. Email me your address and I'll get it to you. It may take a few weeks, just to account for my lameassedness.


You could totally pull it off. If only you really wanted to revisit that.


Oh good. It would make my day to make your day.


Thank you. Kraftwerk is pretty damn cool.

booda baby said...

You sling together some great tune-age. What will you do twenty years from now?

minijonb said...

damn, that is a fine playlist. i've sang "Take The Skinheads Bowling" at karaoke just to spice things up.