Tuesday, June 08, 2010
PUSSY GALORE DESERVE BETTER
I wish this article was better.
I like Pussy Galore, a lot. I have almost all their studio releases in my iPod (I've never heard the live album, and I don't like Historia de la Musica Rock), and some of it is really thrilling stuff. Right Now! is so simultaneously jacked-up and sagging, it's like a series of seizures. Same with the early EPs. But Sugarshit Sharp and Dial M for Motherfucker demonstrate real accomplishment. Skip past the cover of Einstürzende Neubauten's "Yu-Gung" on SS; check out "Sweet Little Hi-Fi." That's just a flat-out good song. So are "SM 57" and "Dick Johnson" from Dial M. This crew knew what they wanted to achieve in the studio, and they did it. They were a good band.
I saw them play in Los Angeles in 1989, on what I think was their final tour; Julia Cafritz wasn't even in the band anymore, it was just Jon Spencer, Neil Hagerty and Bob Bert. They played at one A.M. on a Monday night, to a barely half-full club. I bought a T-shirt from Bert for five bucks; it started out red but wound up fading to the color of an old ketchup stain, all stretched out of shape and warped-looking by the time it finally found its way to the trash a half-decade or so later.
Anyway, as much as I love the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St., I also own and have occasionally even listened to Pussy Galore's version, and it has some aesthetic merit, especially early on. It gets worse—noisier, more half-assed, like the group has lost interest in the joke but feels compelled to reach the end—as it goes on. But it's worth hearing. It's worth analyzing.
This Quietus piece provides no analysis. The author clearly thought his idea (to claim that PG's version of Exile is superior to the original) was, in effect, too good to check. Reading this, I'm not even sure if he even listened to the PG Exile before writing the column. He offers no description of any value to anyone who might want to seek it out (it's all over the Internet, naturally), instead coughing up this hairball from an old issue of Forced Exposure: "four track tape feedback, guitars that are out of tune and time, voices telling you to go fuck yourself, versions of previous epics retroactively aborted back to unformed foetuses drowning in sonic uterine discharge, convulsing over exploding tape heads..." Jesus, what year is it? Are we really still trying to be Lester Bangs and Byron Coley? I don't wanna get all Robert Christgau here, but for hell's sake, stop masturbating and start writing.