Monday, April 28, 2008

Tell That Girl To Shut Up - Transvision Vamp

Cindy J. Leather Trio Productions.
This happened like two months ago, okay? Me and Billy (that's my boyfriend) are flying down Geary in his car, windows open, radio screaming. We got it tuned to "Live-105" (KITS). They're blastin' out "Tell that Girl to Shut Up" by someone I don't know who it is I wanna know now I love this song--just who is doing this cool cover version? It's like two o'clock in the morning. We pull into Mel's Drive-In and we wait in the car for the set to end and the DJ to announce who the song's by. I bought the original version by Holly and the Italians (iTunes link) when I was 14. I'm squirming in the seat waiting for the DJ to tell me who it's by. Billy's laughing at me, teasing me. He's telling me he knows who it's by, but he won't tell. He wants me to wait in agony. Shit! I know he's lying.

I look around outside. It must be Prom night. There's all these nervous guys in tuxes and giggly girls in formal dresses going into Mel's. Finally the DJ comes on and says it's Transvision Vamp, an import single from England. Transvision what? Who? Next day I'm sliding down Haight Street right into Reckless Records. I get a copy of "Tell that Girl to Shut Up" by Transvision Vamp. The record sleeve is done by Jamie Reid, the guy who did the "God Save the Queen" cover. This is just too cool. I play it over and over. Then, wouldn't you know it, that new UNI label puts the record out in America. Now all of you can play it over and over too. Time for a Holly and the Italians revival. Time for a Transvision Vamp hit. Get on it, radio people. Hooray for "Live 105."

July 29, 1988, Album Network

"Tell that Girl to Shut Up" is available on The Best - Transvision Vamp (iTunes Link)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Riding With James Dean - Joan Jett

By Cindy Jacobson and Autumn Meredith

Joan Jett - Riding With James DeanCindy: The other night me and Autumn went riding around on my Honda Shadow, just cruising around San Francisco, checking out the night. We decided to hit North Beach so when we got to downtown I zipped up Grant and parked in the alley right next to Vesuvio's. We walked over to Broadway to see what was happening at some of the clubs. The Stone had a bunch of metal bands we'd never heard of so we just kinda hung out for awhile.

Autumn: When we were walking back down Broadway we went past this sports bar and we could hear Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" blasting out the door so we stopped and looked in the windows. They had one of those big screen TVs to show Giants and 49ers games on. But tonight they were showing MTV and there was Joan in tight black leather.

C: Just like us!

A: She looked so cool. I love Joan. She could be my sister.

C: This sister thing is getting a bit out of hand. But I suppose it's a bit understandable with you cause you're an only child.

A: If anyone is going to be my sister it might as well be Joan Jett.

C: We watched the whole video from outside this bar. A couple of guys playing pool were eyeing us. One of them winked at me. Then we continued back down the street, passing all the surreal strip joints. There's these fast-talking guys standing at the entrances trying to coax people inside. "Hey come on in here. No cover. Talk to a real live naked lady."

A: Beats talking to a dead naked lady...

C: Some of the clubs have girls at the door.

A: And you know those girls are cuter than the ones inside.

C: This one guy with a straw hat and cane came running out at us and said, "Ladies get in free. Step this way."

A: We did not step that way.

C: If you've never been to San Francisco there's a scene in the first Dirty Harry movie that shows what this part of North Beach is like.

A: We decided to go up Grant and hang out at Caffe Trieste.

C: And who should be there but old George, my biker friend.

A: George is so cool.

C: He rides a Harley, a Shovelhead. 74 cubic inches of all American power and freedom. Caffe Trieste is an old Beatnik hangout and George was living in San Francisco back in the Beat era. We told him about the Joan Jett video and how she's on the cover of Outlaw Biker, and he told us all these great old biker stories. Afterwards the three of us went down to City Lights and George told Autumn which Beatnik books to buy.

A: I've been reading some of that stuff lately. Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, those guys.

C: Then we went across the alley where my bike was parked and had a couple of beers at Vesuvio's. After that George shot off into the night on his Shovel and me and Autumn followed on my rice burner, thinking about Joan Jett.

A: And riding with James Dean. Just like in the movies.

C: A couple of black streaks on the boulevard.

A: Yeah. Joan Jett is all about the night and dark alleys and black leather and not taking any shit from anyone.

C: Standing up for yourself, not hiding. Being strong. Being yourself. And that's what we're all about.

A: Which is why she's my sister.

7/18/1988, unpublished

"Riding With James Dean" is on Up Your Alley by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Amazon link)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lovely - the Primitives

Cindy and Autumn, Leather Trio Productions.
Cindy: Tracey is my sister.
Autumn: She's not really her sister, but they kinda look alike. It's the blonde hair, the leather jacket, the sorta sweet and sexy look. But of course Tracey wears loads of make-up and Cindy doesn't wear any.
C: You know, it strikes me that these people don't know what we're talking about.
A: Tracey is the lead singer of the Primitives, whose debut album, Lovely, you can get in America now.
C: Of course we already got our naughty bad parallel import copies several months ago. Nipper is a bit slow.
A: The cool thing about Tracey is not just her voice, but her sense of style. She dresses cool, she looks sweet, she acts tough.
C: And she has the coolest bracelets of anyone in rock.
A: We like Tracey lots.
C: Whole lots.
A: And we think you will too.
C: Cause she's my sister.

July 22, 1988, Album Network
The Primitives - Lovely on iTunes The Primitives - Lovely

Monday, April 14, 2008

Roots of Dime Box

Yeah, the Dime Box CD is coolness.

But you already knew that, right? Cause you have a copy, right? God, I'm starting to sound like Colleen! If you don't have a copy go here: Dime Box at CD Baby where it's only a hundred dimes!

Ok, now that you have the Dime Box CD and you are a happy person, you're probably wanting to know the roots of Dime Box... and... some people are wondering what Dime Box are doing in the Punk Rock Graffiti blog, which is so retro eighties or something and Dime Box are sooooo 21st Century now. And some people are wondering about the Dime Box connection to Wednesday Week. Yeah, I know, it's a great mystery, but here's all you need to know.

There are two updated Wednesday Week songs on the Dime Box CD: "Somehow Somewhere," which is on the second Wednesday Week album, No Going Back, and "High Road," which is on the second fan club EP (oh-so-obscure). The Dime Box version of "High Road" is amazing and a highlight. The opening song on the Dime Box CD, "Live a Little," is also the title song of the 1996 Lucky CD. Lucky were kinda the bridge between Wednesday Week and Dime Box. Kinda.

It's like this:
Wednesday Week - born in the eighties
Lucky - born in the nineties
Dime Box - oh so 21st Century country music of now

Even more details for you...
The lead singer of all those bands is Kristi Callan. The drummer of the first two of those bands is Kelly Callan. The guitar player of the first two of those bands is David Nolte. The songwriters of all those bands are Kristi Callan, Kelly Callan, David Nolte, and some others...

So... Cindy has cleared up another great mystery for you. On to Stonehenge! Or Avebury!

Yeah, Dime Box has cool roots -- Wednesday Week, Lucky, and Dolly Parton. It's almost like they're the unofficial godchildren of Johnny Cash.

Now everyone go read this: Dime Box - Five and Dime Waltz Review

Hi to Edie, Yolande, Pam and Laura Ann.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lullaby - Book of Love

I Touch Roses - the Best of Book of LoveAutumn Meredith, Leather Trio Productions: Do you guys ever watch Bewitched reruns on cable? You know how when Samantha wanted to cast a spell on someone she wiggled her nose and it made that really silly noise? She usually did this whenever she wanted to zap her dweeb husband Darren to someplace other than he wanted to be. Well that sound can now be heard slyly tucked away in this really cool song called "Witchcraft" on Book of Love's new album Lullaby. The song dances and rap-romps through everything cool about witches. They've even got Tabatha in there.

The album opens with a crazy cover of "Tubular Bells" complete with a Linda Blair-like voice screaming, "mother, make it stop" right out of the Exorcist. Then "Tubular Bells" slides into "Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls," one of the hotest dance pop songs of the year. I also like "Melt My Heart" cause of the way it sneaks right up on you. But my favorite song is the title track, "Lullaby," which is just so sweet and sleepy. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and my dad would lull me to sleep. So if you like music that is kinda poppy and dancey (and sleepy) get yourself a copy of Lullaby right away. Ten more pages from their Book of Love. Thanks to that awfully nice Mark Goldstein guy for sending the tape.

Album Network, July 15, 1988

Book of Love's Lullaby on iTunes

You also might enjoy: I Touch Roses: The Best of Book of Love at iTunes

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Luftgitar - Air Guitar - the Sugarcubes

Cindy J. Leather Trio Productions.
Lately all these people have been writing and calling with, "Cindy, you just gotta tell me what that Sugarcubes song 'Cat' is about." No f**king way. Sly secret. But I decided to write about another Sugarcubes song that's also sung in Icelandic. Only this time, I'm going to tell you what it's about. The song is called "Luftgitar" and it's not on the album. If you want to hear it, you'll have to get the "Deus" import single (don't anyone tell Elektra about this Crusade, okay?).

"Luftgitar" means "air guitar" in English. The song, which is sung by a friend of the band named Johnny Triumph, is all about two kinds of boys in Iceland who go to school dances. Of course, none of the boys dance. The first kind just stand by the wall and look at all the girls. Boys are really good at doing that. The second kind go up to the band that's playing and try to imitate the guitarist, but of course they have no guitar of their own so they play Luftgitar. According to boy-cube Einar, girl-cube Björk can't properly play Luftgitar because she's a girl. He's right. We all know that us girls are totally incapable of striking that silly macho rock star pose required of all air guitarists. And Björk says that it's okay to smash the guitar at the end of the song because Luftgitars don't cost anything. So the song is about boys who can't dance and need to be liberated by playing their Luftgitars. Yes, boys in Iceland are the same as boys here.

July 8, 1988, Album Network