American Music

Posted: February 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

Callback to this post.

After many years of internal bitterness, Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie managed to put the past behind them for a new tour (otherwise known as needing money) and found that they still had some musical connection.  Maturation is a great mellower.

So, they not only toured, with a new drummer and a couple of auxiliary musicians that pump CRAZY levels of energy into their show, but they were touring with Barenaked Ladies who openly idolized them.  Brian and Gordon have IMMENSE egos, and that had to do them good, so they even managed to record new music….

So I bought a 200 gram vinyl four song EP that had one throwaway, two good songs, and one GREAT song.

And then, the news came out that they were recording a WHOLE new album.  Whoah.  If anyone deserves to have a reunion bump, it’s the Femmes….

I had the debut album soon after it was released, but didn’t move to Milwaukee until shortly before the second album was released.  I saw them at the Union, playing many songs from that unreleased album not long after I got here.  I know I sweated up my clothes and lost my earrings pogoing in the pit.  

Since then, we have seen them in almost every venue in the city.  The Oriental, UWM Union, Summerfest, Shank Hall, The zoo… Even when they were barely able to look at each other on stage, we loved them.  In fact, the on stage tension sometimes seemed to make them BETTER.  Aggression and hatred fueled the musical energy….

I once was hanging in a bar to see the two guys from the BoDeans play, and Brian Ritchie came in.  He knew the guys I was there with, so he sat with us.  I remember him as being a snide asshole…(on the other side, every member of the Mekons I have ever talked to was pleasant, gracious, and pleased to meet a fan.  Whatever)…

So there is a release on the imminent horizon, and I am kind of excited for it.  Hopeful.  (although this is a time where the Mekons released an album last year, Jura, with Robbie Fulks;  The Waco Brothers released a covers album;  The Mekons have a new album coming out this year, and the Wacos have a new original album as well.  My Life is Full)

Anyways, the Femmes.  Reunited and energized, see what they did:

I laugh and laugh with delight when I watch this….

EDIT.  Brian Ritchie admits that Chris Squire of Yes was an influence!!!!

  1. Mikey Hemlok says:

    I never really “got” it. I mean, a Violent Femmes song would come on the radio, it’s not like I would change the station or anything – it was perfectly serviceable rock n roll. It just never touched me in any compelling way that would have made me buy a CD or go to a show. I always got them confused with Janes Addiction.

    One of the things I find fascinating is the sheer quantity of music you find very good or great. It’s like you have a sense for music that many others do not. My favorites are much more narrow, and tend to be at the granularity of song rather than band. My playlists wouldn’t make sense to lots of people – the only thing that ties them together is that they are songs that I really like.

    But rest assured Z, your love of and joy in music does very much shine through…

    • Thanks mikey.

      I feel like music, the much music I listen to, has saved my lives many times. And, early one, I discovered a way love of seeing people play music live.

      I feel like part of the reason I lived through the Event was that Summerfest loomed, and the Mekons were playing in Mineral Point in the near future. I needed to attend both….

      Since then, i have seen a lovely Cloud Cult show, and there is a Woco Brothers show, and Some Dude named Springsteen….

      I intend to live until I can’t see bands anymore….

  2. The title made me think of this:

  3. reallysmall fish says:

    I am all in on any band that uses a Weber grill as a drum set.

  4. herr doktor bimler says:

    The Grant Hart Conspiracy took me to my happy place, or at least my “Not actively miserable” place.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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