Real-Man Pervert!

He loved perversion, but all sexuality in some way was a failure for him. One night, when he was making Hardcore, I noticed his wrists were marked. He explained, «I went to Mistress Vicky and she hung me up and cuffed me. I could only take it for three minutes.» Like, he wasn't a true pervert. He couldn't take it for a half an hour like a real-man pervert.
John Milius on Paul Schrader


Rare or Unreleased 46: Einstürzende Sonntag

Einstürzende Neubauten: «Die Wellen» (Klaviermusik version) [mp3]

The ultimate goal of Toilet Guppies is to exhaust its creator's collection of worthwhile rarities until at last he can stop posting, leaving the blog to sink or float on this interweb-thingy, music too good to disappear hopefully still only a Google and a click away. Looking at the dwindling list of rarities on my computer, it seems I've reached the tail-end of this blog's existence, so the random mp3s to be posted onwards might appear to be leftovers, but let me assure you that quality control is as strict as ever(!).

Today is Sunday, which means I have to post music that's either calm or melancholy. Hence one of the greatest songs to be made available on this blog: Einstürzende Neubauten's initial, acoustic version of Alles Wieder Offen opener «Die Wellen», recorded for the band's Musterhaus series in 2006. Blixa Bargeld is accompanied by classical composer and pianist Ari Benjamin Meyers.

The lyrics showcase how Bargeld writes like none other in music, scientific conundrums becoming metaphors for something that's hard to define or understand, but which seems intensely existential—an impression only strengthened by Bargeld's increasingly impassioned delivery and Meyers' insistent, urgent piano hammering. This time around Bargeld's subject matter is Homo Sapiens' old nemesis, impermanence. The never-ending movement of waves—these entities in concept only that cannot even be distinguished from one another (for where does one wave end and the other begin?)—is the perfect image of unstoppable, irreversible change, wind never resting, water never still, nothing ever the same even for an instant. There aren't any «instants», everything a continual flow. This is the famous root of suffering, although Buddhists forget that it's also the root of pleasure. But for now, is the thing you desire staying, or what?!
What should I do with you, waves, you who can never decide
whether you’re the first or the last?
You think you can define the coast with your constant wish-wash,
grind it down with your coming and going.
And yet no one knows how long the coastline really is,
where land stops, where land begins, and you’re forever changing
the line, length, lay, with the moon and unpredictable.

Consistent alone is your inconsistency.

Ultimately victorious since, as so often evoked, this wears away
the stones, grinds the sand down as fine as needed for
hourglasses and egg-timers, as required for calibrating time,
for telling the difference between hard and soft.

Victorious also because, never tiring, you win the contest who of us
will be the first to fall asleep, or you, being the ocean still,
because you never sleep.

Although colourless yourself, you seem blue
when the sky is gently mirrored on your surface, the ideal course
for being strolled upon by the carpenter’s son, the most changeable element.

And inversely, when you are wild and loud and your breakers thunder,
I listen between the peaks of your rollers, and from the highest waves,
from breaking spume, a thousand voices break away, mine,
yesterday’s ones that I didn’t know, that otherwise just whisper,
and all the others too, and in their midst the Nazarene.
Over and over again those stupendous five final words:
Why have you left me?

I hold my own, shout at each single wave:
Are you staying?
Are you staying?
Are you staying, or what?


Net Nuggets 32: Tomb Music

Cam Butler: «Nocturne (reprise)» [128kbps mp3 via http://www.cambutler.com/]

I know this place in Oslo where unashamedly morbid people go; a haven for folks pretentious enough to think—at length—about death. To wit, fucking and birth!

It's a mausoleum, by and for sculptor/painter Emanuel Vigeland, erected pre-emptively as a shrine to his own memory. (Athough it was originally intended as an exhibition space.) An egg-shaped urn containing the artist's ashes is strategically placed over a low door, so that visitors have to bow before the artist upon entering or leaving the always cool premises. The walls and ceiling are the canvas of a painting of countless people all in a heap, fucking, giving birth, being born, dying or already rotting in the middle of the frenzied orgy, beside, behind and on top of you.

The confronting adornments enveloping the visitor makes Vigeland's dark, womblike tomb bear little resemblance to a resting place. They depict neither the intimidating doomsday tableaux nor enticing salvation scenarios evoked by Christians, Vigeland's employers throughout most of his consequently limiting and unsatisfying artesan's career. Perhaps not surprising, then, that after a professional life of decorating churches and illustrating hymns, the artist let loose his almost blasphemously sensual, bohemian-cum-pagan brand of fatalistic mysticism inside his own private space, to which he finally would have to answer to no one. (Unless there is a Jehovah, in which case he might very well find himself fucked, still.) The paintings—or should I say, the one large painting, as all the motifs merge, much like its many pictured orgiasts—conjure hubris and inevitability rather than the Christian stick'n'carrot of hope and damnation: A woman holds her newborn triumphantly up at the sun, oblivious to the carcasses she's stood on to reach up to the sky.

One of the first things people notice upon entering the chamber are the unlikely acoustics, the tiniest, little sound ricocheting madly from wall to wall until the room is filled with a thick, reverberating echo that's almost tactile. In the mausoleum it's as if sound were something you breathe in as much as hear. This is why a strict code of silence, quite literally, is enforced inside, with no talking allowed. This hushed not-quite-silence of impending sound becomes symbolic of the inescapable nothing- or emptiness underlying this and everything; the cosmic static Christians and Muslims want to prolong forever while Hindus and Buddhists want to cut it short, once and for all.

These acoustics have attracted various artists and producers, and after several albums were recorded there the custodians of Vigeland's museum have welcomed and even arranged concerts inside, with an über-intimate capacity limited to about 30 people only. On 14 April, Australian composer Cam Butler and an improvised backing band of three local strangers dubbed «the Shadows Of Love» played the mausoleum (to a ridiculous crowd of nine). For the occasion, Butler (electric guitar, loops) was accompanied by cellist Kjersti Birketvedt, violinist Morten Eike and drummer Gunnar Motland. They had to play ever-so-delicately to avoid upsetting the acoustics and the very room
itself, rousing old Vigeland from inside his little egg. Butler's elegant and unassuming compositions, springing from melancholy, but subdued enough to avoid pomposity or sentimentality, came over graceful because of the patience and careful interplay the surroundings demanded of them. The music on Butler's 2008 CD Dark Times (Symphony No. 2), which tends towards the epic, is quite different from what Mr. Butler, Ms. Birketvedt, Mr. Eike and Mr. Motland played in the dark and sexual womb-tomb. Because of the volatile fifth instrument the acoustics amounted to, the drummer only lightly tapped the skins and cymbals with his fingers, never resorting to sticks. (No bombastic battery in the live performance.) And instead of a grandiose chamber orchestra overstating the emotions, the one violin and one cello were enough to provide the melodies, while not being too loud to drown out the subtleties, aural, musical, emotional or otherwise. Vigeland's mausoleum proved the perfect vehicle for Butler's compositions.

All his miniature symphonies that evening hung in the balance between hope and hopelessness, avoiding the falsity of hope and the self-indulgence of despair, allowing you to come to terms with what is instead. A subtle form of transcendence, as if on your deathbed you release your fear and regrets, yet obviously do not harbour any hopes. It's not indifference, but the kind of peace that could be mistaken for it, if not for the calm at its core. It's this calm that Butler and his Shadows Of Love conjured in the centre of that mausoleum, as if juxtaposed with the strife depicted all over the walls by the person supposedly resting in it.

But then, what do I know about dying? Or peace? It's just wishful thinking, which is hope after all—which is bullshit. Still, Cam Butler's music allows you to dream, and that's something. A moment of inspiration and a little existential ambition in all this pointlessness!


Net Nuggets 31: Dan's Garage

If there's one thing worse than nostalgia, it's irony. Yet sometimes there are people—you might know some—who actually manage to combine these two forms of escapism into one exceptionally annoying way of running from reality. They play and listen to retro music that makes them feel warm and safe due to a (mistakenly) perceived innocence of
the «good old days», while at the same time guffawing at the naffness of it, lest they be perceived as corny by their peers—the cardinal sin of uptight, hung-up, self-conscious hipster doofi everywhere. (If you're wondering, yes, «doofi» is hereby plural for «doofus».) It's like a bulimic's version of having your cake and eating it too. In this way, they distance themselves from the relentlessly confronting nature of reality, both through lulling themselves into believing in something nice that never was and by not taking anything seriously.

And it's hard to like vintage music (or vintage anything) without being accused of nostalgia—or of taking the piss. Yet all decades and centuries offer at least some music that is still valid. «Trendiness» is just another word for «dated», but sometimes—and despite itself—even something easily dated possesses some kind of timeless quality. Believe it or not, there are songs from past decades that aren't guilty pleasures, nor quaint and cosy mementos for people to run to when they're feeling vulnerable and they need the safe feeling of something familiar.

There are legions of people moaning about the nowadays. You know the ones, prone to «they-don't-make-'em-like-they-used-to» type arguments. With '60s garage rock music, for instance, the subculture is lousy with DJs and compilers who always focus on the most saccharine examples of the era—the bubbly harmonies, the anthemic melodies, the feelgood vibe, the puppet-like shaking of bobs—giving the entire decade a false and pathetically rosy hue, colouring its music output innocent and naïve. The nostalgic person is always a revisionist, and we don't approve of that stuff here on this blog.

No, sir. We like our '60s music alive and kicking, as sweaty and scruffy now as it was back then! We want rude 'tude and rawness with our garage rock! We prefer the stuff that doesn't merely sound cute, 50 years on. We want balls, wet with sweat, and possibly other fluids. We want mean drums, nasty guitars and snarling vocals. And if you love that too, you'll like today's Toilet Guppies comp:

Somewhere on the interweb, there's a mysterious man by the name of Dan who possesses in his garage a collection of old 45s that you simply have to take your hat off to. 1960s amateur rock from North America, Europe, Australia, &c. that probably only a handful of autistic record collectors who were punks in the '80s are already familiar with. Dan rips these neglected little vinyl babies and graciously shares them with '60s rock enthusiasts on his blog, detailing info on each forgotten (and in many cases never known) act.

Quite a few of the 45s have appeared—usually in more doctored, cleaned up form—on various garage compilations: the definitive Nuggets boxes, the overrated Pebbles series, the underrated Garage Beat '66 set, the no-nonsense Back from the Grave volumes, the mind blowingly comprehensive Mindrocker comps, the obscurity-truffling Teenage Shutdown collections… And these are just a few in a confusing and expensive array of multi-volumed series of various artists collections compiling ineptly recorded and incompetently performed inane compositions that, despite and because of it all, blow your mind and kick your arse! Dan also does us the favour of ripping B-sides that in many cases never made it onto the mess of garage compilations for sale out there.

So far, Dan has posted 29 volumes(!) in his ongoing series of rare vinyl rips, each volume containing 28 to 31 tracks. (You do the math.) I recommend you go check them out. By way of introduction, I've compiled some favourites—although I've avoided those songs that are already featured on commercially available digital downloads or CDs (that I know of, at least), such as artist retrospectives or compilations like the ones mentioned above. (The only exception is the inclusion of rip-roarin' «Rich with Nothin'» by the Split Ends, which as far as I know only exists on CD on Trash Box—Wild Psychotic Garage Punk!!!, but in an anti-social vinyl transfer that is so insanely tinny it'll give you instant tinnitus. Dan's rip sounds far punchier.)

Dan's transfers haven't been given the vinyl restoration treatment. These 45s are often scratched and worn, but this excessive surface noise somehow adds to the already poorly engineered, badly played music. This is rock'n'roll, with organic and imperfect textures that the record industry would have you believe is wrong, but which is symbolic of the artists' fun-loving enthusiasm for the energy of music, perfect or no, and which provides them and us with so much unbridled glee. Hi-fi perfectionism is the aural equivalent of anal retentive inhibition, and we can't have that. This scruffy stuff may be a sin against technology and Capitalism, but that only makes it better.

So Toilet Guppies hereby prescribes a submersion of your ears in a sea of warm and fuzzy static. Stomp along to the primitive rhythm, from your heart down to your good foot. Swirl to the distortion! Clap yer hands! Play that air tambourine! This stuff will make you feel alive. Sometimes nasty. In fact, it'll make you feel a little like when your eyes hone in on the holes at the centre of the 45s in the picture above. This is a collection of the best in ultra-rare garage rock—songs so obscure they shouldn't be good! Yet somehow they are… It's a bit of a conundrum how something so mediocre could actually be so great, but it's out of place to overthink these simple songs. Anyway, the tracklist is as follows: (For info on the acts, just follow the links in the artist name to Dan's relevant blog posts.)
1. The Judge 'N Jury: «Roaches»
Dan calls this a novelty song, whereas I prefer to view the lyrics' omnipresent cockroaches as a misanthropic, if humorous, metaphor for people. The narrator ends up marrying one, then fathering several. Could it be a snide attack on the bourgeoisie? In any case, even a novelty song is better than the standard boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl, «I want to hold your hand» type lyrics as prevalent in the genre as cockroaches are in this song.

2. The Hysterical Society: «I Know»
Move over, rap. A surprising barrage of verbiage in this soulful stomp rocker. I can't catch the words, but they sound cool… Then the drummer loses his cool towards the end and the track erupts!

3. The Pineapple Heard: «Valleri»
Normally this would be a tad poppy for my liking. Still, you can't deny that the steady drums, the eminently hummable melody and the dreamy back-up harmonies make the song irrepressibly catchy. And the riff, so cheery and innocent, is delivered nastily enough that it works. If it sounds strangely familiar, the Fall quote/plagiarise this riff on «Barmy», a song off their 1985 masterpiece This Nation's Saving Grace.

4. The Shags: «It Hurts Me Bad»
Again, a little soft for me normally, but the laid back cool, the soul syncopation and the hand claps put it over the edge. The Shags were from the US, but this sounds like a perfect slice of freakbeat, more restrained and stiff upper lip'ed than the garage-psych punk fuzz freak-outs of North America.

5. King Bees: «On Your Way Down the Drain»
Cow bell and hand claps! Probably the most sensational find in Dan's garage is this song which, unaccountably, isn't one of those household hits everyone knows from the '60s. (But then I suppose it doesn't really fit in on the Forrest Gump soundtrack.) Everything comes together in this forgotten recording by a neglected act: the catchy melody, a driving rhythm, scathing lyrics, snarling attitude and biting delivery… It even sports high production values, with varied instrumentation (a harpsichord sweetening the bitterness in the chorus). It's perfect as is. And a remarkable love song: a vitriolic attack on a lover who hasn't even done anything! Never before has a love song been so hateful:

I don't know, and don't wanna find out
'Bout the money you had
I don't know, and don't wanna find out
Good friends that went bad
But if you keep foolin' around
Causin' ev'rybody pain
Don't forget to wave to me, darlin'
On your way down the drain

And I don't know, and don't care to find out
'Bout all the places you've been
I don't know, and don't care to find out
All the chances you've had to sin
But if you keep foolin' around
Talkin' about your losses and gain
Don't forget to wave to me, darlin'
On your way down the drain

I don't know, and don't wanna find out
What a good person you are
I don't know, and don't wanna find out
How you coulda been a star
But if you keep foolin' around
Drivin' ev'rybody insane
Don't forget to wave to me, darlin'
On your way down the drain

I don't know, but if I were to find out
That you cheated on me
I don't know, but maybe I will find out
Then you'll surely see
I won't care to know what you feel inside
Or what's goin' on in your brain
I'll just sit here and wave to you, darlin'
On your way down the drain

Wow. Check out the 'tude! What a hilariously unnecessary bitch slap, with a little paranoid flourish there at the end as well… Well, everyone gets on someone else's nerves sometimes, and a song for when that special someone gets on yer tits can be a good thing to have, I suppose…

6. 'Twas Brillig: «This Week's Children»
A bona-fide floor stomper to have you dancing like it's 1966, complete with the singer's delicious freak-out towards the end…

7. The Mugwumps: «I Don't Wanna Know»
Another mean love song. At least it's honest:

Cry your eyes out over me
Don't you see, don't you see
All the things they said are true
I'll be mean to you

I don't want to know
I don't want to know
I don't want to know
About you

You gave me all the love you had
Made me glad, made me glad
Go find yourself another boy
I'll only make you cry

The singer doesn't say why he doesn't «want to know about» the girl, but the song combines an odd consideration for her future well-being with being brutally unapologetic. All set to a highly danceable tune. Few songwriters write catchy songs delivering unnecessarily cruel rejection anymore. Songwriters these days are too sophisticated (or too dishonest?), I suppose…

8. The Seeds: «Up in Her Room» (radio edit)
A song to celebrate uncomplicated pleasure, as if Christianity never happened. Original flower punks the Seeds' until recently available 1966 album, Web of Sound, closes with an ode to a free love sister, a quarter of an hour-long, entitled «Up in Her Room». This is the short and sweet two-minute radio edit, from the flipside of single «Mr. Farmer». I still recommend the epic full length album version, though. Two minutes wouldn't satisfy a sexually generous original punk hippie chick up in her love nest—not by far.

9. 49th Parallel: «Laborer»
If not one of those boringly polemic, Socialist punk songs, this is an amusingly caustic look at Capitalism. That you can dance to.

10. Sumpin' Else: «Baby You're Wrong»
Another turning-against-one's-love-interest track. One can imagine the singer putting into this song all the things he never dares tell her:

Baby, you tell me that I can't dance
(But you're wrong)
You say that I move like there's sand in my pants
(But you're wrong)
'Cause I can do the Duck and the Temptation walk
In fact, I taught you how to do the Dog!
(So you're wrong)

Also, note the gloriously fuzzy bass lining the song like a static-electric carpet underneath your feet. This was before the Rolling Stones ushered in the unfortunate rock'n'roll precedence of burying the bass way down in the mix. Bill Wyman's doormat ways and subservience to the Glimmer Twins is directly responsible for the tyranny of guitar wankery and cock rock!

11. The Split Ends: «Rich with Nothin'»
Like Paul Revere & the Raiders, only nastier! No sweet harmonies here, the band just yelling in the background. Also, whatever happened to rock's signature scream introducing the guitar solos? I know, I know… Feminism and Grunge made the guitar solo politically incorrect. But the least you scuzzy indie rockers can do is wail and howl a little…

12. Terry Knight & the Pack: «Numbers»
Another mean'n'nasty riff backed by stomping drums, with acerbic (if slightly nonsensical) lyrics that could've come out of Bob Dylan's mordant mouth in 1966, had he been slightly more coherent:

You've got 13 years of learnin'
At the finest schools
They gave you 26 teachers and you made them all
Look like fools
You told 11 good men that you loved them
But you know you lied
'Cause all you ever do is
Lay around your house and cry

13. The Todds: «I Want Her Back»
The singer, drummer and guitarist—even the organ player—are all competing here. Even the lyricist and the guy who wrote the melody must have been competing with each other on this one! The result is rocking. (Creative tension, people!) And I suspect the pogo was invented whilst trying to dance in time to the drummer and organ player on this frantic number.

14. The Bougalieu: «Let's Do Wrong»
«The way you look at me / A man can plainly see / Your eyes are full of lies»! There's that bitterness and disdain again—something civilised and healthy individuals aren't supposed to feel, but which they're allowed in songs such as this, so liberating. Also, the title alone is worth the price of admission. The guitar player sounds delightfully impatient, and the avant garde break sounds like US Maple, thirty years earlier. And surely this singer must be one of the coolest human beings to ever have walked this mucky space rock? He sounds like the kind of guy who could wear sunglasses after dark and get away with it.

15. Don & Jerry w/the Fugitives: «In the Cover of Night»
«All the things I need / Are waiting, yes indeed / In the cover of night»!

16. The Tropics: «As Time's Gone»

17. Boo Boo & Bunky: «This Old Town»
«Boo Boo & Bunky»?! Kudos for the name alone. But the song is actually good. Driving, pounding, stomping drums, simple and primal and made for the dance floor.

18. The Belfast Gipsies: «Gloria's Dream»
Scruffy Murphy rock here, no doubt trying to cash in on Them's monster ode to teenage lust, «Gloria». The party the singer's on about is one party I'd love to attend…

19. The Teddy Boys: «Where Have All the Good Times Gone»
An American cover of the Kinks' original, this performance is indicative of the difference between the more pastoral and restrained British mod/freakbeat scene and its sexier, more unhinged cousin across the pond. This rendition wins, hands down.

20. The Hardtimes: «Fortune Teller»
The Rolling Stones did a decent version of this funny, little ditty, lyrics like a joke, complete with set-up and punchline. But this version is just as good, if not better. Uncomplicated rock'n'roll run-through.

21. Vinnie Basile: «Girl»
Stupid lyrics, inept musicianship, just what the doctor ordered. Proof that obvious rhymes, out-of-tune strumming and hack drumming can create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

22. The Sting-Rays Of Newburgh: «Fool»
Nasty riff, psychedelic organ, echoing harmonies… Can't you just hear the black/strobe lights and the swirling oil projections on the wall? Another party, part debauchery, part existentialism, that I'd love to attend, most psychedelically.

23. The Bluebeards: «Come on-a My House»
The Bluebeards are pushing it, kitsch-wise, with the oriental flavourings in the melody and percussion, but the way they emphasise «candy» when they harmonise, «Come on-a my house, my house / I'm gonna give you caaandy» sounds gleefully wrong and creepy. Wonder if one of these guys is a Catholic priest now?

24. The Four O'Clock Balloon: «Dark Cobble Street»
Another dancer.

25. The Wolf Men: «Watusi Beat»
Sounds like they stole the 13th Floor Elevators' «You're Gonna Miss Me», but with a scuzzy sounding guitar solo like that, who cares?

26. The Troyes: «Rainbow Chaser»
«One day you'll wake and realize / That the love that's in her eyes / Was only a disguise…» Banal lyrics made to sound profound; hypnotic vocal melody, groovy rhythm, great garage-psych. Yeh!

27. The Evil: «Whatcha Gonna Do about It?»
One of those staple garage covers. With the way they drawl, ever-so-suggestively, «whatcha gonna doooh about it?», my money's on the Evil's version…

28. The Myddle Class: «Don't Let Me Sleep too Long»
Pure ecstasy and affirmation of life. We can all sleep when we're dead, so don't let me sleep too long. Dance, Daddy!

29. Corporate Image: «Not Fade Away»
The Rolling Stones' rendition seems to be considered the definitive version of «Not Fade Away», but this relentlessly urgent, driving stomper by the Corporate Image (what a great moniker!) pisses all over it:

How could the Corporate Image's version have ended up such an obscure recording?! Another of Dan's remarkable finds.
For much more of the same, go check out Dan's curation of rock heritage and socio-cultural history over at his virtual garage. Also, Garage Dan has a band, Dan Frank & the True Believers. I don't know whether Dan is the Dan who's the eponymous man in the band, but there you go.


Love (Pt. 6), or, Teenage Lust Psych-out!

In this latest installment in Toilet Guppies' meticulous and exhaustive exploration of love in modern music, we've finally arrived at garage rock from that decade of love—the 1960s.

V/A: Teenage Lust Psych-out!—18 Far Out Love Freak-outs from the Garage [.zip]

Did you ever love someone so much it kind of hurt? Chafed around the edges of the old corazón a bit? Ever felt that intensity that blurs the boundary between pleasure and pain, whether it's your mind hopelessly in love with no way of controlling it (reality as unpredictable and fickle as it is), or whether it's your body pushed over that edge and climaxing with violent spasms and tremors? Sure you have, and I bet you didn't know what to do with yourself.

To alleviate the violence of emotion, perhaps you grabbed the nearest CD by some singer-songwriter waxing poetic about the dizzying heights and crushing pitfalls of romance. That was a mistake. It won't do you any good indulging in sentimentality. What you need to keep that crazy love from exploding into a mess of human emotions, sticky fluids and funky entrails is this compilation, designed by Sheik YerdiXXX for the express purpose of acting as a vent, keeping you somewhat sane while undergoing the psychosis of overly enthusiastic affection, whether you choose to dance or fuck to it to release the tension of ecstasy when bliss lasts longer than its usual brief flash. The human body can stand pleasure only so long at a time. You, my friend, need relief, release… fun!

The last half of the 1960s saw an explosion in amateur recordings, often in the form of quickly forgotten (if at all noticed) one-off 45s by a dizzying plethora of dilettante R&B rockers all named The something-or-others who, more often than not, were still in their teens—and almost exclusively males. Erect, bursting-at-the-seams, rearing-to-go boys in their hormonal prime, on the verge of manhood and of getting it on (or so they desperately hoped). Their usually badly engineered and poorly mixed tunes typically featured stomping drums, jangly fuzz guitars and the occasional demented scream, like so many sexually frustrated howls at the moon (and all that signifies—loneliness, lunacy, the tide, menstruation and all that). When the lyrics' subject matter was not bitter recrimination of some woman who didn't put up (or else put up too much, with too many other men), a typical theme was desire for a girl yet to be persuaded and mounted (the prospect of all that pent up love milk about to be pumped out, at last!) or the joy felt at the love, physical or otherwise, provided by this girl. The sexual frustration or elation (whichever the case) was such that the song's narrator would often proclaim, out of either impatient readiness or blissed-out gratitude, his true and undying love.

Somewhat rashly, one might say, as such hormone-fuelled proclamations seem to mistake lust for affection. But then writers of love songs often forget lust when they pen their ballads of seduction, slyly playing upon heartstrings instead (which in general is much more effective than appealing to just sex—declarations of mere horniness often being considered unsophisticated by the object of seduction). If love is one part lust and one part hope (and, as long as we're being honest, a pinch of need), lust is conspicuously absent from most love songs. So these inept compositions—lazily rhyming, as they often do, «girl» with «world», «fine» with «mine», «nice» with «spice» and «good» with «would»—are refreshing. They get down to the nitty gritty of love: simple, innocent—and expressed with your body. After all, lovers tend to usher in a new romance with rampant fucking. And should a lasting relationship be formed, with the lovers going through various ups and downs, enduring slumps and crises, then rediscovering their spark would, again, be marked by a whole lotta fuckin'. Ain't nuthin' unsophisticated about it, honey buns…

So forget tender ruminations of everlasting soulmating for now. Here are ecstatic expressions of the life force and the meaning of human existence in all its randy elation. Songs almost mystically joyous, with roaring guitars taking on decidedly erect shapes and the screaming, broken voices ejaculating lust for life—and pusy.

As Rick James once told Tracy Morgan: «Freaky-deekies need love too. Freaky-deekies need love, too…»

For all you love hounds out there, then, Toilet Guppies brings you a teen mix from old 'Dixxx; a various artists collection of scuzzy, fuzzbucket '60s punk songs, some of them rare even on CD comps, all revolving around romantic affection. Unhinged teenage ejaculations of love, to be precise. This guaranteed no-filler all-killer compilation of some of the best and most blistering love songs pre-cum pre-punk ever produced is a reminder to all that love needn't be tender and gentle, expressed in faint-hearted balladry. It can be hard and upright meets soft and yielding, and awash with warm and sticky bodily juices. Let that love (or E) cup runneth over! Besides, there's no affirmation of life quite like teenage trash explosion—snotty throats incompetently vomiting out lust for life and sexual frustration in equal measure. Yeh! Switch off your mind and give in to your hormones! Rock'n'roll! And if you have a loved one, grab her and go dancin'…


RIP Sean Stewart

Terribly sad when a member of one of the by far most emotionally uncompromising and substantial new rock acts of recent years decides to end his own life. For those in or around Melbourne, Australia, a memorial event will be held on 11 April. HTRK writes (via Facebook):
A HTRK goodbye to Sean—a night of everything beautiful and strange. Sunday 11th April at The Toff, Melbourne. 8pm onwards. Free. HTRK DJs, Sean's favourite tunes, Kenneth Anger films and more. Dress in black…


Net Nuggets 31: The Boston Strangler

The Bugs: «Strangler in the Night» b/w «Albert, Albert» [.zip]

One might be forgiven for thinking, when downloading Charles Manson or Jim Jones recordings off this very blog, that Toilet Guppies is just another bratty website venerating cult killers as icons by way of smug irony. Or worse still, one might assume that Toilet Guppies is an exponent of the kind of self-proclaimed «Nihilism» invoked by Genesis P-Orridge, Whitehouse, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, et al. in such artists' self-indulgent and pretentious flirtation with serial killers, paedos and genocidal Fascism.

Far from it. This «dancing with danger» by artists who never even hurt a fly themselves—or the Warholian celebration of killers, turning tragedy into some kind of kitsch joke for those struggling to come to terms with the unmerciful aspect of humanity (the Brian Jonestown Massacre, anyone? Black Lips' Elisabeth Fritzl-themed «Trapped in a Basement»?)—isn't all it's cracked up to be. Just ask Mick «Street Fightin' Man» Jagger how he felt at Altamont.

At best it's annoying—like the popular myth and marketing campaign of Johnny Cash being such a rebel, justified by his performing for «underdogs» in prisons and singing songs celebrating murders he was never ever close to committing, let alone truly understanding. (When he wasn't singing hymns, that is.) But then artists tend to find perpetrators more interesting than their victims—an empathic focus that would be far more emotionally taxing, of course. Focussing instead on «rebels»—rapists, murderers, gangsters, hooligan types, &c.—probably makes sensitive artistes feel morally couragous and possibly even badass, without actually having to summon the chutzpah be so—or without having to deal with the consequences. But really it's just empathy or subversion for dummies. (Thank god, then, for Diamanda Galás, giving righteous indignation and vengeful fury a voice amid the din of gratuitous glorification.)

Less pretentious than your standard renegade murder balladeers, perhaps, but all the more kitsch is '60s garage frat punks the Bugs' collaboration with rapist and disputed murderer Albert DeSalvo, a/k/a «the Boston Strangler». In 1965, the obscure, attention hungry Boston rockers ostensibly bought a poem off the by then imprisoned DeSalvo, had it recited by New York radio DJ Dick Leviathan and set it to a maudlin rock ballad melody. In actuality, the words were penned by ghost writer James Vaughn, with DeSalvo vouching for it by signing it «… These are my thoughts, feelings and emotions». What his motivations were in passing these corny sentiments off as his own we'll never know, but a desire for fame is the obvious guess. Truth probably wasn't his suit, anyway, what with him confessing to some crimes he probably didn't commit (along with the ones he did do).

As to how closely these thoughts, feelings and emotions correspond to DeSalvo's real ones, there's no way of telling. But the ghost writer does manage, wittingly or no, to convey an always self-pitying sociopath's inept attempt, even after being caught out, at fitting in by feigning the appropriate human emotion—in this case contrition. Unsuccessfully, one might add, the narrator's self-pity shining through. But as with Jim Jones' final rant before his «revolutionary suicide» (read: manipulative mass homicide), it's interesting to note how many people actually fall for psychopaths' posings as martyrs, buying the act entirely. Had not DeSalvo been murdered in the prison infirmary, he'd be receiving tons of love letters to this day.

And so these novelty Hallowe'en words seem oddly fitting in the end. Not bad for a song which very idea hinges on a perverse, if facile pun on «Strangers in the Night»…

The B-side, the Bugs' own «Albert, Albert» is even more offensive (bizarrely rebuking DeSalvo for treating the singer's sister poorly—I'm guessing he never really had a sister), but the performance is a rock'n'rollicking slice of garage beat, rough, danceable and effortlessly cool.

[This vinyl rip of the original Bugs 45 was taken from the superb blog Dan's Garage.]