1. While film maker Jim Jarmush isn’t a musician he is responsible for turning me onto Screamin’ Jay Hawkins who opened the doors to swampy, voodoo, monstery garage rock like The Cramps, The Fuzztones, who basically made the “coolest” music I have ever heard. And when I say cool I don’t mean it in that ‘hey dude, that’s cool” kinda way---I mean the real cool, the kinda cool you can never buy, that will never be rich, that will never be popular because it’s so dark, dangerous, and possibly stupid that the squares will never be able to understand it.
This lead to my interest in bands like The Gun Club, the Damned, and Congo Norvell. So maybe I should actually be talking about Kid Congo Powers, who was in all those bands.
Time period fashion reference: 1991-present :black hair, black shirts,black eyeliner, engineer boots
It's all thier fault.
2. Duran Duran- It was late at night in 1983…I was visiting my Dad in D.C. before my move to Halifax and it was sweltering hot, and I was jet lagged and couldn’t sleep. This was at a time when there were a lot of late night video shows, which I was addicted to, and had just finished watching a Journey video (who’s album “Frontiers” I had on constant rotation- I listened to it all day long as I drew horses and read Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Come on, I was 13) when suddenly I saw Simon Le Bon in safari gear sweating in an exotic café, chasing Roxy Music looking babes around in the jungle. I think that was the very moment my hormones switched to full blown puberty, and the glamour of the rock and roll jet set lifestyle was flash imprinted onto my retina. New Wave was exploding at the time and I quickly latched onto it- for all it’s theatricality and flair. It was everything the kids in my detested middle school were not and it seemed to me to be a lifeline out of a vapid life of heavy metal, pot, and frightening relationships my peers were engaging in.
Time period fashion reference: Convent of the Sacred Heart uniform, bleached bangs, big earrings,frosted "Nick Rhoads" lipstick
I found this attractive when I was 13.
3. Nick Cave- I was acting as a nanny for my Aunt’s new baby Charlotte in the winter of 2001. I had just moved to Ottawa from Seattle, and while I was born there it’s not like I new anyone at that point. I spent a lot of time listening to the local college station and that’s when I first heard “The Weeping Song” a duet between Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld that I could not get over. I ran out and bought “The Good Son” and then every album cave put out beforehand. It was dark and fire-y, gorgeous and dramatic. It was the most profound outlaw music I had ever heard and I couldn’t get enough. I adored his later releases all the way up to Murder Ballads- after that he seemed to become obsessed with writing love songs and I lost interest…I liked the preacher from hell, fire and brimstone stuff. Also lead to interest in the Beasts Of Bourbon, Crime and The City Solution, and the Dirty Three. See also Johnny Cash and Tom Waits.
Time period fashion reference: Began dyeing hair black in ernest, vintage old man sweaters in cat puke colors, baggy levis with holes.
4. 16 Horsepower- A coworker at the record store I worked at in the early 90's put “Black Soul Choir” on the stereo, waiting to see how many seconds would pass before I asked “What is THIS?” . I was smitten instantly. A blend of gothic western rockabilly and Appalachian snake handlin’ fervor and howling vocals that made my neck hairs stand up and my ass want to shake. I thought at first it was ironic hillbilly rock- and then found that the evangelical Christian slant was extremely genuine. The beauty of the lyrics and the unbelievable musical craftsmanship kept me from being scared away and because it was so genuine and poetic in that hillbilly preacher kind of way.
I got the singer David Eugene Edwards to sign a cd for me and he wrote “Gee haw, girl!” …I found that charming. Edwards newest project is called “Woven Hand” and actually makes me ache when I listen to it. Me likey!
Time period fashion reference: Never caught dead in flannel even once.
I got nothing funny to say about this guy. A genius.
5. David Bowie- I was 19, working in an art supply store…I had a friend who was older and very hip- at the time she was sort of a grunge Poison Ivy, and a kick ass painter. One day as I was hanging out at her house she put on “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” and I was transfixed- it was rock n roll decadent glamour mixed with spacey themes. My roommate at the time offered to kill me in my sleep if she heard “Starman” one more time. Bowie is one of those people I don’t think I’d ever want to meet- I like worshiping my idols from afar.
Time period fashion reference: Voracious Edie Sedgewick phase, short platnium blonde hair, way too much structured eye makeup
Oh, David. Dead sexy even in an elf suit.
6. Alphaville- Here’s where I reveal my uncoolness. From “Big In Japan” on- I have always adored German synth band Alphaville…a joke from the New wave era for most, Alphaville actually went on to release many albums and gain a huge cult following in Europe. They went on to create music inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Timothy Leary, space travel, Beethoven, all mixed together with a decadent Berlin flair.It makes me want to do the Deiter dance and shout “Leib Mien Abst Monkey!” Gorgeously rich, layered and operatic, always makes me feel happy.
Time period reference: pointy buckled shoes, multi-colored half shaved "hairdo", men's large tweed coat, lots of rhinestone jewelry.
I know they look teh ghey- but so did you in 1983.