Monday, June 09, 2008

"Viva SeaTac, they've got the best computers and coffee and smack..."

WWSU Playlist
11 January 1989
Wednesday 9 p.m.-midnight

Cabaret Voltaire – “I Want You”
H Laibach – “Get Back”
TOTW Easterhouse – “Come Out Fighting”
H Pailhead – “Don’t Stand In Line”
DC The Revolting Cocks – “Attack Ships”
H The Damned – “Fall”
H Sharkbait – “Furry Mounds”
PM LS Young Gods – “Face a Face”
H A.C. Temple – “Weekend”
PM REC Ministry – “Deity”
H Robert Wyatt – “Unmasked”
DC Frank French & Kevin Kinney – “Alice is my Ally”

The Fall – “Victoria”
H Eclipse – ‘Slam Dancing Dog”
TOTW The Wonder Stuff – “Gimme More x3”
H The Wipers – “Time Marches On”
DC Happy Flowers – “Mom, I Gave the Cat Some Acid”
H Half Japanese – “Face Rake”
H Girl Trouble – “She No Rattle my Cage”
PM LS Karen Finley – “Lick it”
H KMFDM – “No News”
PM REC Time Zone – “World Destruction”
H Front 242 – “Work 01”
H Soundgarden – “Flower”
K Hunters & Collectors – “Throw Your Arms Around Me”
REQ The Jazz Butcher – “Chickentown”
REQ Sinead O’Connor – “Just Like U Said it Would B”

Les Rita Mitsouko – “Cest Comme Ca”
H Tater Totz – “Give Peace a Chance”
TOTW The Fixx – “Driven Out”
H Demented R Go – “Shadow Crypt”
DC Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Hong Kong Garden” (request)
H Pussy Galore – “Yu Gung”
H Sonic Youth – “Teenage Riot”
PM LS Sigue Sigue Sputnik – “Frankenstein Cha Cha Cha”
H Dinosaur Jr. – “Freak Scene”
PM REC Scott Goddard – “Two Triple Cheese”
H Mudhoney – “No One Has”
DC Reverb Motherfuckers – “Highway to Hojos”
K This Mortal Coil – “Strength of Strings”
H Dead Can Dance – “Song to Sophia”

I’m really liking the second hour of this show – from The Fall’s excellent rendition of The Kinks’ classic “Victoria” to Irish chanteuse Sinead O’Connor, it’s a pretty good hour.

Much like Alice Donut’s “Lisa’s Father,” Karen Finley’s “Lick It” was another song with contentious content that I relished playing, just to see if I could “get away with it.” Finley is an artist who, a year of two after this song came out, was denied National Endowment for the Arts funding because of the controversial nature of her work. She wasn’t so much a musician as a performance artist, and her most successful work (music or otherwise) pushed the boundaries on topics of sexuality, power and abuse in the hopes of stimulating reflection and change. She and several other artists fought the NEA’s decision and won, but as a result the NEA stopped making grants to individual artists afterward to avoid similar messiness. Win one, lose one.

My good friend Rodney – an exceptional artist himself – once attended a dinner party thrown by Finley and was seated next to Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys. He phoned me up afterwards to dish, and what I remember most about the conversation is that Jello apparently didn’t believe in using deodorant and smelled so gamey that it put Rodney off eating. He held Karen personally responsible, since she had placed them next to each other, and I don’t think he ever quite forgave her.

Another great song this hour was Girl Trouble’s “She No Rattle My Cage.”
I LOVED Girl Trouble and championed their work every chance I got. Hailing from Tacoma, Washington and signed at the time to Calvin Johnson’s K Records out of Olympia, Girl Trouble played raw garage rock with blistering surf overtones. I had correspondences going with quite a few indie labels at the time, and of them all I enjoyed the insightful, funny and friendly letters and phone calls from Johnson, who turned me on to the burgeoning SeaTac scene. I was already well into the Sub-Pop phenomenon by 1989 but I felt that K Records artists were just as good and tried to give them as much airtime as I could.

Somewhere along the way I took up a spirited correspondence with Girl Trouble drummer Bon Von Wheelie, whose humorous letters I have kept all these years, stuffed away inside the Hit It Or Quit It LP. A quick Google search shows that she has a MySpace page but it doesn’t look as though there’s been any activity in months. It appears that GT is still slogging away, fighting the good fight. You GO, girl!

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