(post)-punk gems, v. 19 — Pylon, from Athens, GA (our own Liverpool)

Good morning, punk-o-philes! It’s already Wednesday in the states and, with Monday’s holiday-and-all, I’m feeling a bit like Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in time. It was Vonnegut, too, who’s smart riff on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and the loss of Armistice Day remains timely.

But on with the music. It’s a warm a.m. west of Pere-Ubu-land, and I’m thinking about summers of yore in Athens, GA, the American “Liverpool of the south,” with The B-52’s blazing the trail, REM mumbling their way up the charts, and the underheralded combos of Guadalcanal Diary and Pylon. Pylon They also emerged out of the U. of Georgia scene, gigging at the 40 Watt Club, and catching the interest of members of The B-52’s, who helped land them a spot at NYC’s Hurrah, which was made famous in part by DJs extraordinaire Meg Griffin and Jane Hamburger of WPIX fame.

You may recall REM’s dustbin-of-history tracks that comprised Dead Letter Office, including the bouncy “Crazy,” which was the b-side of “Driver 8,” and a Pylon track on which Vanessa Briscoe channels a bit of Nina Hagen–check out the odd pronunciation of “fun-knee.” On both tracks below, guitarist Randall Bewley demonstrates his affinity for the guitar sonics that characterized the Americana of modern rock.

I dig the earlier single, too, called “Cool,” which shows a bit more affinity to the vocal style of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson.

Keep your eye on the good beat, and have a fantastic rest of the week!

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1 thought on “(post)-punk gems, v. 19 — Pylon, from Athens, GA (our own Liverpool)”

  1. Oh man, Pylon were really something. I had a US pen-pal send me Gyrate and Chomp on LP when I was back in old Blighty. A seriously underrated dance band they were. They could really shake your bones. Fast forward to twenty years later in 2008 they came and played in my town of Winston Salem and rocked us in their matching red t shirts with just the block lettered phrase “Cool” in bold white text on the front. There was no disputing that either. I met them all outside the venue and we had a chat as they all signed my Gyrate and Chomp LP’s. Then just over six months later guitarist Randall died suddenly, a tragic loss. He was such a sweet guy. Thanks for this, man. This is great stuff. (My buddy Camilla did a short film called We Didn’t Get Famous that features an interview with Vanessa and lots of other bands from around that time. It’s on Vimeo and easy to find. Excellent stuff.)

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