post-punk gems, v. 71 — Malcolm McLaren

McLaren, by gawd, where would we be without him? He was a prick, and prickly, and a mclaren_gals composer in the best sense — i.e., “putting together.” He took Richard Hell’s aesthetic and commodified it into low couture, and imbued the Rotten&Jones&Matlock&Cook brand with a bit more danger and a whole lot of profit.
While most folks might be inclined toward McLaren’s “Buffalo Gals,” I was more mesmerized by “Madame Butterfly” — there was, of course, nothing else like it on the radio, popular or semi-popular. (Bless SF’s KQAK for finding room for such an anomaly.) I never bothered to decipher the libretto, but always understood the track as the logical extension of the lush sound of ABC, Spandau Ballet, and Scritti Pollitti (Cupid & Psyche era). I still have yet to unearth the LP itself, to see what else McLaren was up to on Fans (1984), but look forward to that archeo-pop dig on youtube before too long.


Fans_(Malcolm_McLaren_album)Here’s the album cover. What a beautiful weirdo, RIP.

(post)punk gems v. 30 — Pearl Harbor and the Explosions

Happy Wednesday and all, and I’m hoping there’s enough caffeine in the cupboards to jump-start this day on a good foot.

(Hello, Pearl. Some photo rights reserved somewhere.)

I’m staying close to Clash-de-camp this morning, with Pearl Harbor and the Explosions on the wheels of silicone. Lead singer Pearly Gates came out of the San Francisco scene, changed her surname (not imagining potential problems with google searches, of course), and got the band’s first single, “Drivin’ ” out in 1980. In that moment, the world was apparently paying attention to the SF post-punkers, and the track cracked the US top 40.

She eventually made the acquaintance of Paul Simonon, got married, hired Paul’s younger brother to play in her rockabilly-revival outfit on *Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost Too* (Warner, 1981). Amid the original compositions was “Do Your Homework,” a playful ditty in which Ms. H. schools her lover on the ABCs.

The grouches at Trouser Press didn’t offer much regard for the LPs, which is their prerogative, I suppose. The latter track certainly heralded this fun ditty by The Pipettes from a few years back.

Okay, espresso time! Enjoy!