Born Innocent will introduce a wider audience to two of the coolest people alive. The McDonald Brothers embody Southern California, rock and roll, and what it means to be an artist. They have influenced independent music in ways that beg to be acknowledged. From helping invent Beach Punk to influencing the Grunge and Glam Metal movements, Redd Kross have maintained the highest level of musical integrity, originality and quality for over forty years.
Surprise! Liz Phair has a new memoir coming out in October called Horror Stories. In the meantime, here’s a fan-fucking-tastic Vulture interview.
So when your indie record Guyville became a phenomenon, was that difficult?
Yes. If I’d only had success in the indie world, my music would have been contextualized more accurately. They would have understood a little more of the art project behind it. Rather than thinking that I was literally saying I wanted to be your blow-job queen, you know?
Once you’re in a wider world, and People magazine picks it up, the nuance is gone. And of course, Matador was like, “Keep going! We’re doing great!”
For The Replacements, I mean. This is the demo version of “Raised in the City,” which I hadn’t heard until Other Other Elvis hipped me to that song-ranking site. Far superior to the album version.
The band soon recorded a four-song demo tape in Mars’s basement and handed it to Peter Jesperson in May 1980. Westerberg originally handed in the tape to see if the band could perform at Jay’s Longhorn Bar, a local venue where Jesperson worked as a disc jockey. He eavesdropped as Jesperson put in the tape, only to run away as soon as the first song, “Raised in the City,” played. Jesperson played the song again and again. “If I’ve ever had a magic moment in my life, it was popping that tape in,” said Jesperson. “I didn’t even get through the first song before I thought my head was going to explode.”
Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!
“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”
I’m not sure about this movie. It’s interesting that they’re focusing on his death, but it looks like they take a lot of license and it might slip into some kind of fantasy / horror angle, so it could be really bad. I stayed in the St. Charles where JT died. Why would you go to New Orleans to get cleaned up?