Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Listening Post


Almost every kind of music has at least one or two worthwhile acts -- bands or musicians who manage to rise above the worst stereotypes of their genre and somehow "get it right."

Even at the height of its popularity, hair-metal seemed destined to become a punchline, the kind of thing 35-year-olds would one day look back on and wonder what the hell they were thinking. For the most part it's earned every bit of mockery heaped upon it since its mercy killing at the just hand of Nirvana back in the early 90s.

But buried deep within an overall brand that prided itself on being as ridiculously clownish and developmentally stunted as possible, there were still a few gems to be found.

Faster Pussycat was one of them.

Although they looked like just about every other band drawn from late-80s L.A.'s seemingly bottomless vat of sleaze/glam-rock wanna-bes, their unconventional influences and willingness to experiment made them stand out.

They embraced hip-hop, industrial and even the early Seattle feel of bands like Mother Love Bone long before any of it was cool -- sometimes at the risk of alienating their established audience. (I saw them live back in 1990; they were practically booed offstage for daring to intro a rock show with NWA's Gangsta Gangsta.)

Faster Pussycat is still around, in an updated incarnation, and continues to make pretty decent music.

This though, stands as one of the most inspired covers around -- and a reminder of why I liked the band in the first place.

You're So Vain.

4 comments:

slouchmonkey said...

I knew somewhere in you there was a hair band afficienado...you are correct sir, most of these bands were trite and lacking in substance. But, some of them got it right on a few tracks and made some kick ass rock n' roll.

Manny said...

Yeah, but can they get 98% on Medium on Coheed and Cambria's "Welcome Home" on Rock Band? Didn't think so, punk.

Riles said...

It's odd how these things happen.

After years away in a box, last week I dusted off my Faster cassette tape and popped it in the player. I then open up the LA Times and find an article about hair bands still playing and fighting over name rights (Faster, LA Guns, RATT). Now you're talking about them.

I think I'm being watched.

Geetch said...

If Boy George and Eliza Dushku had their DNA stolen by the mad scientist from "South Park," the lead singer would be the result.