Friday, February 5, 2010

Would you like to come back as a laboratory rat?

Way back in the day, I decided my cause of choice was animal rights. I don't know why. Wait, yes I do. Besides already hating meat, my official B-52's fanclub newsletter informed me that Kate Pierson was arrested for storming the offices of Vogue and protesting wearing fur (a New York Post headline read: "POLICE THROW PIERSON INTO LOVE SHACK" and no, I wish I was clever enough to make that up). I was enthralled. This phase lasted for a while, and while I still think that wearing fur, cosmetic experimentation, and vivisection are all disgusting and reprehensible, I'm certainly a lot more laid back about the whole thing these days (I still don't like meat though). When PETA and Rhino Records released a benefit CD together aptly titled Tame Yourself, I jumped at the bit.

Look at how early 90s epic this shit is. With the exception of the B-52's, who simply included a live performance of the classic "Quiche Lorraine," all the artists recorded new songs with messages of animal activism. Although the spirit of the record was respectable and the whole thing entirely well intentioned, it was a mess. The Indigo Girls AND Michael Stipe? No one can handle that. Lyrics like "Tame yourself tame/Blame yourself for you are to blame/Shame shame and with that bigger brain/You must tame yourself" kind of make me cringe to remember 1992 me thinking that this album was a stroke of genius. Yes, I thought the rhythm guitarist from the Go-Go's singing a song called "Fur" was genius. I was shocked and saddened when I couldn't buy a whole album of music by the band Fetchin' Bones. I was what you would call, a huge asshole. Self hatred aside, I found this CD in my house recently, and one great thing came out of this discovery: Lene Lovich. I'll be writing about her this weekend for the 303 countdown, but my discovery of this strange beast came from this very CD where she dueted with Erasure for the dancey number "Rage," and also with Nina Hagen on "Don't Kill the Animals ('91 Mix)." It should be noted that there are no other versions of "Don't Kill the Animals" other than the one mixed in 1991, but that is beside the point. According to an interview Lene says that she and Nina "wrote the song in about five minutes, it was actually really easy" which will soon be utterly shocking news to you as its lyrics are about as moving as a Puccini opera, and it utilizes (read: rips off) the beat from "Top That," the rap from Teen Witch. "How can that be bad?" I hear you asking. It can't. The video has Nina Hagen wearing a tail. I can't say anything to top that, so here it is:

Laugh at me, and my nine year old taste in music, I implore you. When my best friend's mother found out about my penchant for this CD however, she didn't laugh at me. She gave me Lene Lovich's Stateless on vinyl and changed my life forever (thank god).

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