Friday, January 11, 2008

Black Randy bio.

I wrote this for LastFm before discovering that they had a separate entry for Black Randy under Black Randy & the Metrosquad:

Among the most obnoxious representatives of early Los Angeles punk in the late 1970s, possible-sociopath Black Randy released only a handful of drolly confrontational records on the legendary Dangerhouse label (which he partly owned) before his death in 1988 from HIV at the age of 36. He's often remembered more as a social antagonist, cruel prankster, drug addict, and prostitute than he is as a musician, but there's glorious and elemental punk rock in his hard-to-find records. Randy's songs are gleeful mockeries of sacred cows, cool people, and social niceties, as well as cheery celebrations of hated figures like Idi Amin and Chairman Mao, but are just as often venemous attacks on the square world and those who live according to its rules. His attitude to the world is best summed up in "Trouble at the Cup," in which he spits, "Schools and factories make me sick / I'd rather stand here and sell my dick" before offhandedly remarking, "I want to shoot a cop / I want to see him die" in the same blasé tone as the rest of his recorded output.

Funky, offensive, and scatophilic, Black Randy backed his bored, atonal vocals with the tight scribble-funk of The Metro Squad (which featured members of the Randoms, the Eyes, and the Dils). Randy drew on funk, soul, and R&B conventions even as he lovingly mocked those styles (as in his covers of "Say It Loud! (I'm Black and I'm Proud!)," sneeringly hijacked to name off and deride figures of punk rock royalty like Dee Dee Ramone and Joe Strummer, and "Theme From Shaft"). His succinct songs are punk less because they're sonically aggressive, fast, or loud, but rather by virtue of their willingness to attack and offend for fun. Black Randy was all attitude, and he sounds like it.


And on a semi-related note, here's a video of The Screamers doing "122 Hours of Fear" in a studio somewhere:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I know, it's been an egregious wait for a new post. I just got back from a long vacation with my family and family-in-law and am at the moment decompressing, but in the interim, you should probably watch this recent video of Milo Auckerman (of the Descendents) backed by the Lemonheads doing an able cover of The Angry Samoans' "Right Side of My Mind":

Milo w/ Lemonheads

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