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Friday, March 23, 2012

Never Heard of 'Em: The Cramps

Posted by on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Editor's note: Anna Minard, the latest addition to The Stranger's editorial gaggle, has never heard any music aside from Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Thus, every Wednesday, we present Never Heard of 'Em, in which we force her to listen to and write her impressions about random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.

The Cramps
Bad Music for Bad People
(I.R.S. Records)

(Late because I am a lazy jerk. And special deadlines or something.)

cramps_bad_music.jpg
When I told people I was doing the Cramps for my next Never Heard of 'Em, they had opinions, most of which started with laughing. But since I am not allowed to know anything, I had to plug my ears and hum until they shut up. They're excited to tell me their opinions once I tell you my uninformed one, so here goes.

First impression: I can't tell if they're joking? I think they're joking. This sounds like a punk version of the B-52s to me (I still don't know what "punk" means, by the way, other than "kinda shitty at music but in a good way." So that's probably wrong, they're probably rock or something.*) But they definitely sound like they're having a ton of fun. There is a song about a fly that I think is neat.

After listening to the whole album about five times in a row: This reminds me of those kinds of people who really make you laugh, and they're really funny and weird and cool, but you can never tell if they're laughing at you or with you, or if they're faking the whole persona and when they get home they're all depressed, and so you're always a little bit on guard around them. Those people are great once you're friends with them, but when you meet them for the first time at a party it's just really confusing. I think I have to make friends with this album so I can relax and enjoy it. (Also, god damn it, cool-kid music, STOP YELLING AT ME!)

Best tracks: Track 2, "New Kind of Kick," which has the most fucking awesome lyrics ("Life is short/And filled with stuff/Don't know what for/I ain't had enough" and "Like baby needs mom/Like Suzy needs dick/This baby need/Some new kind of kick"), and Track 8, "Human Fly." The fly song is perfect for me, because I like science and spelling and jokes, and this song has all three of them.

Track that I imagine people really like but I think is annoying because he has something in his mouth the whole time, ohmygod please take it out: "She Said."

Track that actually makes me feel a serious feeling: "Love Me" (dude, are you crying??)

I give this an "I'm laughing but later I'm gonna have to ask my friend what was so funny" out of 10.

*The internet speaks: "punk," "garage punk," "fuck punk," "rock 'n' roll," "rockabilly," "psychobilly." Also, hilariously, their website says this: "It would be almost impossible to have never heard of the Cramps."

Listen to "Human Fly" after the cut.

 

Comments (7) RSS

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LEE. 1
Oh crap...you nailed my personality there in the third paragraph.

Also, I'm glad I finally got to see The Cramps back maybe ten years ago, but even by then Lux was old and nowhere near as agile and active as friends who had seen them back in the 80's and 90's had described to me. He was still definitely entertaining, weirdly charismatic and as hilariously insane as I could have expected. RIP.
Posted by LEE. on March 24, 2012 at 1:14 AM · Report this
2
This column has replaced the beloved, long-running Stranger standard, "Gay Men React to Watching Football for the First Time" and it's only slightly funnier.
Posted by Troll Recognize Troll on March 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
cosby 3
"I can't tell if they're joking? I think they're joking."

They are joking. The joke is on the audience. They laugh at their fans from beyond the grave.
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on March 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
bella 4
"I think they're joking. This sounds like a punk version of the B-52s to me (I still don't know what "punk" means, by the way, other than "kinda shitty at music but in a good way." So that's probably wrong, they're probably rock or something.*) But they definitely sound like they're having a ton of fun."

You totally get it.
They are joking, they are kinda punk rock, and they are DEFINITELY having a ton of fun. Cramps live = one of the best shows I've seen, and I've seen a thousand and something. Also, they are incredibly nice people.
Posted by bella http://twitter.com/littlewords on March 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
ballard dude 5
I had the great pleasure to see the Cramps live, supporting the 'Stay Sick' album @ The Moore, late '80's. Best moment in the show... Lux Interior wearing a silver jock/thong, stiletto heels (and nothing else), and basically squatting at the edge of the stage while singing and having the fans reach up and cup his balls. Pure gold.
Posted by ballard dude on March 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
ballard dude 6
For me, one of the best 2 or 3 shows I've seen ever...
Posted by ballard dude on March 26, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this
7
they are totally "wtf?' absolutely amazing in my opinion. live, they're the shit. serious rock and roll. if a band doesn't have a sense of humor wether they show it or not, what the fuck are they being paid musicians for?
Posted by lunch and stuff on April 4, 2012 at 10:02 PM · Report this

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