AMERICAN MUSIC – March 26, 2002



RHINO to release 2CD box set!

404 Records releases VF Tribute Album “What Do WE Have To Do?”

Brian Ritchie and Gordon Gano Solo Projects

VF Compilation Distributor Updates

Hitting the Ground – The Movie


American Music version 4.0


Hi guys and welcome to the next incarnation of AMERICAN MUSIC. Please join me in a BIG round of applause for our previous moderator – Pat Wary. Thank you Pat for all of your hard work over the years! Except for a slightly new format, a new email address and a new online home for the list archives you won’t notice much of a change. I moved the Web Pages and Video Comp List info to the bottom of the email so you can now -hopefully- see the index of the issue without having to scroll. The list is still moderated and the basic rules of email etiquette do still apply. The email address to send mail to is: violentfemmeslist This email address is just for ease of use & to get a free home for the archive. The list will still be published privately – NOT through Yahoo – so please do not worry that there will be any advertising on the issues or that your email address has been posted anywhere on Yahoo’s service. I will put the list out weekly if there is at least one post or some sort of news. More posts/more news = more issues! I’m new at this so there are sure to be some mistakes. Please send email if you have any problems viewing this issue and/or if you have any requests or suggestions!


VF Box Set


RHINO is releasing a 2CD Violent Femmes box set later this year! The set will include a re-release of the first album PLUS an album of LIVE tracks recorded around the same time!


VIOLENT FEMMES Tribute Album “What Do WE Have To Do?”


The Violent Femmes, the self-titled debut from three Milwaukeeans bent on fusing folk and punk is one bad-assed record. Throughout the course of the album the lyrics move from pointed and threatening to quirky and riddled with sexual angst, touching all the spots between the former and the latter. The music itself is able to mask the tunes as near- campfire sing-alongs despite definitive avant-garde and free form moments.

With ten songs The Violent Femmes was a tough, tough record that changed the face of American underground music forever. I wasn’t there, but America was kicked in the balls hard while the Slash Records (and Fanzine) 1982 release of The Femme’s masterpiece paved the way for bands of that decade ranging from The Minutemen to The Pixies. Twenty years later their mark can be heard here in the takes that 10 bands chose to arrange and record for this compilation.

This album has profoundly affected me on a personal level. I was never a “geek” (at least in the typical sense of the word) and even if I was ever called something like that by someone, I KNEW, growing up in West Bend, Wisconsin, that the shit I was into was simply too hot for any of these rednecks or sons and daughters of rich Republicans to handle. I was never into Star Trek, I’ve never played D&D, and I’ve never read any of L. Ron Hubbard’s books (prior to Scientology). One area I did geek out in was music. Listening to a song, and saying to myself “hey, that’s a dotted rhythm”, listening to the drum tracks on my mom’s Temptations records, then to the 70’s Bee Gees records, figuring out how I thought the drums were MICed, then trying variations of techniques on my dad’s Tascaam 4-track with my friend Bobby.We were thirteen at the time and our friends thought the Femmes were funny. I thought they were fun, but they didnt’ make me laugh. I found the first Violent Femmes album to be one of the most brutal punk records made only it’s not really a punk record which makes it twice as punk.

Can you hear those dotted rhythms?

Everyone who put down a track for this comp geeks on music hard core and with no apologies. We’ve all poured over the arranging and production process, some of us dropping as much as $2200 on the recording of one song, with murderous enthusiasm and a sense of “shit, the Femmes are so bad-ass, we better not fuck it up”.

Most of the artists on board are from home, Milwaukee, and we’re all friends. From the get-go I had zero interest in making an “indie-rock” tribute comp, or a money hoarding compilation stuffed with overexposed popular artists. Neither was I in the mood to stroke some groovy old-timers’ ego by taking a nostalgic trip back down New Wave Lane. My goal was to use the most talented, dedicated, and under-appreciated musicians to create the finest compilation to come out of the Midwest. Each one of us who recorded a track on here was a child when The Violent Femmes came out. This is our shot to show what we heard in the music.

For The Femmes, it is our opportunity to pay tribute to an album that held us up through the sleepless nights, the strained relationships, and angst ridden days with a little good feeling; a subtle smirk inside reminding us that all this stress is just unnecessary baggage and there is a reason to go on. Thank you Gordon,Victor, and Brian. Enjoy the record.

This limited edition CD will be released on Sat., Dec. 22nd. The CD release party and fashion show will take place at Milwaukee’s Miramar Theatre at 8:00 pm. This all ages and drinking event, not unlike this limited edition CD, will be turning over 100% of the profits to The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW). If you won’t be able to make it to Milwaukee for the 22nd, What Do We Have to Do; A Tribute to The Violent Femmes can be purchased online!

Keeping it real has been of the utmost importance from the get go and 404 made sure that every aspect of the record wound up in the right hands. Thus, the cover art was placed in the hands of designer, Jerry Fortier, who did the photographs for the original record.

The tracks themselves were sent to Trevor Saddler (Paul McCartney and The Wings) for mastering. It was important that we go to the right source for mastering since there were nearly 10 different producers who worked on the album. Trevor is THE best in the business and that’s all there is to it.

All songs appear in the order they did on the original ten-song record. These are the players this time around:

1.Blister in the Sun-Schatzi

2.Kiss Off-The Etiquette

3.Please Do Not Go-Brief Candles

4.Add it up- Shiverhead

5.Confessions-The Danglers

6.Prove My Love-The Benjamins $

7.Promise-Eric Blowtorch

8.To the Kill-Murder in the Red Barn

9.Gone Daddy Gone-Codebreaker

10.Good Feeling-Trolley

There’s something here for everybody. We’re all super hyped up about this record’s release and 404 looks forward to using the music of The Violent Femmes to touch the lives of listeners, new and old, as well as raising money and awareness for a cause that is more than worthy.

Ordering Information:

CD is $10 postage paid via us mail.

Send check or money order to:

attn: Jeff Winkowski

P.O. Box 511844

Milwaukee, WI 53203

To order online (w/ credit card)

Here’s an email for us from 404 Records founder and tribute album organizer Jeff Winkowski:

Hey ViolentFemmesList, You Rock! I’m soo happy that you found out about my project. This release was a limited edition run of 1000 copies for the benefit of The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW).

We’ve sold almost half of that limited edition # since X-mas time with an almost non-existent budget and no distribution. It (our success) has been by Krishna’s mercy! The brother that did the artwork for the tribute (Jerry Fortier) is the same gentleman who provided the flix for the original Femmes debut. It looks true-to-form. The sound on the other hand is our own take on the music, proving the sound of the Femmes to be timelesss and open to reinterpretation.

Follow Through,

Jeff Winkowski, Brief Candles


VF Compilation Updates


There are a couple of changes to the VF Compilation Distributor List:

Glenn can still send tapes out but his email has changed. Please contact him at: glenn

Monica McMaken can still send out tapes but she has had to increase the fee because PayPal increased their fees.

You will find all the rest of the Comp Info at the bottom of this email AND on the list webpage!


Solo Projects


Brian and Gordon have both been busy recently with solo projects.

Brian has been playing drums in activist/musician Kirk Kelley’s band Paddy on the Railway. Victor DeLorenzo’s son, Malachi, plays bass for the group. POTR has played several gigs is NYC at the Sidewalk bar and the Knitting Factory.

On March 4th, Brian debuted his new band – The Brian Ritchie Shakuhachi Four – on the main stage at the Knitting Factory. Inspired by the “Coltrane Quartet” BRS4 features Brian on Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), and the great Tony Trischka on banjo.

On February 6th in NYC, Gordon participated in the Knitting Factory’s 15th year Anniversary series performing as “Gordon Gano & His Band.” Gordon also did a gig in December in NYC – a festival benefit – but I am not sure if it featured the same band.

If you went to any of these gigs – please send in a review!


Hitting the Ground


I found this link for the movie Hitting the Ground. It has a few more details. Has anyone seen the movie? I know you can buy it from this website, but it’s expensive.