List archive online at http://www.oocities.com/violentfemmeslist
TOUR DATES(* = new dates):
*LIVE on CONAN O’ BRIEN – Tuesday September 3 *
Friday, September 6, 2002 SAN DIEGO STREET SCENE San Diego, CA
*Saturday, September 28, 2002 DOWNTOWN CORPUS CHRISTI Corpus Christi, TX
The Femmes will be the musical guest on CONAN O’ BRIEN Tuesday, September 3! Conan’s
show actually airs at 12:35 am so – technically – they will be on TV on Wednesday morning.
The show will be replayed later Wednesday night on Comedy Central at 7pm and then again
on Thursday at 1pm. Tune in!
IN THIS ISSUE:
Hitting the Ground HOB Show Review New Solo Album
The non-Violent side of Gordon Gano Maxim Deluxe Review MTV Hitting the Ground
RE: Last Issue
Hitting the Ground
Hey there, Femmes fanatics! It’s August 24…do you have your copy of Gordon’s new CD “Hitting
the Ground” yet? After waiting for 6 months and driving one and
a half hours to Little Rock (because my local “music store” didn’t even order one copy), I finally
have mine. I’ve already memorized a couple of songs!
If you’ve all gotten a chance to hear it yet, answer this question. Is it just me, or do the
first few bars of the title track sound a lot like the Femmes song “Special”?
Who cares, I still like it. I have discovered that the songs ” Catch ‘Em in the Act” and “Run”
could be very detrimental to a clean driving record…be warned if you
listen to this CD while driving. You’ll suddenly realize that your foot is on the floor, the car
is going 85mph, and the speed limit is only 65mph.
Gordon did a most excellent job in pairing the songs with the performers. After listening to it,
I couldn’t imagine Mary Lou Lord doing any other song but “Oh
Wonder”. Each song is perfect for that particular vocalist.
My only complaint is that it’s not long enough! I was able to listen it to it 3 times on the trip
back from Little Rock. I want more! Are you listening, Gordon? Please,
I think it’s time to put out that truly solo album you’ve been joking about….
HOB Show Review
I had the chance to see to “old school” Violent Femmes when they made
their way to the Anaheim House of Blues last week. I had heard that they were going to only play music from the “original band” period and they did. It was a different show from any other VF show I’ve seen in the last 10 years and it began right from the start when they opened
with “Look Like That” and went right into “Flamingo Baby” complete with all
three members playing with one leg up in the air.
They looked like they were having more fun than I’ve seen them have in
years. The last time I saw Victor perform with the band he just wasn’t into
it. He wasn’t moving around, he had no energy and I even remember one night
when he started playing the wrong song twice and Gordon gave him the death
stare. All must be forgiven.
Victor danced and pranced around the stage, made lame jokes and played
with incredible enthusiasm. He even cracked Gordon up by introducing him as
the lead singer and player of the (exaggerated) ELECTRONIC GEEETAR!
He also cracked up the SRO audience up by announcing Gordon’s guitar
solos as he would begin playing them. (Professional Guitar Solo number one)
A violinist came out and played along for “Jesus Walkin on the Water”
and “Good Feeling.” The joking continued as Brian started “I Hear the
Rain” but Victor forgot to jump in. Gordon just sat back and started laughing as
all three of them playfully argued over who screwed up the song. Brian
ended the mock argument by banging the opening cords of “Blister in the Sun” and
everyone screamed in approval.
There was more hilarity as Gordon pointed out during a 12 minute
version of “Black Girls” that it sounded a lot like “It’s a Small World After All”
and they broke into two choruses of the Disney tune which was made even
funnier by the fact that the HOB is located at Disneyland. He also gave a
guitar lesson showing the cords he plays during “Gone Daddy Gone” while Brian
gets to fool around on the xylophone.
There is no other way to explain a VF show other than to say it was
fun. Those guys looked like they were having such a great time, I hope they
are able to sit down in a room and write music together again. I think we
would all enjoy that.
New solo album hits spot for Violent Femmes singer
Joshua Klein August 18, 2002
The Violent Femmes got their first big break in the early 1980s playing an impromptu concert for a crowd lined up to see a Pretenders concert. Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott liked what he heard and invited the band to play on that night’s bill. Shortly after, the Femmes headed to the studio with little money and fewer expectations to record what would become their quirky 1982 self-titled debut album. Now 20 years later, the “Violent Femmes” album has become such an important artifact that it was recently re-released on Rhino records with an extra 26 demos, rarities and live tracks, more than tripling the modest disc’s original 10 songs. The Violent Femmes play the Goose Island Brewery Festival Sunday. Neurotic lead singer Gordon Gano is obviously pleased by the band’s slow-burn success. “It’s the only record to have ever sold a million copies without having been on the top 200 [sales chart],” recalls Gano, speaking from New York recently. “But listen to this. Years ago, I met a huge fan who knew every song on the album, said it was their favorite, and then they asked me what the cover looked like! They had only heard it on cassette tapes that people passed around at parties. And this was way before the Internet and computers.” Even so, Gano is reluctant to spend too much time talking about something he did two decades ago. “If it had been up to me, this new `Violent Femmes’ [double-disc set] wouldn’t exist, because I don’t have any interest in myself 20 years ago,” says Gano. “I was really impressed with it, but I had to force myself to listen to it once and I don’t anticipate ever listening to it again,” admits Gano with a big laugh. “`Hitting the Ground’ is what I’m excited about.” “Hitting the Ground” (Instinct) is Gano’s first solo record, but it’s an idiosyncratic debut. Gano only plays on about half the record and sings a few songs. The rest of the lead vocals are contributed by friends, big names like PJ Harvey, They Might Be Giants, Frank Black and Mary Lou Lord, as well as his formative heroes John Cale and Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground. “Everybody was different,” Gano says. “On a few songs there was a completed track, and a guide vocal, but some people stayed closer to the guide vocal and some people didn’t. Others, like They Might Be Giants, just re-recorded the whole thing, top to bottom. And then some other songs, like the Mary Lou Lord track, we worked on the arrangements together.” Even Gano’s sister, Cynthia Gayneau, gets a song, “Merry Christmas Brother,” which was originally intended for another, more unlikely collaborator. “My first choice was actually Joan Baez,” Gano says. “We had done a show together — with John Cale, actually — and Joan and I really clicked. We wrote another song together, which we have tucked away, but we couldn’t get her on the album.” Gano is just happy to get “Hitting the Ground” off the ground. “We had no budget, so people did it just because they wanted to do it. It was so simple and nice,” he says. “The initial process was just so involved that there was no time to sit back and pat yourself on the back. “Right now, the important thing is that I can go into a record store and it’s there. Maybe later I’ll have that feeling of accomplishment.” Copyright (c) 2002, Chicago Tribune
The non-Violent side of Gordon Gano
Femmes frontman has reissue, solo album out
August 14, 2002 Posted: 10:29 PM HKT (1429 GMT)
(CNN) — Gordon Gano doesn’t really want to talk about the past. After all, it was a long time ago.
Still, along with his new solo album, “Hitting the Ground” (Instinct), there’s a deluxe reissue of the influential first Violent Femmes album, “Violent Femmes” (Rhino), complete with demos, B-sides and a second disc of live tracks. It was his Femmes bandmates, Victor DeLorenzo and Brian Ritchie, who were responsible for adding the archival material, he adds. DeLorenzo pushed the project, and he and Ritchie went through the old tapes. Gano is proud of the record and the impact it’s had, but he’d just as soon focus on the new. “It was sent to me and it was good,” Gano, 39, says in a phone interview from New York. “And I think it’s still good. [But] if it were up to me, this wouldn’t exist. It would just be the first record without the demos.” He pauses. “I don’t take much pleasure reflecting on 20 years ago.” Maybe not. But that first Femmes record influenced countless bands, from Green Day to Limp Bizkit, with its evocation of teen anger and angst. A fringe item when it first appeared on the Los Angeles punk label Slash Records, it’s now sold almost 2 million copies. “They made music for misfit teenagers in its purest form because they themselves didn’t fit into any mold,” writes Rhino’s Marc Salata in his producer’s note. “There is a new busload of misfits every year, and this album still speaks to them.” Gano himself remembers being influenced by Lou Reed, doyen of the disaffected, but also by AM radio — and its tightening boundaries. “I remember sometimes getting frustrated by radio,” he says. “Time was when I really enjoyed radio — when Al Green was having all his hits. … [But] I remember hearing radio, and feeling … ‘This is no good.’ ” By then, the New York-born Gano had picked up a guitar and moved with his family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was there, in 1981, he met bassist Ritchie and drummer DeLorenzo. The three had a distinctive sound — Gano’s acoustic guitar, Ritchie’s oversized acoustic bass, and DeLorenzo’s stripped-down drum kit — supporting Gano’s songs about ticked-off teenagers stuck in a world they wanted to understand but couldn’t really stand. The three busked on the city’s streets until one day, the famous story goes, they were seen by Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, who was in town for a show. He invited the rest of his band to watch, and Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde invited the Femmes to open. “Violent Femmes” came out in 1983. A number of songs — “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” “Add It Up” — picked up airplay on college radio, but the band was like a secret in the early days. Ensuing albums — “Hallowed Ground,” “The Blind Leading the Naked,” “3,” “Why Do Birds Sing?” — established them as alternative godfathers but didn’t get them anywhere on commercial radio. ‘The frustration’s really still there’ But teens always understood where the band was coming from. And you never really leave that part of your personality behind, says Gano. “When someone’s no longer a teenager, the frustration’s really still there,” he says. “It’s a myth that you hit a certain age and suddenly become an adult.” Gano’s new album, which came out Tuesday, finds him negotiating those pitfalls of adulthood with the help of several notable friends, including PJ Harvey, They Might Be Giants, John Cale, and Lou Reed. (Reed and Cale, the Velvet Underground co-founders, have a prickly relationship and did not play on the same song.) He goes through a number of musical styles, from a basic punk sound to straight-ahead gospel. Faith-rooted music has been a longtime staple of his songwriting — Gano was raised a devout Christian — but has met with differing responses, he says. “Some people say, ‘I can’t listen to Christian music, but I can listen to your songs.’ But other people don’t like it,” he said. Gano plans to tour in the fall, doing some solo shows and some with the reunited Femmes. No doubt he’ll run into some fans and magicians who were influenced by the blunt lyrics and straightforward chord structures of that first Femmes record. “It’s been inspiring to musicians. People tell me, ‘I’m a musician because of you,’ ” he says. “That’s good. People see me play and say, ‘I can do that.’ ”
MAXIM Deluxe Review
I was browsing through the new issue of Maxim Blender, and found that they had done a full review of the re-release of the Femmes first album. They gave it a very good score (four stars out of five) and had some flattering things so say about the boys. Anyway, just thought I’d share!
MTV Hitting the Ground
RE: Last Issue
Just want to say,
> I’ve been a fan since I first heard a copy of a copy of copy (literally) of the first album. It was recorded over someone’s Thompson Twins tape. It was great. Some else lent me Hallowed Ground and I was sold forever. And this is before I bought album #1.
You are my femme twin. That almost exactly how I got into the Femmes.
> I’ve got a juicy 32x TDK burner that I’m willing to be part of the tree with.
Ditto, I have a cd burner and would be willing to help out if I ever figure how to work the son of a bitch without it it quitting in the middle of burning a cd. I have Violence in the streets on Vinyl and would be willing to donate it If I could figure out how to rig my computer to a turn table.
>The first album was great, the second, better, I think Guy was vital for the femmes evolution, and I hope that continue forward instead of trying to recreate more first album (unless thats what they really want).
I agree. I don’t want to hear a 39 year old man singing about the prom. The only reason I went to mine was because my mother made me. And I am still bitter about it almost 7 years later, but anyway. Guy I think was good for the band moving a head. But I really missed the dimension the Victor brought to the band. I LOVED the Blessed Faustina. It was great album that Victor should be very proud of. If you listen to that, then listen to the femmes albums their is no question that he brings a much need musical dimension to this band. Plus having seen them just one time with Victor and 11 times with Guy, although Guy is a technically a much better drummer, I would exchange the two totals because Victor obviously loves to play live. And I think it infects the other two. Its the first show I saw where Gordon actually smiled the whole way through the show. Brian was well Brian.
>Listen to viva closely,American music is great, but he’s forcing it. As fans, I fear its our fault.
Maybe Maybe not. I guess it depends on your point of view. You and I own all their albums. We know all those songs but if you take the average person that goes to a femmes show they probably own only the first album and add it up. As I think album sales will show. I guess it’s a case of majority rules, there are more of them then us so they get to hear what they want to hear and we’ll have to deal with it. Maybe we should gather up some money and pick a location and put together a list show where only subscribers can go and BITS is not allowed to be played. This is the closest we are all going to get to a VF fan club and other fan clubs have gatherings so why the fork not.
> The integrity of the femmes music is what I value, new times was beautiful, I agree a refreshing change. To this day it is still my favorite album. Songs like “This Island Life” are my favorites among all the songs Gordon has written. rock!!!!! was raw(mmmmmm…)
Very raw. Seeing them perform “Sweet World of Angels” live in Milwaukee during the Viva Wisconsin tour was one of my most favorite concert moments ever. They started to play it and I was like “No! It Can’t be. YES!! IT IS!!” I thought I would never hear them play that song live ever. Fantastic fucking fantastic I tell you..
> Was freakmagnet an attempt to appease interscope (or was it the femmes?) Did they only release their real goods with beyond? why did all i want get edited up on the final freak magnet? Why did they juice up two Rock!!!!! songs for freak magnet. In the end, I love freak magnet, I love the direction they are/were going, i love going crazy during I’m Bad at> “what i would do are the very …..”.
Freak Magnet was ok. I wasn’t to fond of it. I think all that time without a record label muddled the progression of the band musically. It’s not the album I expected to hear after New Times and Rock!!!!!
> I hope more comes soon with
I agree! I don’t care about record label bullshit, I don’t care about contracts, recoding studios, producers or PR reps whatever forget all the bows frills and screaming whistles just give me something to whistle. If I want a song and dance and some advanced press I will have one of my friends set me up on a blind date.
> vic, with/without gordon, etc…
No, No way no how no when. This is it. This IS the Femmes. I don’t care what anyone else has said about it. Not after having seen the three original members play together. I can not even begin to rap my brain around the idea of it being any other way. It’s like department store brand verses name brand. Sure it’s cheaper but it just doesn’t taste the same somehow.
>more hod, less hod, larger drum kit, smaller drum kit, acoustic and simple, avant garde and jamming (is there many better jam sessions than the one in don’t start me on the liquor?) whatever they want… just stay real, i hope they always do it for themselves,
Preach on brother.
> i love the american music list.
Yes, somehow it seems better lately can’t put my finger on why.
> lets spread some femmes around.. i’ve got some blank cds and writer waiting. let me know what I can do…
Count me in too. : )
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