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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Still Holding Up

My Pandoras Picture Sleeve, originally uploaded by Theresa K.

I was in the Turpentine Bros. van Friday night, going home from their gig at Union Pool (where they killed, I gotta say...just a real barn-burner) and Justin turned on the iPod they loaded up for their road trip.

I am constantly in awe of both Justin and Tara's expansive musical references as they interpret them in their own music, but on the short drive from Brooklyn to mid-town Manhattan, the Turpentine iPod - which also featured contributions from keyboard wiz, Zack Brines, brought me back to the 70s and with a lot of surprises.

Surprise number one: The Weirdos. I admit that I never really got into them back in the day. For some reason, front man John Denney just didn't do it for me. I saw them, kept going back to try to let myself be won over, but wasn't. As a result, I never took their photo. Probably should have, but c'est la vie.

Paula Pierce, of The Pandoras, pictured above, was a big fan of the Weirdos and a close friend of John's. And photos of Paula are my degree of separation from The Weirdos.

"We Got the Neutron Bomb" sounded amazing while we were driving up 6th Avenue. I had to confess right then and there that this song has really held up over the past 28 years. Maybe because the sentiment is still relevant - but definitely because the performance the band recorded truly captured the hysteria and energy of their live show. The Weirdos toured a couple times in the last year, and I missed that too, but by all accounts, their first go-round was well-attended. Rumor has it, however, that they did not offer up "Neutron Bomb," "Life of Crime" or other Weirdos favorites. Hmmmm

Next up on the iPod was The Germs' "Gimme Gimme Gimme," which I hadn't heard in ages, as most of my records are in storage. I do not remember the Germs ever sounding that clean and clear. I saw them dozens of times. They made a sloppy, chaotic noise and Darby Crash was a screamer and a shouter much more than a singer. The record showcases a band that could play in the studio and a Darby who could carry a tune. And as rough as it is, I just have a huge sentimental spot for "Forming." I feel like its midwife, I guess, so it will always be dear to me.

The Pandoras still hold up for me. I think they inspired alot of young women to express themselves without inhibitions. Though they weathered personnel changes, what really did the band in was getting a record deal on a major label.

After leaving the Pandoras, Kim Shattuck and Melanie Vammen joined forces as the Muffs. Melanie left the band, but Kim has kept it going strong the whole time. I'm proud to be a California Girl just like the Pandoras. And not just a California girl, but an LA native.

Say what you will about my birthplace, LA punk from the 70s put a distinctive stamp on the face of music and we continue to feel its influence today.

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