Day 83: A song you like that no one would expect.

“Blister In The Sun” – Violent Femmes

Blister In The SunI’m not really a punk guy. I have nothing against it, per se. Except that most “real” punk is noise designed to piss people off. (Pissing people off was known as “success” in punk parlance.) I’m not kidding, that was the point back in the day. Well, that and railing against society.

And then some punk bands figured out that you could get more people to listen (and make more money) if you actually had songs. (This was called “selling out” in punk parlance.)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and, once again, if you’re not, why not?) then it’ll probably come as no surprise that I am one of the people who gets pissed off by “real” punk. I’m not a fan of noise for noise sake (says the guy who likes “The Waiting Room” by Genesis). So the songs I like by punk bands are few and far between. Oh sure, there’s a bunch of stuff by The Clash and Green Day that I like, but it’s all the stuff after they “sold out.”

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So it would probably surprise people to know that I like “Blister In The Sun.” (I also like “Punk Rock Girl” by the Dead Milkmen. I know this surprised Laura back when we were just getting to know each other.) As punk goes, this is pretty tame stuff, I’ll admit, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

“Blister In The Sun” came into my repertoire through my friend Scott, who would also probably be in the list of people you wouldn’t expect to like the song. (I believe he’s responsible for “Punk Rock Girl,” too.) We were living together back when we first got out of school, and one day he says “You have to listen to this.” So I did. And I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I don’t think it was until the advent of Napster that I actually went out and found the song and started listening to it with any regularity.

Interesting fact about “Blister In The Sun” (Thanks go to Laura for this one): John Cusack wanted the song to be in the movie Grosse Point Blank. When it came time to do the soundtrack, the Violent Femmes could not locate the master tapes of the song, so they had to re-record it (as “Blister 2000” apparently).

Oh! Wait! While we’re at it (talking about punk songs I like, that is), I have to mention the Bruce Lee Band’s cover of They Might Be Giants’ “She’s An Angel.” The TMBG version may be my favorite song of theirs. (Frankly, it’s a tough decision.) And normally, I’m not a fan of covers when the original is a song I adore. (I wasn’t even a big fan of TMBG’s own treatment of it on Severe Tire Damage.) But there’s something about the cover that I really enjoy; it seems to lend itself to the whole punk treatment. You should check it out.

I dunno. Maybe there’s a repressed punk rocker in me who wants to get a red, spiky mohawk, pierce my nose, and run around in a black “Anarchy” T-Shirt with no sleeves, pogoing and slam dancing in the streets until finally someone screams out in pain because one of my hair spikes poked them in the eye.

But I doubt it.