“Holiday in Cambodia” / “Police Truck” – Dead Kennedys (1980)


“‘Holiday in Cambodia’ is a song by American punk rock band Dead Kennedys. The record was released as the group’s second single in May 1980 on Optional Music with ‘Police Truck‘ as its B-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band’s first album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980); the original recording of the song, as well as the single’s B-side, are available on the rarities album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (1987). The photograph in the front cover of the single was taken from the Thammasat University massacre in Thailand, and depicts a member of the right-wing crowd beating a hanged corpse of a student protester with a metal chair. The song is an attack on a stereotypical, moralizing, privileged American college students. Its lyrics offer a satirical view of young, well-to-do and self-righteous Americans, contrasting such a lifestyle with the genocidal dictatorship of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot and his Communist Party of Kampuchea (mentioned in the lyrics), which is estimated to have been responsible for the deaths of some two million people in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. The re-recording of this song that appears on Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables is different from the single version, being fifty-five seconds longer, at a higher tempo and featuring an extended, surf-influenced intro, as well as an extended bridge and guitar solo. …”
Wikipedia
Rock History 101: The Dead Kennedy’s
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: “Holiday In Cambodia”, Police Truck – (Live at DMPOs on Broadway, SF)

Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)


Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was first published in October 1981 by Ticknor & Fields. The book compiles approximately 3,000 of Christgau’s capsule album reviews, most of which were originally written for his ‘Consumer Guide’ column in The Village Voice throughout the 1970s. The entries feature annotated details about each record’s release and cover a variety of genres related to rock music. Many of the older reviews were rewritten for the guide to reflect his changed perspective and matured stylistic approach, informed by an interest in the aesthetic and political dimensions of popular music and a desire to communicate his ideas to readers in an entertaining, provocative way. The guide was critically well received, earning praise for its extensive discography, Christgau’s judgment and colorful writing. Reviewers noted his opinionated tastes, analytical commentary, pithy language, and critical quips. The book appeared on several expert lists of popular music literature. …”
Wikipedia
Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies

Brian Eno: Taking Manhattan (By Strategy)


“It could be argued that Brian Eno is the most consistently creative figure in rock history, someone whose innovation rate over the decades eclipses even that of his shape-shifting collaborators David Bowie and David Byrne. From his disruptive presence in Roxy Music to his alternately quirky and contemplative solo albums, from inventing ambient music to his recent explorations in ‘generative music,’ it’s a career that has, well, careered, zigzagging from extreme to extreme between pop and antipop, between febrile rhythm and near-immobile tranquility. Then consider his panoply of partnerships with other artists – Devo, Talking Heads, U2 and John Cale, to name just a few – as producer or collaborator/catalyst. Eno is also a musical philosopher, someone whose interviews, critical writings and sundry musings about sound, art and culture deserve to be compiled into a book. …”
Red Bull Music Academy Daily (Video)

The Fleshtones – Roman Gods (1982)


“In the 1980s, of the dozens of bands who were mining the sounds of ’60s garage rock for inspiration, few were smarter or wittier about it than the Fleshtones; lots of folks might have sounded more like the Knaves or the Remains or whatever band they chose to embrace as a sonic template, but Peter Zaremba, Keith Streng, and their partners in Super Rock were able to communicate heart, soul, and actual thought instead of a mere awestruck nostalgia. The Fleshtones could also rock pretty hard, and were willing to mix up their influences a bit (not many nuevo garage bands would pick Lee Dorsey as the source of their album’s sole cover tune). There’s never been a real substitute for seeing the Fleshtones live (not even their live album quite fills the quota), but Roman Gods does a fine job of getting their ideas down on plastic with muscle, enthusiasm, and creative thinking, and it boasts several of their best songs, including the hard-charging ‘R-I-G-H-T-S,’ the moody ‘Shadow Line,’ the rollicking ‘I’ve Gotta Change My Life’ (good advice!), and the title cut, easily the finest Kingsmen tune ever written by some guys from New York 20 years after ‘Louie Louie’ was a hit. It’s cool, it’s not dumb, and it sounds great at a party — Roman Gods is everything you’ve ever wanted in a garage revival album, and more! ”
allmusic
W – Roman Gods
Beat Patrol
YouTube: Roman Gods (Live)
YouTube: Roman Gods – The Fleshtones (Full Album)

A Conservative Impulse in the New Rock Underground


August 18, 1975: Arabian swelter, and with the air-conditioning broken, CBGB resembled some abattoir of a kitchen in which a bucket of ice is placed in front of a fan to cool the room off. To no avail of course, and the heat had perspiration glissading down the curve of one’s back, yeah, and the cruel heat also burned away any sense of glamour. After all, CBGB’s Bowery and Bleecker location is not the garden spot of lower Manhattan, and the bar itself is an uneasy oasis. On the left, where the couples are, tables; on the right, where the stragglers, drinkers, and the love-seekers are, a long bar; between the two, a high double-backed ladder, which, when the room is really crowded, offers the best view. … Now consider the assembly-line presentation of bands with resonant names like Movies, Tuff Darts, Blondie, Stagger Lee, the Heartbreakers, Mike de Ville, Dancer, the Shirts, Bananas, Talking Heads, Johnny’s Dance Band, and Television; consider that some nights as many as six bands perform, and it isn’t hard to comprehend someone declining to sit through a long evening. …”
Voice

Recommended Records Sampler (1982)


Wikpedia – “The Recommended Records Sampler is a sampler double album by various artists released by English independent record label Recommended Records on LP in 1982. It contains tracks by musicians and groups on the Recommended Records catalogue at the time. This sampler differed from the traditional record label sampler in that all the pieces here were newly recorded by the artists and, at the time, had never been released elsewhere. (Many of the tracks were later re-released on the artists’ own albums.) In 1985 Recommended Records launched the RēR Quarterly, a ‘quarterly’ sound-magazine, which continued this approach of releasing previously unreleased work on a compilation album.”
Wikipedia
Die Or D.I.Y.?
YouTube: Recommended Records Sampler

Playing with a Different Sex – Au Pairs (1981)


“Pointed, biting and sharp without collapsing into either heavy-handed sloganeering or vitriolic gnashing; the sexual and gender disparity and displeasure that form the back-bone of Playing with a Different Sex’ intention are as dexterous as they are striking. Faced with both a lack of recognition during their tenure, and the fact that these lyrics are as depressively on-topic today as they were in 1981, the LP becomes a sort of self-enclosed watershed, an intimate catharsis for a woman made as infuriated, discouraged and tired as a being can get. Most every erotic and political aspect that plagues modern co-existence gets a nod here – open relationships forged under false pretenses, erotic sojourners posing as prime fetishists, domestic abuse, emotional manipulation, the cult of dieting, sex turned into little more than another suburban chore and on and on, all of which reaches a boiling point on the unflinching and jagged ‘Armagh,’ with the lead singer Lesley Woods chanting ‘We don’t torture!’ as she dives headlong into the rumours of rape and debasement that swirled around Northern Irish political women’s prisons, an issue raised and re-raised that ultimately gained no worldwide exposure. The track, made insidiously catchy by an elastic bass-line that flings itself around searing guitar salvos is a shuddering marvel, earworm writing and grimly meaningful subject matter pulsing away in obscene apposition. …”
Sputnik Music
W – Playing with a Different Sex
Genius
YouTube: Set Up – OGWT (Live), Come Again
YouTube: Playing with a Different Sex (Full Vinyl)