Monday, July 04, 2005

crows over a parking lot

The Weirdos were part of the original wave of American punk rock from Los Angeles in the late 70s. They were DIY to the bone and not afraid to experiment with ideas of how things were supposed to be done. While purely inspired by the punk rock of London (and NYC), they did not choose to merely follow that path for their whole existence. Warhead was the short-lived experimental side project of John and Dix Denney, the brothers who founded the Weirdos and boy is it ever a wild departure.

Much like the Residents or Einsturzende Neubauten or music concrete, their's was not a music of instruments as much as it was of sounds. Washing machine percussion loops, tape slices, dying synths, and feedback. And it seems they had an agenda as well. The LP artwork is a chaotic black and white collage of weaponry, corporation, and slices of modern life reassembled as Wheres Waldo's nightmare. Song titles like Hey Big Oil, Warhead, and Destruction makes it sound like they weren't all that please with some things going on in the world. The LP was put out by Contagion Records in 1981 and the album title of If-Then-Else hints to the dystopian robotic future philosophy where emotion is stripped out and we only follow computer logic. Okay, maybe this all is taking it too far, but what do you expect on the 4th of July in America? Gentle, kind reminders of yesteryear? Grandpa at the war memorial with his red, white and blue ribbon? That's what Sweet Georgia Brown is for...

Warhead - Hey Big Oil
Warhead - Warhead
Sweet Georgia Brown (made more famous by the Harlem Globetrotters)


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