Compartmentalizing is the only way to fathom the outside world.
Mom is a Spawn Point. Dad is a Seed Pouch.
Hippies were Hygiene Imbalanced. Kids are Genetic Carriers.
Wives are Pornography Substitutes. Husbands are Stunted Children.
I am an Idiot.
You get the picture.
Genre-tagging is even better.
Just ask every record reviewer and insecure fan out there. They'll tell you.
gen re |ˈ zhänrə| noun a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter. tag |tag| noun 1 a label attached to someone or something for the purpose of identification or to give other information.
Suburban Lawns (1978-83), eccentric No... er, New Wave Avant Art Post Punk Rockers from Long Beach, California, caused a minor splash in 1979-80 with their quirky 'Gidget Goes to Hell' single. Featured on Saturday Night Live and Night Flight during the early 80s - and name-checked by noted zither picker Frank Appaz as the only punk single of note, the band was strangely unable to capitalize on the golden goose exposure.
Such is the fickle nature of the entertainment beast.
- (L-R) Vex Billingsgate (bass), Su Tissue (vocals), John Gleur (guitar), c.1981
Perhaps lead singer Su Tissue's Nico-friendly Ice Princess stage presence was too jagged for the 80s kids to dance to. Perhaps featuring Su Tissue straight-through, rather than having her sharing vocal duties with guitarist Frankie Ennui and bassist Vix Billingsgate, would have sharpened the hook of the gimmick. Perhaps the band became too wedged in the genre cracks for record executives and their marketing departments to swallow; Were they an Art Band? Wacky New Wavers? Punks?
They sound new wave, Bob.
Kids seem to buy new wave. It's the future.
I don't know, Don. How many units did Devo push last month?
And what's with the skirt? Is she German, or something?
German doesn't sell.
- Drawing of Su Tissue by Mark Vallen (pencil), Slash Magazine 1979
Were I to venture a guess, I would say they were too schizo for public consumption. Their music veered all over the new wave herding range - jumping from Devoesqe to X-Ray Spexish to shades of The Specials' ska... with Tissue supplied vocals that combined Yoko Ono warbles, Ari Up hiccups, and Nina Hagen pronunciations.
And that's just the first album.
(Look Ma, I'm a record reviewer!!)
In other words, they were great.
I'm a Janitor. Oh my genitals. Oh my genitals. I'm a Janitor.All action is reaction. Expansion. Contraction.Man the manipulator.Underwater. Does it matter? Antimatter. Nuclear Reactor...Boom boom boom boom.I guess everything is irrelative.- Janitor
After the 80's Compilation gravestone Gidget Goes to Hell was planted, the band would self-release another single, 'Janitor' b/w 'Protection' (Suburban Industrial #02, 1980), before signing with I.R.S. Records for a full-length self-titled LP, 'Suburban Lawns' (IRS #SP70024, 1981), and a swan-song EP, 'Baby' (IRS #70503, 1983).
During the hiatus between 'Suburban Lawns' and 'Baby', Su Tissue recorded an excellent piano & voice solo EP in 1982, Salon De Musique.
To further confuse the issue, Tissue's solo work is as far out (and different) than anything the Suburban Lawns recorded. It is also just as good.
And that is where the vinyl trail goes cold.
- Gidget Goes to Hell/My Boyfriend 7" single, Suburban Industrial #01, 1979
A highly recommended band. It is very rare when a musician's eclecticism pays off. Suburban Lawns are one of the few. Their work is at first confounding - but once you allow it to sink in, you'll soon find yourself bopping in appreciation.
I would suggest going through their discography in chronological order, if only to chart their progression as artists. But you can not go wrong either way.
At the very least, perhaps you'll find them worthy enough to share with your friends.
Links of Interest:
* Gidget Goes to Hell 7" single - New Wave Tunes Blog
* Suburban Lawns - Self-Titled full length, 1981 (@320 kbps)
(Above albums courtesy of the Sound Opinions message board)
* Su Tissue - Salon De Musique, 1982 - DualTrack Blog