Monday, August 19, 2013

Song #21 On My MP3 Player - American Music by the Violent Femmes

I like American music. The twenty first song on my MP3 player is 'American Music' by the Violent Femmes. This song was released in 1991 and is the opening track for the album Why Do Birds Sing?. 

My appreciation of the Violent Femmes was a slow process. Their eponymous debut album was praised endlessly during my high school years by some of the most obnoxious cliques. Sadly the Violent Femmes were one of many bands to suffer that fate. My appreciation for many bands changed after I graduated from high school.

When I was in college, I would make mix tapes for friends and for my own listening pleasure. One Saturday I was really bored and wanted to make a mix tape to listen to while doing homework. All of my roommates were gone, so I raided their collections for good tunes. Sebastian Daniels was a roommate and he had a collection of techno, punk, alt rock, and industrial music. Why Do Birds Sing? caught my attention, so I sampled the CD for something mix tape worthy. 'American Music' was the opening track and I was hooked. It went on to the mix tape. The rest of the album was forgettable.

What I like about 'American Music' is that it has a Jonathan Richman quality. Richman was the lead singer and founder of The Modern Lovers, an early 1970's Boston band that inspired many punk acts of the 1970's. Richman's music has a quirky quality and that can be heard on 'American Music'. The Violent Femmes have a great catalog and I'm glad that I took the time to appreciate their music.

TonyDoug Wright is the Lost Soul of Rock and Roll.

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