The fact that Sananda Maitreya, the artist formerly known as Terence Trent D’Arby, was not considered for Jheri Curl June until our fourth year is surprising. Of course, his music isn’t Jheri Curl proper–few artists were, by the end of the ’80s–but the influence of Michael Jackson and Prince is particularly obvious.
Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby is a debut album with a title as cumbersome as you would expect from the man who once claimed that it’s the most important album since Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. I will neither support nor dispute that claim, but I will say that for a late ’80s R&B album, Hardline has certainly held up–and while we’re making comparisons, I’d much rather fuck with D’Arby’s album in the background rather than “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” I doubt even the most devoted Beatles stans can argue with that.
Anyway, Hardline also garnered D’Arby’s several hit singles, including “Wishing Well” and “Sign Your Name.” But it was the lesser known track “Let’s Go Forward” in which D’Arby was at his most Jheri Curl. The sad robot-like atmosphere of the song sounds like a more mature version of Jesse Johnson’s “I Want My Girl.”
We’re nearing the end of Jheri Curl June, but there are still a few posts left; meanwhile, check out the playlists below!
If you’ve listened to our podcast from last month–and if you haven’t, I invite you to–then you already know why Callie and I both love Yoko Ono as an artist, musician, and all-around badass woman. So today, I’m going to focus on just the musician and “badass woman” parts. One of the less-sung facets of Ono’s artistry is the fact that she may have been the first person ever to successfully marry rock music and radical feminism: decades before riot grrrl, and using her famous husband’s musicians, no less.
On “Yang Yang,” from her 1973 masterpiece Approximately Infinite Universe, Ono takes a grinding blues-rock arrangement by the Greenwich Village street band Elephant’s Memory (with a certain “Joel Nohnn” sitting in on guitar) and pairs it with lyrics that make “I am Woman” sound like “Stand by Your Man”: “No kick is good enough for lifetime substitution / No brick will give you a lifetime consolation / And whether you dig it or not / We outnumber you in population / And leave your private institution / Get down to real communication / Leave your scene of destruction / And join us in revolution.” This is the stuff of radical women’s liberationist pamphlets, not mainstream rock albums released by the wives of former Beatles. And while, predictably, Yoko never got her proper due for inventing feminist rock music, at least we can appreciate it now.
Last Saturday, Yoko Ono turned 84 years old; so we’ve decided to take the opportunity to shout out one of our favorite visual and musical artists, who has been fucking shit up for five decades and is still going strong in 2017. If you’re a Yoko neophyte and want to know what the fuss is about, here’s our (deeply personal, 100% subjective) primer on why she matters and where to start. No hate allowed–Callie will ether your ass. We’re taking next month off the podcast, but we’ll be back in April with another KISS memoir. The sublime and the ridiculous, folks!
Hey, Catfans! We’re now three-quarters of the way through the vanity-project-within-a-vanity-project that is our series of KISS memoir Book Club podcasts; and while it’s obviously too early to say for sure, we have a feeling that this month’s book was the peak. Makeup to Breakup, “written” in 2012 by original KISS drummer Peter Criss, has everything you want in a trashy rock bio: salacious backstage stories, potentially libelous dirt, and a second-act decline that would make Behind the Music green with envy. If you only read one KISS memoir, this is the one. But we’ll still be back in March to close out the tetraptych with a discussion of Paul Stanley’s Face the Music.