There really isn’t much info out there on italo trio Amin-Peck - a smattering of other blog postings as clueless as this one, and a couple of album-cover-as-videos on youtube. I really wish I could know/find/HAVE more because these synth lines are S I C K. The vocal style is pretty amazing/hilarious as well, especially on “Anxiety.” They somehow manage to sound, quite unmistakably, like they’re speaking english (I am pretty sure it’s not italian), yet it’s bordering on gibberish. Perhaps these are the sounds other folks make when they’re making fun of english speakers.
“Suicidal” makes me feel like I sould be riding a motorcycle through a highway tunnel somewhere very Euro…under Zürich, Rotterdam, Milano…peut-être Saint-Tropez? It’s 3:30 in the AM on a hot summer night but I still have my reflective sunglasses on and, like, lots of leather.
If you haven’t heard Cristina yet, you better ask somebody.
This offensive jam reminds me of “Knock on Wood” by Amii Stewart. Please don’t mind fake Africanese—IT’S RHYTHMIC!
Cristina Monet-Palaci (really???) (b. 1959), known professionally as Cristina, is a singer and writer, best known for her No Wave recordings made for ZE Records around 1980 in New York.
A Harvard drop-out, and the daughter of a French psychoanalyst and an American illustrator-novelist-playwright, she was working as a writer for The Village Voice when she met Michael Zilkha, who later became her husband. A wealthy heir to England’s Mothercare retail empire, Zilkha was just starting ZE Records with Michel Esteban. Zilkha persuaded her to record a song called Disco Clone, an eccentric pastiche dance record which featured the uncredited Kevin Kline trying to seduce the breathy Cristina. According to some sources, the record was produced by John Cale and was the first to be issued on the ZE label.
“Disco Clone” was a cult success and encouraged ZE to release a full-length album in 1980, which was produced by August Darnell (aka Kid Creole). This contained the poker-faced cover of Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” with new lyrics which led its authors, Leiber and Stoller, to sue and get it withdrawn for many years. The album was later reissued as Doll in the Box. Cristina also released a single with a cover of the Beatles’ “Drive My Car”.
Cristina’s second album, Sleep It Off, was produced by Don Was and released in 1984 with a sleeve design by Jean-Paul Goude (a year before he used the same idea for Grace Jones). Her lyrics dryly detailed a world of urban decadence, but the record flopped, and Cristina retired to domestic life in Texas. She and Zilkha divorced in 1990 and she returned to New Yo. She has more recently contributed learned essays and reviews to publications such as London’s Times Literary Supplement, while battling a debilitating illness. Her two albums for ZE were reissued in 2005.
DON’T BE GREEDY
DISCO CLONE (FEAT. KEVIN KLINE—YES THAT KEVIN KLINE!!!!)
I had to stay true and post the full 14-minute version of this song, so the audio quality is reduced a little - hope you don’t mind. Here’s a little video for you, too. Mutants in the desert, what? I tell ya, Frenchies do it better. Take me to Paris ‘79!
“But the potions that we made Touched the creatures down below And they grew up in a way That we’d never seen before Supernature, supernature, supernature, supernature They were angry with the man ‘Cause he changed their way of life And they take their sweet revenge As they trample through the night”
Aside from the awesome production and instrumentation on this track, I couldn’t help noticing the tripped-out, post-apocalyptic, eco-centric lyrics. Upon further research, this makes total sense, as Cerrone co-wrote his third album, Supernature, with soon-to-be-new-wave-diva weirdo Lene Lovich. Lovich’s album Stateless is a bit of a cult classic (complete with a slammin’ cover of Tommy James’s ” I Think We’re Alone Now” - take that, Tiffany). However, I will never forget my first introduction to her, in a wacked-out duet on the B-side to her long-time pal and fellow cray-cray Nina Hagen’s single “Zarah.”
Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich - Don’t Kill the Animals (1986)
“A-a-aanimal testing is a dangerous game All systems are different — we’re not the same It’s a terrible risk — so no surprise We get wrong results — hey what about Thalidomide Abuse yourself of your own free will Get hurt — get high — get in distress But don’t drag the animals into this mess!”
Sing it, sisters. xo_a
Also: TONITE!!!! DOUBLE HEADER in CHICAGO!!!
Part the first: VEST FEST at FKA
Get Sleeveless in Chicago with DJs Reaganomix and Butch Cassidy:
FKA at Big Chicks - 5024 N. Sheridan 9p-2a
Part the second: SSION at STARDUST
Top of your night with the hottest mess out of Missourah - KC’s very own SSION!
Ssion - Bullshit (2008)
“Waiting 2 Exhale, the supergroup featuring Jaimie Warren as Madonna, Natalie Meyers as Roseanne, and Venus Star as Courtney Love have a hit record and decide to play a “girls only” show in outer space. Unfortunately, some lame-ass indie rock dude shows up and pisses on their parade, which ultimately forces all them to revolt against the entire world by fighting a giant turd on Wall Street.”
see it live at STARDUST at Berlin - 954 W. Belmont 10p-4a
Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band gives us “I’m an Indian, Too” - a jam that caught my attention five years ago on WFMU, right when it resurfaced as part of the ZE Records Mutant Disco compilation reissues. I found it on the internet and it became one of my dance party tricks.
What makes this song so delightful and motivating? Is it the highly questionable lyrical content?? The use of hand-claps, bells, hand drums and other, um, indian-y percussion on top all that rhumba band brass, bass, and hi-hat? Or does it merely follow from the fact that it was WRITTEN BY IRVING BERLIN?
Yes, friends, this is a disco cover of a showtune from “Annie, Get Your Gun”, a musical which possibly has not endured on account of its very vintage racial politics. It was originally performed by Ethel Merman, the recording of which can be seen and heard here:
Or, if you would prefer to put it in the context of the musical theatre production, try here: (The song begins after about 50 seconds of spooky contextualization,)
And if you want to be taken on a tour of some kind of disco literature while listening to an extended mix of the song posted above, thank the strangers on youtube for making this possible. They ran out of material/gave up about halfway through, but I found it useful because I just started reading this blog today! (It’s great, thanks! I’m excited to join you all.) Bringing me up to speed like a disco cliffsnotes:
Pulsallama - “Oui Oui (A Canadian in Paris)” (Y Records, 1983)
Pulsallama were a bunch of crazy b’s (I’ve heard between 7 and 12 members) from the Lower East Side, active between 1981 and 1983. All bass, drums, mediocre vocalese, sleazy outfits, and drugs (highly likely). Sound familiar?
Ann Magnuson of Bongwater + performance artist Wendy Wild were in Pulsallama; they were probably best known for their single, “The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body” (video below). A completely sloppy, terribly fun mess.
What better way to kick things off than with some etymologically appropriate dancefloor gold from long lost Jackson sibling Rebbie (apparently pronounced ree-bee). Listen up for brother Michael’s trademark hollering on backup vocals. He wrote the song for Rebbie; if y’all think he’s crazy now just listen closely to the lyrics - it was there the whole time. “You crawled into the bathroom window / To bite him with your love / Like a centipede that’s hot / The fire is in your touch.” Uh, yeah.
I really wanted to post the original music video ‘cause its f-ing sick, but youtube won’t let me so follow this link. Thanks to dailymotion for putting up the video! There is a cobra on a pool table shooting lightning bolts, look out. It doesn’t get much better.
In the meantime Also check this live performance on Solid Gold in 1984: