Wednesday, February 4, 2009
r.i.p. lux interior...
I was very sad to hear about the death of Lux Interior today. The Cramps have always been a very important band to me. I first heard them was I was probably about 15 or 16, and it was totally thrilling, they were a band that didn't really sound like anything I'd heard before. Yeah, there was a 50's/60's influence, and a punk influence, and a lot of other influences I wasn't sophisticated enough about music to really get then, but everything melded into a sound that was totally new and remarkable. Plus, they were one of the first bands I'd ever heard whose songs were filled with references to horror movies and b-movies. When I first got a CD player (pretty late in the game, it was 1995, I was 18), the first CD I bought was the Cramps' "Songs the Lord Taught Us" (I already owned one or two vinyl LPs by them at that point, and have since collected many others, as well as some 7" singles). Cinematically, it was always a thrill to be watching something and have a Cramps tune come up. Of course there's "Urgh! A Music War," which features a rather blistering performance of "Tear it Up," and the epic barroom massacre scene in "Near Dark," set to their cover of "Fever." In college, I had to good fortune to be introduced to a former member of the band, Kid Congo Powers (also in the Bad Seeds and the Gun Club, and a really nice guy) and made a couple of movies with him. Finally, just a couple of years ago, I saw the Cramps play live for the first time, and it was a total blast. Though in his late 50's, Lux put on an energetic, really kind of hyperkintetic performance, it was tons of fun and a great experience. He was really one of the greats and I'm very bummed to see him go. (I'll be doing a tribute to Lux and the Cramps on my radio show, Modern Products, this Sunday, 4-6pm on www.eastvillageradio.com).