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).

Stay sick!

8 comments:

William Thirteen said...

thanks for the bad news jerk!

the second concert i ever attended was the cramps, the chumps and the urban verbs playing at georgetown university in 1978. it was a bit more in-your-face than my first (bowie at the capital center) and for my tender 15-year old psyche it was quite mind blowing...

harris smith said...

Urban Verbs, there's a group you don't hear much about anymore...Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, I guess it's my job to keep you expats in the loop. Bowie was actually my second concert, at an old roller skating rink in Adams Morgan, that was closed down a couple of years later because too many people were getting shot there! My first concert? MC Hammer and Ev Vogue at the Capitol Center...

William Thirteen said...

was that actually Bowie or was it Tin Machine? The best roller rink concert i know of was one that my ex-brother-in-law went to in Alexandria in the early Seventies - Iggy opening for Alice Cooper!

harris smith said...

yeah, it was tin machine. that was my only bowie option at the time. they had some good songs.

april said...

great show, your Cramps repertoire is impressive. your show is like the radio version of that tv show, mystery science theatre 3000, at least thats what it sounds like to me. pretty funny but love all the music you play.

harris smith said...

thanks, i take that as a compliment!

Krom said...

If you want to use the pictures or music from Brain Steak Bikini, no problems, but be nice, put a link to this blog.Stay sick !
http://brainsteakbikini.blogspot.com/

harris smith said...

My apologies of course for not giving credit where credit is due. You run a terrific site and an amazing resource for Cramps fans.