'All I Want is Beer and Damage'It has, apparently, been nearly a week since I’ve posted anything here. That’s probably my longest unplanned, non-ISP-caused absence in recent memory. And there’s no reason for it – I just felt like taking a break from posting.
During that time, I’ve found or been sent a fair amount of really good music and I’ll try to get that up here over the next few days. But today I want to go back about 30 years to the halcyon years of Los Angeles punk rock.
A couple of nights ago I watched What We Do Is Secret, a biopic about Darby Crash and The Germs. The movie left me impressed at the influence The Germs had over the LA punk scene. I’ve written ad nauseum about being such a fan of the LA punk bands of the late ‘70s, but for some reason I never really got into The Germs. I was familiar with them, of course, and I knew the song “Manimal” from The Decline of Western Civilization soundtrack, but I never owned the (GI) album. I guess I just didn’t get The Germs.
What I got out What We Do Is Secret is that not listening more to The Germs has been my loss. After watching the movie, I located a copy of MIA: The Complete Anthology, a 1993 Rhino Records compilation that features most of the band’s studio output. I’ve listened to the disk pretty much nonstop since and I have come away amazed. For being such a volatile mess of a live act, in studio The Germs were phenomenal. They pack the musical power of the Stooges and, Darby, as he describes himself, really is a “lexicon devil.”
I’ve pulled a handful of songs from the MIA collection: The first song, “Forming” was originally the A-side of the 1977 “Forming / Sex Boy” 7-inch, the single widely regarded as the first LA punk single. “What We Do Is Secret” and “Lexicon Devil” both originally appeared on the (GI) album; “Caught in My Eye” is an outtake from that album; and “Lion’s Share” was from the band’s only other studio sessions – six songs they recorded for the Al Pacino movie Cruising. “Lion’s Share” is the only one of the songs to appear in the movie.
What We Do Is Secret.mp3
Caught in My Eye.mp3