By Michael Atkinson
By Luke Winkie
By Steve Weinstein
By Brian McManus
By Brian McManus
By Dan McQuade
By Dan McQuade
By Brian McManus
Mmmmm, you look smokin' laying there on top of your Scooby-Doo! comforter. I saunter up to your bed, reach down into my Bermuda shorts, and whip out Primal Scream's latest, Xtrmntr. "Sweet tits, let me tell you a lil' about this here thing," I say in a loud, affected Southern accent.
"Just like you, gorgeous, these limeys have been around. Primal Scream singer-songwriter Bobby Gillespie pounded skins in an early incarnation of the Jesus and Mary Chain before making his own postpunk statement. Scoot over, dear, this is going to take a while," I say, joining you on the bed. "In 1987 the Primals released the la-la-Love-styled Sonic Flower Groove. Two years later, they burned their paisleys, swigged down Jack and a handful of uppers, and roared to Motor City with their self-titled sophomore effort. But it all became epic . . . which reminds me, we're going to need a plumber later . . . with 1991's Screamadelicaa Technicolor, lysergic house-rock masterpiece, one part Rolling Stones, one part the electro-dance barrage of New Order's Technique. Primal Scream emerged a fluorescent groove monster, swallowing up late-1980s Manchester rainy-day pop bands and spitting them out as funky gremlins spreading the Ecstasy gospel. The Soup Dragons, Mock Turtles, and Charlatans U.K. all began to incorporate aspects of rave culture into live rock. Unfortunately, Primal Scream followed their most groundbreaking work with their most copycatthe cuttin'-the-rug-with- Linda-Lou Southern rock travesty Give Out but Don't Give Up. Love, you still awake?" I ask, digging my nails into one of your liposuctioned thighs. "But they sprang back with 1997's Vanishing Pointan Afrobeat/dub/free-jazz extravaganza propelled by the soundtrack single 'Trainspotting.'
"Now where were we?" I whisper in your ear, sucking on a lobe. "Huuuuaaaaahhhhh," I cough violently. "I think I just swallowed one of your diamond studs."
I regain my composure. The earring went down smoothly, and you don't seem too upset. I explain, frothing over with enthusiasm, "Xtrmntr . . . it's like the Vietnam War, with Abba puppeteering the whole gruesome fiasco. It's like peeling off Band-Aids to the beat of the Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive.' It's like playing Lou Reed's Metal Machine Musicat your mother's funeral. It's like jacking off to Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. It's so much I want to share with you," I mouth soothingly, plopping your hand on my throbbing crotch.
In my other hand, I fumble with your remote, skipping to the seventh track, "Keep Your Dreams." The bass comes in like a weary, oafish beastthink Lenny from Of Mice and Menbeautifully naive, but tragically oversized. A tiny bell tings out a fragile melody, like on the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning." Some cosmic keyboard noodling sprinkles stardust over the soundscape. Bobby Gillespie's voice is breathless and airy: "I believe that civilness can burn your soul away." Our lips tenderly lock. My ass steamrolls over your remote, causing the disc to start from the beginning.
"Subvert normality. . . . Punk is not sexual, it's just aggression. . . . Destroy, kill all hippies," a child chirps in "Kill All Hippies," sampled from the 1980s Dennis Hopper pic Out of the Blue. Steel-on-steel white noise fuzzes in the background. Processed guitars drip studio Cheez Whiz over a rolling, white man's, overbite-inducing beat. Everything funk should be: gaudy and fuckin' embarrassing. And if that's not enough, it takes itself seriously, in a black-Lincoln-with-tinted-windows-cruising-down-18th Avenue-in-Bensonhurst kind of way.
The moment is ruined. I start the next track, "Accelerator," to get it back. "My Bloody Valentine guitarist Kevin Shields and Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit play on this song," I say, my voice quivering nervously. Whoops, you hate the Stooges' first record! So I put on "Swastika Eyes" instead. The tune is similar to "Kill All Hippies," but with a cheekier beat. I pull off my shorts and slip on some leatherman stirrups. I begin marching like the Village People in the navy. "Your soul don't burn/You dark the sun/You rain down fire on everyone," Gillespie sings languidly. I know it's a protest song condemn-ing America's forget-about-the-president's-intern-benefits-program-and-let's-kill-for-oil foreign policy, but I just have to dance. It's like Erasure doing the Sex Pistols' "Bodies." Queen Gillespie sings, "Swastika eyes, you got, swastika eyes, you got, swastika eyes, swastika eyes. . . ." I begin improvising. "He's got swastika eyes," I sing out, pointing to your autographed Kirk Cameron photo. "She's got swastika eyes," my voice lavishes, as I point to your Mindy Cohn photo.
You seem angry. I apologize for saying Natalie from The Facts of Lifehas swastika eyes. I put on "Pills." The intro is graveyard-at-night spooky. Gillespie starts rhyming over a simple breakbeat, "I'm gonna tell the truth, the truth about you/the truth about you, you never been true/You ain't nothing/You got nothing to say, shine a light on you, you fade away, fade away." I'm feeling randy. I politely ask to spank you. This really, really upsets you. You kick me in the nuts.
I'm doubled over on the floor. Many things come to mind: They should've had Vanilla Ice singing "Go white boy go!" backups on "Pills" . . . I hope we can still listen to the Sun Ra-meets-Depeche Mode "Blood Money" . . . Would it be a bad time to ask if I can watch you masturbate?