Violent Femmes – American Music…. 80’s Underground Mondays

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin band Violent Femmes are best known for their song Blister in the Sun released in 1983. A girl that I knew drove me crazy playing that song but after a while I started to like it…more than the girl. The song started to be played on alternative and college radio.

James Honeyman Scott (Pretenders guitar player) was booked to play a gig and he was so impressed by the Violent Femmes that he let them open for him. They were were then offered a record deal by Slash Records and soon after that they released their 1982 debut album, “Violent Femmes.” The album slowly hit and later went platinum.

This song was on their Why Do Birds Sing? album in 1991 and it was their fifth studio album. The album peaked at #141 in the Billboard Album Chart but the song peaked at #2 on Billboards Modern Rock chart.

Through breakups and reunions the band minus the original drummer Victor DeLorenzo  are still together. Gordon Gano is the singer- songwriter and Brian Ritchie is the bass player with new drummer John Sparrow.

They released an album in 2019 called Hotel Last Resort and it peaked at #29 in the Billboard Indie Charts.

American Music

Can I, can I put in something like…
“This is “American Music”… take one.” 1-2-3-4!
Do you like American music?
I like American music.
Don’t you like American music, baby?

I want you to hold me, I want your arms around me.
I want you to hold me, baby…
Did you do too many drugs? I did too many drugs.
Did you do too many drugs, too, baby?

You were born too late, I was born too soon,
But every time I look at that ugly moon, it reminds me of you.
It reminds me of you… ooh-ooh-ooh.

I need a date to the prom, would you like to come along?
But nobody would go to the prom with me, baby…
They didn’t like American music, they never heard American music.
They didn’t know the music was in my soul, baby…

You were born too soon, I was born too late,
But every time I look at that ugly lake, it reminds me of me.
It reminds me of me…

Do you like American music? We like American music.
I like American music… Baby.
Do you like American music? We like all kinds of music.
But I like American music best… baby.

You were born too late, and I was born too late,
But every time I look at that ugly lake,
It reminds me of me…
It reminds me of me
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me

Blasters – Marie Marie

If I’m feeling a need of some old school driving Rock and Roll/Rockabilly…I look no further than the Blasters. No studio embellishments, no gimmicks, no tricks…just rock and roll.

The Blasters never had mainstream success…but popular radio back in the 80s would have been greatly improved by these guys.

The Blasters are a rock and roll band formed in 1979 in Downey, California, by brothers Phil Alvin (vocals and guitar) and Dave Alvin (guitar), with bass guitarist John Bazz and drummer Bill Bateman.

Marie Marie was released in 1980 on The Blaster’s debut album American Music on the small independent label Rollin’ Rock. It was then re-recorded a year later for The Blaster’s second album The Blasters, released by Slash Records and distributed by Warmer Bros.

American Music (album) - Wikipedia

The artist Shakin Stevens covered the song in 1980 and his version had chart success.  Steven’s version  peaked at #19 in the UK, 28 in Ireland, and #18 in Germany in 1981.

The song was written by Dave Alvin…here he is talking about how he wrote it.

Dave Alvin: “About 30 minutes before we left to go to rehearsal, I sat down at our kitchen table and I just wrote the lyrics – just came to me. I was kind of – I remember being a little kid and we were driving down this road up near the Puente Hills. And there was an old Victorian farmhouse and there was a girl sitting on the porch with a guitar. And for whatever reason, that image stuck with me and so I just wrote that. So in like 20 minutes we had [the song].”

Phil Alvin:  “I thought Joe Turner’s backup band on Atlantic records – I had these 78s – I thought they were the Blues Blasters. That ends up it was Jimmy McCracklin. I just took the ‘Blues’ off and Joe finally told me, that’s Jimmy McCracklin’s name, but you tell ‘im I gave you permission to steal it.”

Marie Marie

Marie Marie
Playing guitar on the back porch
I sit in my car
While she sings so sad
Marie Marie
It’s so lonely in these farmlands
Please come with me
To the bright lights downtown
Marie Marie
I said, “Hey, pretty girl Don’t you understand
I just want to be your loving man”
Marie Marie
The sun is down in the corn fields
The evening is dark
And you sing so sad
Marie Marie

Marie Marie
I got two weeks in back pay
There’s gas in my car
And your folks say I must go
I said, “Hey, pretty girl Don’t you understand
I just want to be your loving man”
Marie Marie
Marie Marie
Playing guitar on the back porch
I leave in my car
While you sing so sad
Marie Marie