Skip`s Picks

Posted by Skip Lunch on 8. Dec 2009

Our first installment is brought to you by legendary New York punk rock guitarist Skip Lunch, a Beijing resident who's been kicking out the jams since most of you were mere gleams in your daddy's eyes.

That would be thirty years for those of you slow on the sexual innuendo uptake. Maybe you've caught him offending the sensitivities of Beijingers with his band You Mei You and recently, with Thee Missfits, a local supergroup who played Misfits covers for charity this past September.

And sometimes, when the tide is just right, his surf rock trio the Clamps will wash up at D-22 whenever his Xiamen-based bandmates are in town.

With that said, here are Skip's picks:

The Stooges: "Search and Destroy" (1973)

"I am the world's forgotten boy, one who searches only to destroy," sings Iggy Pop in this classic. Driven by the blistering guitar playing of the great James Williamson, this protopunk anthem still makes me feel like punching the accelerator and burning rubber, Detroit-style. Without the Stooges, the MC5 and the New York Dolls, there would have been no punk rock.

Ramones: "Pinhead" (1977)
New York Punk Rock

The song starts out with a tribal 1960s drumbeat and a circus-geek chant inspired by the classic American horror movie Freaks: "Gabba gabba we accept you, we accept you, one of us!" It's a pure punk rock gem. The Ramones ARE the quintessential punk rock band of all time, and if you don't already know that by now, it might be just too late, baby...

Dead Boys: "Sonic Reducer" (1977)

This just might be my favorite song ever, and one of the first riffs I learned on guitar. This band moved from Cleveland, Ohio to NYC in '76 to usher in the first wave of bands at the legendary punk club CBGB's. And rising like a phoenix from the ashes of teenage alienation, singer Stiv Bators delivers with a vengeance: "I don't need anyone, don't need no mom and dad, don't need no pretty face, don't need no human race." This IS the soundtrack of pure rebellion: "Got my sonic reducer ... I ain't no loser!"

The Chantays: "Pipeline" (1963)
Instrumental Surf

I love surf music, and I don't mean the Beach Boys! In the early 1960s, obscure little groups all over the USA began playing a new form of electric guitar-based music inspired both by the new Fender guitar amplifier and the rolling sound of the surf. But by the time the "Summer of Love" rolled around in 1967, psychedelic folk-rock and longhaired hippie music took over the minds of youth and surf music virtually disappeared. Luckily, the style was re-popularized by the 1994 flick Pulp Fiction, and there are hundreds of new surf bands to check out. Thanks Quentin... and COWABUNGA!

Wire: "Lowdown" (1977)

Wire was not part of any punk "scene" when they broke out in England in the late-1970s. By deconstructing rock and roll, these art school "Ph.D punks" initially made music that was even more baffling and weird than punk was. "Lowdown" is actually an iconoclastic take on funk: the most unfunkiest thing you can imagine. As a clear influence on both Joy Division and the Gang of Four, Wire was really the first post-punk band ever.

Skip will perform with You Mei You on Sat, Dec 12 at D-22, Fri, Dec 18 at the Coal for Kids Charity Christmas Party at Cangku Bar and again on Wed, Dec 23 at MAO Live House.


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