Dead Kennedys perform "Holiday In Cambodia" in 1982 on the pioneering Los Angeles TV program New Wave Theater. The song appears on DK's still-killer debut LP, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. (The host of New Wave Theater was Peter Ivers who also composed the lovely song "In Heaven" for the film Eraserhead. For more about Ivers' impact on underground culture and his mysterious murder, check out In Heaven Everything Is Fine: The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers and the Lost History of New Wave Theatre.)
In 1978, CalArts students Sue "Su Tissue" McLane and William "Vex Billingsgate" Ranson founded the post-punk band Suburban Lawns. Joined by Richard "Frankie Ennui" Whitney, Charles "Chuck Roast" Rodriguez, and John "John Gleur" McBurney, they became a staple on the Los Angeles New Wave scene. In 1979, the video that Jonathan Demme directed for their track Gidget Goes To Hell (below) aired on Saturday Night Live. (Su Tissue later appeared in Demme's 1986 film Something Wild.) That broader exposure resulted in a record deal with IRS who in 1982 released Suburban Lawns' excellent self-titled album, the only LP the group released. It featured this excellent song "Janitor." From Wikipedia:
The lyrics of "Janitor" were derived from a real-life conversation between Sue McLane and friend Brian Smith. According to Smith, the two were conversing in a loud room when they first met:
"She asked me what I did for a living. I said "I'm a janitor," and she thought I said "Oh my genitals." [Richard Whitney] overheard this and wrote the song."
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Here are The Go-Go's performing "We Got The Beat" from the legendary 1982 film "Urgh! A Music War." If you're not familiar with "Urgh!," it's a UK performance film featuring dozens of excellent New Wave and post-punk acts like Devo, Dead Kennedys, Pere Ubu, Echo & The Bunnymen, Klaus Nomi, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Police, Gary Numan, Gang of Four, The Cramps, X, and many more. Please enjoy the entire film, viewable below, or purchase your own DVD-R here
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My friend Sean Bonner just pointed me to a wonderful music history project, put together by Brian Stefans: at lapostpunk.blogspot.com, an MP3 compilation of post-punk and experimental pop music in the Los Angeles area from the mid-seventies through the mid-eighties.
I kind of think of this as a portrait of the city at the time more than a collection of tracks that will change the world (though more than a handful I think are unfairly neglected). I’m wondering if someone like Rhino Records would want to do a Nuggets-type collection from the period? They already have one of Los Angeles from 1965-1968 called Where The Action Is.
Incredibly comprehensive. What a labor of love. There's a Volume one, and a Volume two.