The Judy's: Punk/New Wave spawned from a Texas suburb "transcending nostalgia's sterilization."

From "TV" by The Judy's:

"I've been here, well, it must be years
I've molded into my EZ Boy chair
My eyes are hooked to the screen
Where the people are real but they portray the scenes"

This may as well be a reference to the screens we carry in our pockets.

With song titles like "Guyana Punch," "TV," "Rerun," Man on a Window Ledge," "Ghost in a Bikini," "Teenage Millionaire," "Don't be a Hippie," and "The Moo Song," The Judy's were the most fun and quirkiest band ever to be spawned by a Texas suburb. The Judy's were David B. Bean, Dane Cessac, and Jeff Walton. Sam Hugh Roush was also an original member. He died in a car crash in 1980, and the trio dedicated the first single to him.

One introduction could have been the late 70s/early 80s punk, new wave, and skateboarding scene in Texas and how music and culture circulated in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Perhaps you had a cool older sibling, or one of their friends in the know gave you a dubbed cassette tape. Or you could have lived in a town with a college radio station. However you may have learned about them, The Judy's were an eccentric, irreverent, altar-boy-styled, talented, silly, and hella creative band from Pearland, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Their live shows were mythical for their inventive silliness and unexpected instrumentation – they had an affinity for playing pots and pans, for example, and an overall intimacy with their fans.

The Judy's released two albums on their label, Wasted Talent Records, that circulated on overdubbed cassette tapes – or at least that is how I got mine. First, Washaramain 1981, then Mooin 1985, the former a seemingly short, live-action, austere and catchy 24 minutes; both are (short) storytelling masterpieces, like super-market tabloid soundtracks. In 2007, the Land of Plenty LP from 1990 was finally released on CD.

Check out this seven-plus minute documentary, with vintage live footage and interviews with band members and fans. David Bean, the lead singer, talks a bit about the band's history, what inspired their songwriting and aesthetic, and the choice not to open for traveling bands and play for their local community.

From the venue announcer opening the documentary, "In celebration of the anniversary of the first eruption of Mt. Saint Helen's, Thaaaa, Judy's!" Such was their silliness.

Louis Black, the former editor of The Austin Chronicle, explained in an interview from the documentary, "It was one of the most blown away experiences; there were such fully realized songs. They were so accessible and so incredible."

In a 2008 album review on the occasion of the re-release of both iconic records, The Austin Chronicle wrote about Washarama and how it "retains a bop-happy bite that transcends nostalgia's sterilization."

From "Guyana Punch"

"There's a strange one in the jungle
And I think I hear him calling my name
There's a strange one in the jungle
And he's offering death without pain

Freshen up, freshen up, freshen up

There's a strange one in the jungle
And he says that death need not hurt
There's a strange one in the jungle
He's got something to quench your thirst"

This 2008 commentary from PBS member station KERA News, offers an insightful take on The Judy's trajectory, "The Judy's never capitalized on their regional success: Maybe it was because they couldn't keep the momentum going, breaking up and reuniting twice between Washarama and Moo. Maybe it was because major labels were looking to trendy London instead of Houston for the Next Big Thing. Or maybe it was because they knew they had already achieved something that mattered more than stardom: respect."