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Lamitudeness, both mine and the Butthole Surfers

Posted 09-21-2008 at 09:58 AM by Kyuss Apollo

If I wasn't so damn lame about this blog I'd post to it more than once every 8 months. I had all good intentions of creating this compendium of musical "tracks of the week" and adding to it regularly but rl and playing 3 different Travian servers at the same time tossed that idea out the window.

Maybe now that I am down to just one! game of travian I'll start posting to this blog again, but I am making no promises boy.

In recompense for the vastness of my lamitude, here are two previously unreleased Butthole Surfer versions of "Junky Jenny in Gaytown," unreleased both in real life and in my signature.

Junky Jenny In Gaytown [1998]

Junky Jenny In Gaytown [2001]

Some background: After The Astonaut

The Surfers, after the unexpected 1996 success of Electric Larryland and the top 40 hit(!) "Pepper," went back into the studio and recorded an album called After The Astronaut that was so bad even by Butthole Surfer standards that Capitol records refused to release it. This was the album art that would have accompanied the record:

It was remixed and some of it was re-recorded, but even that re-tooled version was still rejected and ATA has yet to be officially released, though both the original recording and the doctored-up version are floating around on teh internets.

Some tracks ultimately did find their way onto 2001's Weird Revolution, but all this stuff is a major departure from their earlier stock in trade dual-drummer pounding jet-fueled psychedelic mania, which was nothing remotely at all like Pepper...

While many would argue that nearly all the Butthole Surfers catalog is unlistenable garbage, I will argue here that their late 20th/early 21st century material is a very different sort of unlistenable garbage than their earlier shit was. I suspect it was designed to lead post-grunge record execs down a garden path to as equally uncommercial a music as their earlier acid-laced scatalogical recordings had been back in the 80's. Would the suits release it though? Could they somehow be drugged into thinking they were listening to Pepper redux?

Apparently not, though the Surfers did manage to waste a great deal of Capitol's time and money in the process...

While the re-recorded version from 2001 is more like the Surfers of yesteryear, I prefer the truly bizarre original version. It is far more imaginative and haunting, reminiscent of more exotic-than-usual older Surfer numbers like "Strangers Die Everyday" (from 1986's Rembrandt Pussyhorse) and "Kuntz" (Locust Abortion Technician, 1987) though its not too hard to see why Capitol execs were so weirded-out by Astronaut that these recordings never saw the light of retail, so different the first version was not just from even the Surfers garish older stuff but especially from the Beck-like "Pepper," which was what the suits hoping to get from Gibby and Co. by that point.

I would have loved to have seen the WTF! look on their faces when they heard the first Junky Jenny, which is just so strange it probably had them all trying to find their head with both hands, then sitting down a couple years and thousands of dollars later to listen to the completely different "cleaned-up" version they were probably hoping would sound like "Devils Haircut" and instead heard something like "Voodoo Chile" filtered through a chain saw in a shithouse...did they even finish listening to the whole thing? Most people don't get the Surfers anyway; that this was fucked up then piled high on weird gets my Dadaist juices flowing. :yup:
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    Posted 11-23-2008 at 06:08 AM by Kyuss Apollo Kyuss Apollo is offline

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