Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great Moments In Liner Notes: King Buzzo on Flipper

As the ideal format debate rages on (vinyl with free CD VS vinyl with free download, download only VS Flash Drive etc.), one disturbing admission I keep hearing from people is that not only do they not really care about the eventual doing away with album art altogether, but they could also care less about liner notes. I personally love liner notes. The more pretentious, the better. Whether it's press clippings from long defunct zines, superfluous essays by David Fricke (who claims to be a "Byrds Scholar"), party scene dirtbags reminiscing about the bad old days, ex-lovers dishing it out, gallery owners and venue owners bringing up numbers, incredibly narcissistic song-by-song commentary by the artists themselves, or even the random musings from unrelated and often lesser artists, I live for this stuff.

The following excerpts are from the fairly recent reissue of Flipper's "Gone Fishin'" album, written by King Buzzo of The Melvins. Someone recently read this tribute aloud to me while I drove away from the record store, and I nearly had an accident due to being so distracted by the genius contained therein. Here, Buzzo articulates much of what I have often tried to say myself on We Shot JR but more efficiently, and of course, more entertainingly:

"Fifteen years ago we recorded one of my all time favorite Flipper songs called "Sacrifice" and it's remained in our live set off and on ever since. More people scream for us to play "Sacrifice" than almost any of our own songs! In the late 1980s I remember seeing Flipper play a free show where Bruce Lose told the audience that Will Shatter had stolen the lyrics for "Sacrifice" from a World War I anti-war poem... maybe so. For the first 20 minutes the show was good, then the bass player broke a string and the whole thing degenerated into jumbled mess. It was perfect, in fact, I don't think anything Flipper has done has been wrong.

Flipper is always at the top or near the top of the list whenever anyone asks me what bands have influenced my own song writing. This is confusing to people because they always expect answers from me like Black Sabbath or Motorhead. Let me get something straight now, Black Sabbath and Motorhead or bands of that nature don't fucking MATTER to me. Those bands are horrible, horrible shit compared to Flipper and I am in no way kidding or blowing smoke up Flipper's ass. If you don't get that, then you don't get what WE are about and you should go back to music school 101 and figure it out, dummy...

...Flipper's music is genius in its simplicity. The lyrics are horrifying and beautiful. They don't waste a lot of time on musical gymnastics and they don't need to, their songs are that good. Good music has nothing to do with technical ability. It's powerful and dangerous and confusing insanity and I love it as much as I've ever loved any music that inspires me. Even more actually, I'm a devoted Flipper fan.

In 1980 "Sex Bomb" became the new "Smoke On The Water." What serious Punk doesn't know how to play "Sex Bomb?" That is the level of influence they've had on my generation. They're important. Face it and learn.

If you're never IN tune you can't be out OF tune."

King Buzzo/Melvins


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on. I can understand Motorhead, but Black Sabbath? Black Sabbath has some sweet songs.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous atchley said...

i think i'm first. This was a good read. I love album art. Its one of the deciding factor between cd and vinyl...HUGE ALBUM ART. Plus, it sounds better to me, and usually only about $3/4 more expensive than a CD.

And who the fuck wants a new album on a fucking flash drive? Seriously? I hate the influence iPods and digital downloads have had on distribution. I want to hold my fucking media. I still believe in physical media. I'll take a fucking 3rd generation tape over an instant download to a fucking machine. Ughhh.

Flipper is great.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous aa said...

dammit. got beat.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Barker said...

Fuck digital. Album art is the shit. An MP3 in no way can compare. Poop on Ipod! Enough said.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you could have all your album art but it was digital? Would that satisfy you?

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always find that the album artwork influences how I hear the music

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like motorhead

5:05 PM  
Anonymous cliff notes said...

videos > album art

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to live in a neighborhood where nobody had cable or computers and my neighbors bought $5 cassettes from a guy who dropped by once-in-a-while and (my neighbors) butchered goats in the front yard to feed neighbors and friends tacos cabritos. I wonder what they have to say about the whole format question?

7:46 PM  
Anonymous stonedranger said...

Dude, you totally just blew our minds with that shit.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that why none of the DJs you promote ever even play vinyl?

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

flipper is AWESOME.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SR, I actually probably did make a few people think a little...which is fine by me.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only band worse than Flipper is the fucking Melvins. Write about Wire or Xymox or...you do know who these bands are, right? Lee Hazlewood perhaps?

1:02 AM  
Anonymous defensive listening said...

Wire rules. Xymox sucks. Lee Hazlewood is fine but overrated. Whatever.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gimme the flipper album, gimme the flipper album...

10:26 AM  
Anonymous animal plants said...

saw Flipper after Will Shatter died, in austin opening for Ed Hall. in fact the dwarves opened, followed by flipper then ed hall. bruce lose didn't want to get off of the stage and wanted to keep playing so gary and larry went on stage to ask them politely to get off so ed hall would have time to play. a shoving match ensued.

about this time the police were there to arrest the guys in the dwarves. even though will shatter was dead it was one of my best musical experiences ever. and afterwards smoked pot with all 3 guys in ed hall. and they still wouldn't tell me what the meaning of the name of the band meant unless it included my death after they told me.

7:12 AM  
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