Friday, December 03, 2010

"I wish I was in Tijuana/Eating barbecued iguana."

The Song: "Mexican Radio," Wall of Voodoo. Words & music by Stan Ridgway and Marc Moreland. Track 6 of Call of the West, 1985.
How/when acquired: Borrowed CD, 2010
Listen/watch here.

My brother-in-law Scott was nice enough to share his music collection with me over Thanksgiving. We share a love of 1980s New Wave, but he apparently had more money to spend on music in those years than I did. I never owned this track, but when I listen to it now, I'm catapulted back to the basement of Healy Hall, right down to the unique fug of Georgetown's old, iconic Pub.

"Mexican Radio" is a track that shows up on a lot of one-hit-wonder lists, although Wall of Voodoo first came to my attention with their cool, spooky 1980 cover of "Ring of Fire." I also loved "Lost Weekend," another track on Call of the West.

Wall of Voodoo is still touring. They're returning to Iota in Arlington next April, the week before Easter, and I could probably get there if I wanted to. I don't know whether I want to. I've seen the bands of my youth in recent years, and for the most part they've been great; but I'm not the same person I was 20 years ago, I'm not doing the same things in the same ways, in principle I think I disapprove of anyone who is.

This summer my friend Gary gave me Squeeze's album Spot the Difference, a set of re-recordings of their greatest hits. They're basically covers, but the goal was to be as faithful as possible to the original sound. I love having this album, but it's a peculiar artifact I wouldn't recommend to anyone who isn't a hardcore Squeeze fan (which I am). While the songs sound great, part of me thinks they shouldn't sound so much like the originals; at some point, wouldn't you just feel like a rat on a wheel?

I digress. Today's quotation is because I've never eaten barbecued iguana, although I have had deep-fried alligator (yes, it tastes like chicken). I don't particularly want to be in Tijuana — I've been there, it was dirty and ugly and depressing — but since we're about to get socked with a big winter storm, I wouldn't mind being someplace warmer.


Anonymous said...

Always happy to share my tunes and what a great pick. I really did spend the bulk of my summer pay on music. I'm also on Columbia House's most wanted list.
I've been tempted (had to type that) to buy the Squeeze album, maybe I'll get around to it this month.
I think they genuinely wanted to record the songs again but it may also have something to do with owning the recordings this time around vs. the record company.


Job said...

Mexican Radio was a great one. Super.

I love Ring of Fire covers too. I should collect 'em.

Ah, the Pub. [deep sigh] Gone but not yet forgotten.

AnswerGirl said...

If I close my eyes, I can still smell it.