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
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.