Are the Violent Femmes underrated?

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Are the Violent Femmes underrated?

Yes, they are underrated.
5
56%
No, they're appreciated appropriately.
4
44%
Dude, they're a footnote...at best.
0
No votes
They suck, you fucking fairy.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 9

Jake
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Are the Violent Femmes underrated?

Postby Jake » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:18 am

The live song "Never Tell" just came up on shuffle from the deluxe edition of the first album. It's 7+ minutes of awesomeness. Have the Pixies ever acknowledged their debt to the Femmes?

centipedefarmer
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after first album

Postby centipedefarmer » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:05 pm

Their debut album is appropriately hailed as classic. Their output after that is underappreciated, even (especially?) where they work the freak-gospel angle.

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:28 pm

Funny you should bring this up - I've been listening to 'The Blind Leading The Naked' lately, and wondering why it seems to be largely forgotten. 'Children Of The Revolution' is an awesome song.

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:54 pm

Hallowed Ground is incredible. In high school, we used to cover "Sweet Misery Blues."
Looking at their discography, they've got a solid run of albums right up till the early 90's. I thought Why Do Birds Sing was fantastic. hell i used to listen to listen to New Times a lot.

my main issue with them is they'd rather promote another live album featuring their classic hits these days

Jake
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Postby Jake » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:06 pm

I haven't listened to any of their albums other than the debut since the 80s, but even if they'd only released that one album, I think their influence on what we now consider "indie" music would've been huge. And you never hear anybody putting them up there with the Pixies. Maybe because they never went (far enough) away. You could always catch them playing "Blister in the Sun" at the state fair or whatever.

The acoustic instrumentation, the primitive drum setup, those vocals (and harmonies!), the adorably menacing lyrics, I mean come on. If that's not the blueprint for today's hipsterati, I don't know what is.

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Postby jaimoe0 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:22 pm

I think the debut gets its just desserts, but everything after that is a bit dodgy. Seriously, after "Hallowed Ground," I don't know that I heard another Femmes album in its entirety. Does that mean they were unappreciated, or no hot shakes? I don't know the answer to that one. Love "Hallowed Ground," too.

Mixmaster Shecky
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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:42 am

Jake wrote:The acoustic instrumentation, the primitive drum setup, those vocals (and harmonies!), the adorably menacing lyrics, I mean come on. If that's not the blueprint for today's hipsterati, I don't know what is.


Agreed. 'American Music' should be the anthem for indie bands everywhere.

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Postby Barabajagal » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:05 am

Underrated or just right...so hard to say. I'd probably have to go with centipedefarmer. The sound of the first album was just so original and special...think of how hard that minimal acoustic setup rocks and how weird and cult-ically catchy those songs were. I like their stuff after that, pretty much everything everyone else likes. It's solid work for sure; it just didn't quite have that same "What IS this?" factor the first one did.

Still, seems like they've been able to make a good career of it.

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Postby Jake » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:16 pm

Barabajagal wrote:Still, seems like they've been able to make a good career of it.

That's the thing though. Does anybody respect them? Or do we all just look at them as journeymen lugging their gear around the country playing the "people who don't really care about music" circuit. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Better than getting a real job. I'm happy for them that they've been able to make a living playing music for 20 years. Good for them.

But they kind of changed the fucking world with that first album. And it doesn't seem like anybody really gives a shit.

They're never going to get asked to play it at All Tomrrow's Parites, or whatever. Why? Is it because fratguys and trixies have come to embrace it over the years? It's no longer seen as edgy?

Speaking of, I'd like to give a little shout out to Darcy C for originally turning me on to this band in 7th or 8th grade. She copied the tape for me because she thought I would like it -- because I was kinda fruity. Darcy was not punk or progressive or weird in any way. She was cute and bubbly and wore Forenza sweaters and knew I liked Wham and Duran Duran and Tears for Fears. And I had the clear Swatch. So of course I'd like the Violent Femmes. She was right. And even though I was kinda fruity, I still made out with her on the bus ride home from Cedar Point that summer.

Oh yes. Where she is now I can only guess. Actually, I can look her up on Facebook...

Barabajagal
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Postby Barabajagal » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:40 pm

I think it's hard for any band that can't follow up a stellar debut. I'm also tempted to chalk it up to that time period and all those bands like the Femmes that sort of beat down doors for those that followed but never really seemed to get the kind of recognition you're talking about. They never really had an image, you know? Despite an original voice and presence, Gano was not a frontman like Westerberg, Stipe, Mould, etc.

Might be a "political" component, too--did the Femmes hang out with the in crowd enough? Were they maybe mismanaged? Didn't 'protect the brand' the right way?


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