Re: virus: meme's that didn't make it....

Tim Rhodes (
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 10:52:26 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, Gifford, Nate F wrote:

> On several Punk of the 70s compilations I own there's what must have
> been a seminal song called "Oh Bondage Up Yours" by the band X-Ray Spex
> and fronted by Poly-Styrene. Today I found a re-release of X-Ray Spex
> music called "Germfree Adolescents" that has been knocking my socks off
> all afternoon.
> I'm curious has anyone else on the list heard X-Ray Spex?

Big here on the West Coast. Close to what was, at that time, the fine
line between Punk and New Wave. I saw them once here (Seattle) and
Poly-Styrene had a sort of cult proto-Batcave following.

> What do you think limited the spread of the band?

In their circles they seemed pretty well known (to me at the time, at
least). Exposure to new audiences would seem to be the limiting fact for
most music/art/movie memes. We had several good independent or public
supported radio stations here back then, despite the fact that most of
them only stayed on the air for a year or two at a time.

> It seems to me most music is appreciated at the time it is
> composed ... and although there are certainly trends in composition
> tastes in music seem more specific to particular schools <light opera vs
> opera vs classical vs rock vs jazz vs folk vs urban blues vs country &
> western......>. I know that for paintings its possible to have a
> favorite period, but to still have a refined appreciation of other
> periods. With music most people have a favorite brand that they listen
> to almost exclusively.

Although many people have an appreciation of lot of different artistic
movements, if you look at what they /buy/ any put on their walls you'll
usually find they have a favorite period that they actualy surroung
themselves with.

> For instance you can go to a medium sized furniture store and find
> furniture spanning design for the past 2000 years.

Go to a record store, you find music written over the last 1000 years as
well. And many DJs are sampling from this heritage now as well (DJ Spooky
uses Debussey, Bach and Gregorian Chant as well as the Batman theme and
Funkadelic in his mixes).

> How many bands are there like The Squirrel Nut Zippers who
> duplicate historical sounds ... not just cover old tunes?

Many. The "Lounge" movement has been going strong for several years now.
Bands like the Cherry Poppin' Daddies or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have
been doing the retro-zoot thang for a while now. Even the Ventures, my
dad's favorite surf-band from the 60s, are touring again hitting all the
clubs where bands like X-ray Spects would hit 15 years ago.

-Prof. Tim