For reasons I’d rather not talk about right now, I’m dropping “Kutner” from my name professionally. All articles, poems, stories, videos, interviews, zines, music and other work published from here on out will be credited to Tyler Vile. I adopted that as my punk stage name when I was in the Media Pigs at 14, and since I’ve been writing for Punk Globe for the past six years, it’s stuck. I published under Kutner because I put that name down in writing workshops throughout high school and college without really thinking about it. In a few years, all of that might make a nice piece of creative nonfiction. While I’m letting that simmer, I’d like to share ten songs that have been in heavy rotation in my room for the past week and a little bit about them. If this gets a big response, you just might see more of this kind of post. Anyway, on to the songs!
10. The Stooges-“T.V. Eye”
Thems my initials, don’t wear ’em out. “T.V” in this song doesn’t stand for “Tyler Vile,” or “television,” it stands for “twat vibe.” The word is, Iggy and Ron Asheton used to joke about the way their girlfriends looked at them when they were fucked up back in Ann Arbor. They called that disapproving stare the “twat vibe.” Legs McNeil’s book, Please Kill Me should have more info on that for you.
9. The Adverts-“No Time To Be 21”
If you’re going to call me T.V. for short, don’t confuse me with T.V. Smith. Although, if you did, I’d take it as a compliment. The Adverts frontman delivers a performance oozing with post-teen paranoia anchored by a simple, yet steady riff. 1978 might not have been the time to be 21 for mister Smith and company, but 2013 isn’t exactly the time to be 20 for me, so this song’s got some resonance on it.
8. Bikini Kill-“Rebel Girl”
This is one of Bikini Kill’s best-known songs and for a damn good reason. The guitar work goes from grimy to glam in seconds and Kathleen Hanna’s voice switches effortlessly between bratty, screechy, and sultry. Don’t even get me started on the lyrics. If “I know I wanna take you home/I wanna try on your clothes,” were a thing that I that I could always say in Kathleen’s voice to the hottest femmes, butches, and queer grrrls I know, I have a feeling my life would be a lot more interesting. I don’t always agree with Kathleen Hanna, but for two minutes and forty seconds, she’s the queen of my world.
Cappadonna sometimes gets shit from Wu-Tang fans for not being ODB, but the dude’s technically been in the group longer than Method Man. Cap went to prison and Meth took his spot, as Wu-Tang legend goes. He’s been weaving in and out of Wu releases since the beginning of their career and always delivers solid verses. This one’s got a classic sample from an old English-dubbed Kung Fu flick, as Wu would do. If you fuck with Wu and don’t fuck with Cappadonna, I don’t fuck with you. That is, until you’ve heard this and changed your mind.
6. Sister Rosetta Tharpe-“Down By The Riverside”
“Down By The Riverside” might be one of the greatest songs ever written because of the way it’s structure and message make it so easy to sing whether you’re feeling up or down. Everyone and their mother has done a version of this, so if I do more posts like this, you’re likely to see it pop up again. The way that Sister Rosetta moves is, ironically, the way every cock rock superstar has tried to stride. It’s no surprise, seeing as we all come from women anyway.
5. Jayne County and the Electric Chairs-“Fuck Off”
My fellow Punk Globe contributor penned this timeless ode to sexuality and defiance. This could be sung by anyone of any gender or sexual identity and still be a roaring declaration of all things carnal. Jools Holland, who hosts a talk show in the UK, tickles the ivories on this one. To anyone who dislikes this, FUCK OFF!
4. CocoRosie-“Beautiful Boyz”
I’ve seen CocoRosie live twice in DC. Once last year at the 9:30 Club and once this year at the 6th & I Historic Synagogue. Both times, they played this song. Their show was the closest thing to a spiritual experience I’ve ever had in a synagogue; I grew up Jewish. Antony Hegarty provides a chilling guest vocal on this track. The verses tell one of the most soul-crushing narratives I’ve ever heard in a song.
3. Little Richard-“Tutti Fruitti”
Recorded and released in 1957, “Tutti Fruitti” is much more than an ice cream flavor. When the glitter-faced Little Richard howled out this raucous sex anthem in the studio, producers were shocked and immediately demanded that he censor himself. He did tone it down, but Richard Penniman is nobody’s fool. His influence on almost every popular artist from The Beatles to Big Freedia is easily traceable.
2. Junior Murvin-“Roots Train”
Best know for the title track of this album, “Police and Thieves,” Junior Murvin is one of roots reggae’s giants. Sadly, he died on Monday and I’ve been listening to that album on repeat when I’ve had the time. This is the album’s opening track. Junior may be gone, but the roots train will be running for a long time!
1. The Replacements-“Androgynous”
I got this song stuck in my head when I showed it to a friend of mine. It won’t get out of there, that earworm is burrowed in deep. It’s a really well structured song from the dawn of indie pop with a sweet message. The Replacements have reformed and played on the Riot Fest tour, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next for them.