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Stuff You Might’ve Missed – Pussy Galore

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Pussy Galore were creating a new kind of Libertine rock by pissing on the corpse of whatever came before them – creaky ol’ blues, rattling garage punk., arena rawk, chug metal, droning industrial noise – all of it got chopped into unrecognizable bits by Spencer and fiends, and re-constructed later on, in a much more primitive and profane form.

Sleazegrinder

Out of all the projects that Jon Spencer was involved with, Pussy Galore (named after a character from a movie “Goldfinger”) were easily the most extreme. With their raw and intentionally crude combination of rock’n’roll rhythms and  white noise, the band was taking no prisoners – both lyrically and musically.

Jon Spencer formed the band in 1985, along with drummer Bob Bert (Sonic Youth) and guitarists Neil Hagerty (Royal Trux) and Julie Cafritz (Free Kitten / Action Swingers).  Their debut was 1985 “Feel Good About Your Body” 7″, “7 or so minutes of tuneless, off-kilter noise”, according to Sleazegrinder website. A year later, they released “Groovy Hate Fuck” EP, which was also noisy, but contained songs which had a bit more of a formal structure.

Exile On Main Street - 1986

1986 “Exile On Main Street” was an album of Rolling Stones covers, albeit done in Pussy Galore’s own way. Multi-record deal with Caroline led to 1988 “Sugarshit Sharp”, which featured covers of Einsturzende Neubauten cover (Yu Gong) and Devo (Penetration In The Centerfold), as well as Public Enemy sample.

All Music Guide commented on “Exile” – “The cassette-only release was almost drowning in hiss and noise, and several tunes were so deconstructed you couldn’t tell what they were, as if the group was making fun of the myth surrounding the Stones’ Exile as celebrating the music itself, but truly an adventure in listening.”

PG continued recording albums for the rest of 80s – 1989 “Dial M For Motherfucker” (originally titled “Make Them All Eat Shit Slowly” – a name that was vetoed by Caroline Records) and “Damaged 1 / Damaged 2″ split with Tad, with both bands covering Black Flag’s Damaged 1/2.

Pussy Galore - Dial M for Motherfucker - 1989

“Dial M” was described by All Music Guide as “The combination of loud guitars, rattle-trap percussion, and growled/shouted vocals” with “more depth to the din” than with the band’s previous releases. AMG also pointed out that “Dial M” sounds “like a blueprint for Jon Spencer Blues Explosion” and “. The fact that Spencer handles most of the vocals, which were previously shared with Julia Cafritz — who would soon exit the band — only reinforces that impression.”

Pussy Galore’s final release was 1990 “Historia De La Musica Rock” and was recorded as a trio of Spencer/Hagerty/Bert. Julie Cafritz quit the band by the time that “Dial M…” was released and the album itself was a far cry from bands earlier material, instead featuring a more bluesy sound, which John Spencer would eventually turn into his signature sound with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

1992 “Corpse Love: The Year” came out on Caroline and featured four tracks from a rare cassette-only “Exile On Main Street”, while 1998 “Live: In The Red” (In The Red label) featured their last show recorded at CBGB’s.

Final Line-Up:

Bob Bert (Bewitched, Chrome Cranks, Knoxville Girls, Sonic Youth)

Jon Spencer (Boss Hog, Gibson Bros, Heavy Trash, Honeymoon Killers, The, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The, Shithaus, Spencer Dickinson)

Neil Hagerty (Howling Hex, The, Royal Trux, Weird War)

Former Members:

John Hammill

Cristina Martinez (Boss Hog, Gibson Bros)

Julie Cafritz (Free Kitten, Halo Of Kitten)

Kurt Wolf (Boss Hog, Foetus Symphony Orchestra, Loudspeaker)

Tom Smith (Miss High Heel, Ohne, Peach Of Immortality, To Live And Shave In L.A.)

Discography:

Feel Good About Your Body EP 7″ (Shove, 1985)

Exile On Main St LP (Shove, 1986)

Groovy Hate Fuck (Feel Good About Your Body) LP (Vinyl Drip International, 1987)

Pussy Gold 5000 12″ (Buy Our Records + Shove, 1987)

Love You Live 7″ (Lo-Fi, 1987)

Right Now! LP / Cass / CD (Caroline, 1987 / Product Inc., 1988 / Mute, 1998)

Maximum Penetration VHS (Jettisoundz, 1988)

Pussy Galore / Black Snakes Split 7″ (Supernatural Organization, 1988)

Sugarshit Sharp 12″ / CD (Product Inc., 1988 / Penguin, 1989 / Matador, 1998 / Mute, 1998)

Pussy Galore / Tad Split 7″ (Sub Pop, 1989)

Dial M For Motherfucker LP / CD (Product Inc., 1989 / Caroline, 1989)

Stoned To Death 7″ (Punk Vault, 1989)

Historia De La Musica Rock LP / CD (Rough Trade, 1990 / Caroline, 1990 / Danceteria, 1990 / Mute, 1998 / Matador, 1998)

Corpse Love CD (Caroline, 1992)

Live: In The Red LP / CD (In The Red, 1998)

Right Now / Pussy Gold 5000 CD (Mute, 1998)

 


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