Aloha. . . FROM HELL

Published on March 30th, 2009 in: He Had Good Taste, Issues, Music |

By Scary Manilow

lux interior BW
I touched this man’s naked ass once. I really did.

September 25, 2005:

I bought a pair of X-RAY GOGS today because I’ve always thought they looked stylin’. I tore into the package as soon as I left the toy store and put them on, confident in my cool new look. . . Three steps later, I walked face first into a tree.

lux and ivy1
Photo © Steve Jennings

Curvacia and I are getting desperate in our quest for a rock-n-roll drummer.

BUT, as you know by know, we never give up hope. Right now, I’m burning a candle next to my Cramps shrine and praying to the Holy Twosome for some divine intervention. . . If anyone can offer us spiritual guidance in our times of need, it’s Lux and Ivy, that’s for sure.

February 5, 2009:

Times change, of course. . . What a difference four years makes. The Spook Lights are bopping more fiercely than ever, and a lot of that comes from the original inspiration Curvacia and I drew from Ivy and Lux, not just as musicians, but also as persistent outsiders, as archivists of seedy, throwaway culture. Knowing that two such people could share an interpersonal mythology and somehow focus it into an external force was a flashing green light to us. The Cramps were more than mere idols to us—they were full blown DEITIES.

This excerpt from their RE/Search interview sums it up best for me:

IVY: We fight hard against being like robots. We think, “How did other people live? What are other ways of being?” We don’t just look back to the 50s, we look to any period of history, back to the dawn of man. And we’re interested in physics or ANYTHING that could answer our questions. We have vivid imaginations for the future. . . You have to be aware of LANGUAGE making you into a robot; language confines your thinking. There’s different thoughts in different languages, and some of them are untranslatable—so you can think more thoughts if you know more languages!

LUX: The great thing about songs like SURFIN’ BIRD is that they’re beyond art—beyond good or bad. And rock’n’roll is much bigger than just records; it’s a way of life– you don’t even need MUSIC to have rock’n’roll! So criticizing it like you would criticize music seems to completely miss the point. Like judging folk music for being played really well, when it’s actually someone singing about their lover being HANGED. . . the fingerpicking or technique have nothing to do with what’s happening. . .

Criticism of all art forms has gotten out of control: critics usually say, “This stinks!” without saying WHY. It’s the point where the critic is the star and the artists are the furniture. In any magazine you can see reviews of the latest albums with “A-minus” or “C-plus”. . . but music isn’t about mathematics, it’s about emotions. A lot of these records we’ve been playing: how could you give them a grade? There’s something special going on—that’s all there is. And the criticism should be honest and heartfelt, too. . .

ivy and lux1

A lot of “unsophisticated” people have something going for them (just like blind people can hear better than people who have sight). They’ve got an extra sense that comes from not thinking they know everything because they went to college. It’s a sense of what’s actually real. I don’t have anything against critics who actually do research, but some of them know nothing about the history of music—you can mention something so common that they MUST have heard of it—but they haven’t.

I can’t think of any two people who have had more of a direct influence on my way of life.

I must have gotten an infection that night when his bare ass met my open palm. Thankfully I let the disease spread to my brain and I never sprung for treatment.

Lux Interior, you were my fucking hero, and I’ll miss you forever.

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