The Entertainment Monitor covers the entire country, but so far only two Valley bands have made the grade. The Meat Puppets were awarded a measly "D" for references to amphetamines, but dig the special editor's note about No Joke: "Many of the songs do not tell concrete stories and many of the images are unclear." No shit, Sherlock! The Gin Blossoms get a clean bill of health for their single "Till I Hear It From You," flagged only for its use of the slang term "everything's cool," which means "everything is all right." Duuuhh!!!
Since the Valley has been so egregiously neglected, we decided to put some other homegrown talents under the microscope and report in full, Monitor-style.
Artist: Autumn Teen Sound
Album: Five-song demo tape
Themes: Saying a difficult girlfriend is like attending school on Saturday, grumbling about crabby customers in a record store, chiding someone for being a "turbo teen."
Language/Slang: "Love in Stereo" could anticipate a menage a trois. "Turbo teen" could mean someone trying to attend too many parties in one night, which could lead to excessive drinking. Frequent use of the words "la la lala" and "nan na na na na." For "cool" see "Gin Blossoms."
Contains: Nothing seemingly offensive
Artist: Beat Angels
Album: Unhappy Hour (Epiphany)
Themes: Morning-after regrets over picking up some drink-soaked lush at last call, never growing up, looking for daddies in dimly lighted barrooms, praising a whore who'd "turn a trick so I can eat," and falling in love with a junkie. Many references to alcohol, nylons and cigarettes.
Language/Slang: Several references to obscure strip joints like "Babes in the Round" and "Miss Lucky Eights." Allusions to "The New York Dolls" (a junkie glam group), and "Tennyson," "Jack Kerouac" and "Henry Miller" (subversive, often drunken writers). "Queen of the high school hipsway" implies a pubescent tart while "two teasing beacons of sin" could possibly mean a woman's breasts. Use of the phrase "white trash" could be offensive to trailer-park residents.
Contains: S, D, SL
Album: Where's Dish (Sandkiss Productions)
Themes: "Blind" vents anger at a friend who just committed suicide, while "Stuck in the Middle" talks about loving another woman despite having a wife and a mortgage. "Kiss the Sand" recommends separating from friends in a desperate bid to change a surly mood.
Language/Slang: "She radiates cellophane" could indicate a see-through personality, but could also just mean a face catching debris on a blustery day.
Artist: Various Artists
Album: Exile on Cameron Harper Street
Themes: This collection of 21 Arizona bands is littered with references to alcohol. Of note, both Naked Prey's "Lucky Lager" and Flathead's "Alcohaulin'" seem to advocate drinking and driving, while The Piersons' track, "Pink Dress," recommends getting high with gin and tonics and a "quarter bag" (quantity of marijuana). Trunk Federation's "History of Dead Ends" glamorizes sightseeing and drowning. Some women may take offense to the Stumbles "And She" because of a slurred line that sounds like "she sits on my face."
Language/Slang: The Drakes' track "I Did That" hints at having sex with senior citizens ("Tammy Faye Bakker? I did that!") and, worse, necrophilia ("Martha Raye? I did that, too.")
Contains: S, D, V, SL
Album: Everyday (Everywhere)
(Heat City Records)
Themes: Things are getting tougher all around, and rappers are getting ever more competitive and bitchy.
Language/Slang: "Don't leave home without your chrome" could signify either a gun or a splendid new Schwinn bicycle. People who inhabit the Weirdoz' world fall into two categories: "niggaz" and "motherfuckahs." Apparently, the distinction is that motherfuckahs are niggaz who do whatever it is they do extremely well. The line "slang rocks like my pop coz I'm saving up for a drop top" means the protagonist sells drugs like his father in order to procure a brand-new automobile.
Contains: V, SL, L, D, S
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Artist: Zig Zag Black
Album: Dose (Zig Zag Black)
Themes: Singer Brian Lesko pledges his desire to mesmerize, terrorize, paralyze, mystify and tantalize his beloved, though there is no explanation of how or why he wishes to do this. Violent images abound on "Shovel," including neck breaking. Women may be offended by the liner-note reference to the front-cover model as a "sexy love chicken."
Language/Slang: Repeated use of the word "shit" may be offensive to constipated listeners.
Contains: V, SL, L