Review Revue: The Smiths – Meat Is Murder

smiths_mim.jpg

I don’t mind telling you folks, this has been a pretty terrible week. First The Crocodile closes without warning, leaving bands, fans and employees completely in the lurch; and then The Globe – one of my vegan restaurant mainstays, one of the first places that made me fall in love with this city the first time I visited – announces they’ll be shutting their doors any day now as well. Combine that with the endless wind and rain and the 8 hours of dim, cloudy daylight that is a normal December in Seattle, and you’ve got a real recipe for depression. But you know what’s fun sometimes, if you’re just the right kind of depressed (and/or in high school)? Reveling in it. And what better way to revel in depression (especially the kind brought about by the loss of a favorite vegetarian hangout) than a bunch of clever quips, harsh putdowns and protests against property destruction scrawled on the cover of Meat Is Murder, by the Smiths?

“Uh huh … really strong material from The Smiths. I quite like this more than previous stuff, not being a rabid Smiths fan … I’m probably not the best critic … WELL?”

“The philosophical/political title of this LP is being spray-painted all over town. Look around!”

“Predictably awful material from the world’s worst band. Who does that Morrissey guy think he is any way.” [Oh, the slings and arrows of outrageous college DJs!! Woe is me!!!]

“No. Melodic, upbeat, hey! They show their fun side.”

“Fuckin’ neato!”

“Right.”

“No More Fey Whimsy!!!!”

“BAH HAH HAH!!! The truth can now be told – Gregg Phipps is Morrissey! Don’t be modest pal! (Oh sorry, one ‘g’)” [There is obviously some serious in-jokery going on here; sorry I can’t shed any light on it. I believe one of the previous comments might have been penned by GP, but I’m not sure which one.]

“Fuckin’ NEATO, I say again.”

“How soon… Snap, crackle, pops.”

“I know I’m going to get hell for this, but it honestly sounds all the same to me, and I’m tired of it!”

“OK, who scratched this record? Justice will be served!!”

“Vegetarians rule!!”

“Good. But I’m getting oversmithed.”

“Not as good as other stuff.” [Not sure if this means the Smiths’ other stuff, or just other stuff in general.]

“Might as well write-off side 2. Doesn’t anyone care?”

“Unscratched new replacement copy added – 4-10-85″

“Don’t mess this one up! handle records carefully!” [For what it’s worth, coming up on 23 years later, this copy looks fine and dandy!]

“Sounds fine on 45 too!”

“Good job. New copy clean. Beautiful.”

“DESTROY ALL RECORDS!! And all other media for information, storage and retrieval!!!”

“One of the only bands gutsy enough to be political about vegetarianism. One of the coolest bands ever! Listen hard.”

“At least they give a shit about something.” [Or as Ian MacKaye once said: “At least I’m fucking trying. What the fuck have you done?”}

“People who scratch records are pig buttholes.”

“Since there’s no more things to write on . . . this disc should spin on everyone’s turntable forever and ever.”

“Last year’s model!”

“Two years ago, actually …”

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4 Comments

  1. Rachel
    Posted December 21, 2007 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    haha. someone said pig buttholes.

  2. Hazel Motes
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    It is, of course, curious that KEXP would publicize old DJ reviews of records, when KCMU fired almost all of the people who contributed those reviews. KEXP doesn’t seem to acknowledge that, when volunteer DJs affixed their reviews to the stickers on those records, KEXP didn’t exist. It was KCMU in those days, and the people putting their opinions on those records were volunteers who devoted a whole lot of themselves to keep that station going. You are all well paid now, but we were paid nothing back then. We didn’t have an angle; we just loved music — especially music you couldn’t hear anywhere else.

    Anyhow, considering how disconnected KEXP appears to be from its KCMU past, I would like to suggest some album covers for this blog that I remember having been totally covered with stickers. In those days, there was real dispute about what we “should” play; commercial alternative and “college radio” were fighting back then, and we KCMUers were total partisans. There are two Bongwater albums — The Power of Pussy and The Big Sell-Out, both of which were in heavy rotation in their day, that inspired a lot of interesting dialog about sexism in the music industry. And the first major label Sonic Youth album, “Goo,” caused mayhem among us. So did “Nevermind,” Nirvana’s first major label record. Our collective response to that is maybe even historic; I’m surprised this blog hasn’t published that cover, unless KEXP sold KCMU’s first edition for some cash. “Slap!” by Chumbawamba was also divisive, which made for an interesting collection of stickers.

    Someone should also check out the vinyl copy of the Bikini Kill EP that came out just before we all got shitcanned. There is a not so secret message encoded in that review.

  3. Posted December 27, 2007 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Todd (aka Hazel Motes), if you go back and read through the Review Revue column back to the beginning, you might see that we make a concerted effort to acknowledge KEXP’s past as KCMU. The column is one way, no matter how small, that we do connect to our past; however, we are not limiting ourselves to only covering those years. And while your perception may be that we’re all rolling on beds of cash while using old KCMU vinyl as Frisbees, the reality is that KEXP DJs put an astronomical amount of work more into their job than they’re able to be compensated for (and you won’t find a stable full of Mercedes in the KEXP lot). That’s a whole other argument, though.

    Levi, our esteemed writer of this column is actually a volunteer, one of the hundreds who help keep the station progressive. KEXP survives and thrives because of our volunteers, who dedicate their own time for their love of music, good music, regardless of whether another station may play some of it. (By the way, I recall moving to Seattle in ’92 to attend UW and thinking upon listening to KCMU that it was just like my own college radio station and the many others that I had listened to before.)

    As for your suggestions, we will surely look into them — The Power of Pussy was a favorite of my own college radio station too (and I’m still waiting for “Nick Cave Dolls”). We’ve only just begun with Review Revue — and, as I’m sure you know, there is a lot of vinyl in the music library!

  4. Posted December 27, 2007 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Hazel-

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your reading the blog and commenting (and your suggestions), and to chime in on Jim’s suggestion to read the rest of the installments for some serious dialog (wow, that Swans cover!). I will absolutely check out the albums you suggest. Some of them I’ve already looked for, but sometimes I look in the CDs and get distracted by something else before I remember to comb through all the vinyl.

    Whether it’s called KEXP or KCMU, this station is still driven primarily by volunteers and by a love of music. I started doing these posts as a way to show the world how engaged and passionate and partisan the people here have always been. I really hope no one quoted in any of these takes offense, as I do this out of love and admiration. Thanks again.

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