Monday, May 30, 2005

Blast Off!

My musical alphabet has reached R. Which means... Rocket from the Crypt!!!!!

I'm a San Diego girl. I was bored to tears there, though, and got out when I could. I've always been a big music geek, and there were never really any good shows that came through SD. There might have been some fun local bands, but there was mostly a lot of blues-rock and reggae, which I wasn't in the mood for.

Of course, a couple years after I left, the SD music scene got cool. One of the early bands to come out of that was Rocket From the Crypt. They sprang from the remnants of the glorious Pitchfork (the band, not the snarky site we love to hate) in 1990, spewing rowdy garage punkabilly - with horns. You could practically see the hair grease, tattoos, and sunglasses before you ever saw them live. They are a great fuckin' band.

Leader John Reis (also in Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu) hosts a radio show at a SD station called Swami Radio. I tuned in on a recent visit, and got to hear the Sonics, the Real Kids, Brian Eno, Delroy Wilson, the Saints, and Houndog Taylor. He brings listeners on sometimes and they all rock out together.

The swami looks an awful lot like another gentleman who has inspired Reis. Inspired many people in San Diego, actually. I don't know his name, but he is a dry cleaner... A dry cleaner with a need, a desire, to clean your clothes. He has named his chain of dry cleaning services Velvet Touch, and billboards and bus signs all over town feature a large grinning head of a man with a slogan proclaiming: THIS MAN WANTS TO CLEAN YOUR CLOTHES.

So if you own that first Rocket record, and you always wondered what the hell that song was about, there you go. Inspirational!