I’m not a music connoisseur. My tastes, save for the odd novelty brought to my attention by a friend or family member, remain fairly bland and mainstream. I’m not an aficionado of a particular genre nor do I have an accompanying vault of albums encompassing the spectrum from best seller to niche obscurity. The biggest collection I own of any particular artist would be Neil Young and while Neil may not be The Beatles he’s hardly an unknown or underappreciated artist.
That being said, I do take pride in the one artist I have discovered, as it were. The one and only musical act that is neither mainstream nor universally acclaimed. You will not read about them in Rolling Stone or see their albums prominently displayed at HMV (does HMV still exist?). In fact, I doubt many of you, if any, fine readers have ever heard of them. I’m hoping once you do you will understand the pleasure I derive from this excellent and quirky band.
I learned of them during a brief period in the mid-nineties when they received their only mainstream push. IT was the latter half of the music video era and I suppose any group with a unique look was given a push. I being an easily amused university student found their single, “Camel Walk”, funny and set out to purchase the album from which this single came. In doing so I set off a multi-album love affair I’ve had with this band ever since. I even bought a t-shirt advertised on the internet and paid for by money order. How’s that for a delightful confluence of the antiquated and the futuristic?
Ironically, I no longer like “Camel Walk”. It’s just a stupid song, frankly. Or maybe it’s just that fact that this band has so, so many more far better songs to revel in. Whatever possessed the corporate music brain trust to promote this band with than song is a mystery to me. Thankfully my sensibilities were less refined in 1995 and led me to such a wonderful discovery.
I will no doubt write up more songs from this band in the future as there really are many great ones to choose from. For now, though, I’ll kick off the weekend with my personal favourite from the 1995 release Dirt Track Date by Southern Culture on the Skids. Y’all ain’t heard nuthin’ like this before, I reckon. “Fried Chicken and Gasoline”.
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