Saturday, November 15, 2008

Guyana Punch

So, the Judy's (not the Judys) were a band from Texas back in the early/mid 1980s. I found a few things about them here but generally they've been forgotten. They were this ultra-minimalist band that stripped down music to their bare essentials. In terms of their musical approach, they owed a lot to junk/pop art and 1950s pop culture and adding a lot of dada-ish vibes to that, you know, playing vacuum cleaners and pots and pans. They were really ahead of their time. Bands like Beat Happening came after and became a lot more famous. And the B-52s had better songs. But still, they are worth remembering if nothing else than for this song, which, for whatever reason, we used to listen to back in the late 1980s in Texas. "Guyana Punch" is about the Jonestown mass suicide in the late 1970s. I think the song was originally recorded in 1981.

I saw them once or twice at a place called Eastgate Live in College Station and as the song reached its climax, they would hurl punch from a tumbler on the audience. It was hilarious. The song is just as weird as ever and would never be a hit in any 'real' world, but for some reason was a hit in ours.


The Judy's -- Guyana Punch [mp3]

Next up: who remembers About Nine Times? Trout Fishing in America? The Pain Teens? All those bands from our childhood in Texas.


karen said...

I thought about them last night, and I thought about this song. It is the 30 year anniversary of Jim Jones massacre in Guyana- and documentaries are out now on cable news stations...

funhouse said...

This is true. I forgot that it's been 30 years since the Jim Jones massacre. What a weird coincidence that I was thinking of this song randomly just this week.

Appleaday said...

I totally adored the Judy's -- Here is a great documentary about the Judy's: Definitely raw and basic as you indicated. One of those happy/depressing sort of bands. You would bounce around in some sort of elation only to hear the downer lyrics. Epitome feeling of generation X-ers.