May 18, 2012 Playlist

"Sweet Sixteen" by Royal Trux (1997)
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Royal Trux  "Sweet Sixteen"  1997 (USA)
Royal Trux was a band who failed to sell a lot of records, but made millions of dollars anyway, and though they were controversial and polarizing in their day, it seems history is going to judge them one of the major bands of the 1990's.  Neil Hagerty played guitar in a notoriously sleazy hardcore band called Pussy Galore in the 1980's (alongside other "famous" underground names like Jon Spencer, Julie Cafritz and Bob Bert).  Pussy Galore was the kind of band that made records with filthy smartass titles like Dial M For Motherfucker, and though their music never made big waves the combination of lofi blues rock with scum punk attitude was a potent one.  Hagerty split to form a band with his girlfriend Jennifer Herrema, and the two seem to have spent their first several years drifting from couch to crash pad recording bizarre music while indulging their taste for heroin (which they spoke freely about, and inspired about half the songs on their early albums). After "grunge rock" took off in the 1990's, they polished up their act slightly and scored literally millions of dollars from Virgin records for a three album contract for which they only delivered two albums.  The first of those was Thank You (1995), which sounds awesome because it was produced by David Briggs (Neil Young, Spirit) but the songs generally lacked "hooks" and Royal Trux did not become "the next Nirvana".  Their second album for Virgin was Sweet Sixteen, which the label hated so much they refused to promote it and literally paid the Trux to just go away (their third album had already been recorded:  Accelerator, which turned out to be perhaps their best album of all!)  Well, can you blame the suits?  Just look at that album cover!  (My guess is RTX had "complete artistic control" -- Virgin signed them precisely because they wanted an outrageous underground band, right?  Hahaha!)  And the record sounds kinda like that album cover too:  the debauched essence of The Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground and Led Zeppelin distilled, freebased and then puked into a toilet bowl . . . with birthday cake frosting on top!  This could be Royal Trux worst album, or one of their best, or possibly both at the same time.
In the early days Royal Trux was literally just Neil & Jen, here's a very early clip I found of the two of them live at O'Cayz Coral in Madison in 1990.  By the end of the decade they had cleaned up their act slightly, and became a truly great underground rock band that hardly anyone ever went to see -- here they are live in 1998.  In recent years, Hagerty leads a lofi blues band called The Howling Hex, while Herrema founded a more heavy metal sounding "sequel band" named after the Trux' logo RTX.  But as of this year RTX is defunct and her new (more psychedelic) band is called Black Bananas -- their 2012 album Rad Times Xpress IV is certain to make the Kosmik Radiation best of the year list.  Black Bananas performs with Kurt Vile on May 21 at High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI.
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year (label) Country
Dr. John
Getaway
Locked Down (N)2012 (Nonesuch)USA
Kurt Vile Hunchback Childish Prodigy
2009
USA
Black BananasNightWalker
Rad Times Xpress IV (N)2012 (Drag City)
USA
Scott Walker The Amorous Humphrey Plugg Scott 2
1968USA/UK
Bob Dylan
Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
1963USA
 
  
Royal Trux
Don't Try Too Hard
Sweet Sixteen
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
1997
USA
Royal Trux
The Pickup
Sweet Sixteen
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
1997
USA
Royal Trux
Pol Pot Pie
Sweet Sixteen
CLASSIC ALBUM OF THE WEEK
1997
USA
Royal Trux
Hot & Cold Skulls
Cats And Dogs
1993
USA
Neil Michael Hagerty (from Royal Trux)
Creature Catcher
The Howling Hex
2003
USA
RTX (Jennifer Herrema from Royal Trux)
Balls To Pass
Western Xterminator
2007
USA
 
  
Sexy Ester & The Pretty Mama Sisters
Well Fed
Get Your Love On2008
USA
Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) Fire Island (Phases)
Between The Times And Tides (N)2012 (Matador)USA
The Kabbs
Never Knew
The Kabbs EP (N)2011 (self release)USA
A Place To Bury Strangers
Nothing Will Surprise Me
Onwards To The Wall EP (N)2012 (Dead Oceans)USA
Voivod
Blower
To The Death 84 (N - official release of an old demo tape)rec. 1984 (2011 Alternative Tentacles)Canada (Quebec)
 
  
Curved Air
Hide And Seek
Airconditioning
1970
UK
Gong
I Never Glid Before
Angel's Egg
1973
UK/France
/Australia
Khan (Steve Hillage from Gong and Dave Stewart from Hatfield And The North)
Space Shanty
Space Shanty
1972
UK
Hatfield And The North
Lobster In Cleavage Probe
   / Gigantic Land Crabs In Earth Takeover Bid
   / The Other Stubbs Effect
Hatfield And The North
1974
UK
Magma
¤ma SŘri Donda´
   / Koba´a Is de HŘnd´n
Mekan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h
1973
France
 
 
Booker T & The MG's
(R.I.P. Donald "Duck" Dunn)

Hig Hug Her
A-side 7" single (The Very Best Of Booker T & The MG's CD)
1967
USA
Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras & The Congos
Jungle
Icon Give Thank (FRKWYS Vol. 9) (N)2012 (RVNG)USA/Jamaica
Blues Control & Laraaji
City Of Love
FRKWYS Vol. 8 (N)2011 (RVNG)USA
Stephen Malkmus & The Million Dollar Bashers
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob Dylan)
I'm Not There (original soundtrack)
2007
USA
 
 
Pentangle
Jack Orion (traditional)
Cruel Sister
1970
UK
                 
Back to playlists         Back to main