Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Flipper - Love Canal - Ha Ha Ha

The great thing about the love of music and collecting music and searching out music is the vast majority of it out there. So many different types and styles. You could never run out of new music, ever. But even with all that music out there, there are some things that just stand out. They do not sound like anything else you have ever heard. And your head spins around and you say to yourself, "what the fuck is this shit!?". That was the case with Flipper w/ me. I 1st heard them on the "Let them eat Jellybeans" comp and then later on the "Not so quiet on the Western Front" comp. and i just couldn't get over what i was hearing. Most punk and hardcore bands were all playing faster, louder and buzz-sawing away and these guys were just creating this slow torturous racket. Noise rock didn't exist as far as i knew but here it was and i was strangely attracted to it. It certainly was light years away from Judas Priest or Iron Maiden and i dug it.

Flipper's music was very shambolic and noisy, and often considered "slow" for a punk band of the time. In many early shows, the band had half the audience onstage with them singing backup vocals, and encouraged horn players to join them for their anthem, "Sex Bomb"; the crowding onstage usually knocked the stringed instruments out of tune. Guitarist Ted Falconi installed spikes in the head of his guitar to help prevent this, but blaring, out-of-tune dissonance became part of the band's signature sound.

Flipper was often as strongly in league with conceptual art and atonal music as with rock or punk. They were originally known in San Francisco as a band that 'everybody hated,' and who bombarded the city with graffiti far more than they actually played. Years after the band's demise, its spray-painted dead fish logos were still visible in San Francisco (although signs on the city's Clipper Street have since been reverted from "Flipper Street"). (Other notable places to find their fish logo include the Berlin Wall, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the bathrooms of the Vatican in Rome and Habersham Central High School.)

Some say that Flipper's charm as a band lies in their ability to upset audiences, while attracting their undivided attention and curiosity at the same time. Their first single, "Love Canal"/"Ha Ha Ha", was widely derided, not only for its offensive cover art, but its bizarre sound, and yet sold many copies in the underground. "Ha Ha Ha" was also considered by some to be derivative of "Lifetime Problems," the b-side of the Dicks' single "Dicks Hate the Police," which had caused a big stir the previous year. This, in brief, was the band's concept: to be bad in ways that no band had ever been bad before. However, in true Flipper fashion, they even failed to fail, and their audience continued to grow as their outlandish approach appealed to those seeking something different.

so if you seek something different dig into some tuna safe dolphin: flipper.

Flipper - Love Canal

Flipper - Ha Ha Ha


Anonymous said...

where have I heard this name before... I may have something ffrom them here in the pantry; I'll have to look.

I think this is along the same line, have you ever heard of Zen Guerilla? I have to hip you to some of their early stuff. I'll drop you a link later this week if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

My very 1st Boyfriend was a Big Flipper fan, I think you already know that-musta been 15-16 when I first heard em-enjoy em

As for the Zen Guerilla-You know how I feel about those Delaware boys

Devil Dick said...

Oh yeah Vincent we know all about the Zen Guerilla cats! I got a few from them hidden in the vault. Going to have to dig that shit up now and take a listen!
Cheers! & thanks for droppin' in!