The Cramps – Poison Ivy, photo by Stephanie Chernikowski, Creem Magazine, ca 1980

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The Cramps – Poison Ivy, photo by Stephanie Chernikowski, Creem Magazine, ca 1980

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EXPLODE TOGETHER: XTC MAKES UNRECOGNIZABLE MUSIQUE CONCRÈTE OUT OF ITS OWN CATALOG

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EXPLODE TOGETHER: XTC MAKES UNRECOGNIZABLE MUSIQUE CONCRÈTE OUT OF ITS OWN CATALOG.

Once XTC got going in 1978, they were quite productive—releasing White Music and Go 2 in 1978, Drums and Wires in 1979, and Black Sea in 1980. While they were developing all of those great albums, they (Partridge mainly, it seems) found the time to release an album and a half of intensely cut-up re-workings of the very same tracks that went into those first albums.

In other words, they put out experimental music as if they had decided to “plunderphonic” their own catalog, to borrow a term invented by John Oswald in 1985. Puchasers of Go 2 in its original pressing also received a curious EP with a strikingly similar cover design called Go+. What Go+ turned out to be was a collection of five “dub” re-workings of tracks from Go 2.

That was in 1978. In early 1980 an album was released by, ahem, “Mr. Partridge” under the name Take Away/The Lure of Salvage. (It’s not super clear and sources differ, but I think the idea was that Side 1 was “Take Away” and Side 2 was “The Lure of Salvage.”) The cover art appropriated images from an absolutely fantastic photo shoot conducted at the preposterously palatial house of Jayne Mansfield around 1960. Just like Go+, this album consisted of “dub” reworkings of previously released XTC material.

THE B-52S BRING THEIR MESS AROUND TO THE POPULAR SOAP OPERA ‘GUIDING LIGHT,’ 1982

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THE B-52S BRING THEIR MESS AROUND TO THE POPULAR SOAP OPERA ‘GUIDING LIGHT,’ 1982

Guiding Light holds the record for the longest run of any soap opera. It debuted in 1952 as a narrative doled out in 15-minute increments and made it all the way to 2009, when it was replaced by Let’s Make a Deal, hosted by Wayne Brady. When a show is around that long, it’s tempting to say that “everything” happened on it, but that category doesn’t intuitively include appearances by influential new wave bands. Yet that did happen too.

In 1982 the B-52s appeared on an episode during a promotional tour for their David Byrne-produced EP Mesopotamia. The premise was that there was a venue in the town, which bore the name of Springfield (yes, Springfield), in which musical artists would appear.