Tragic MulattoPlaylist for
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Arpil 4, 2008

Hosted by Greg Lyon on FRIDAYS at 2-4 pm
on WPVM Asheville (103.5 FM and

This show is available for listening as an archive for one week after its airing at WPVM’s Archive Page (click on the STREAM button for this show–under the letter ‘G’)


— Ah, Tragic Mulatto… One of the most shocking live acts of the 80s, this San Francisco outfit was also an instrumental oddity: they used the tuba (or was it baritone horn?), trumpet, and the sax, in addition to the usual rock suspects. I played a track about cops and Japanese bikes ("Tac Squad") from their 1984 debut on Alternative Tentacles, Judo for the Blind, which has an unspeakable cover picturing Jesus on the can and a lovely lady discovering the pleasures of a forceful bath spout. The names of the band members changed constantly, even when the people inhabiting them did not: on this album they were called Fluffy, Blossom, Flossy, Sweetums, and "A Piece of Eczema" (on sax). On stage, you could count on most of the band to be clad only in diapers, except for the paint, feathers, or tin cans (when I saw them) duct-taped to the breasts of the lead singer and tuba player. I could only find pictures of the band from the website commemorating the late 80s/early 90s L.A. underground scene’s HIP Magazine. I couldn’t decide between the two, so I give you both. Enjoy!

Tragic Mulatto— Shaina brought in the Yellowman and picked the Shonen Knife. She brought in several other artifacts, but I was a hog and didn’t get to them. She really liked the epic-length Kirsten Ketsjer the Rock Band cut I played, "The Bridge."

Word has it that the Feelies are reuniting–with Bill Million in tow–for a July 4th weekend reunion playing with Sonic Youth in Central Park. I’ve also heard that Bar/None will be reissuing the first two Feelies records by the end of the year. This is all excellent news. They were a great band. It’s hard to believe it’s been about 20 years since I first saw them in Chapel Hill, with Yo La Tengo opening up.

— But the most exciting news for me this week was the reappearance of Todd Rittmann, one-half of the ax-wielders in U.S. Maple, who were without question one of my favorite bands of the late 90s/early 00s. He’s teamed up with Adam Vida (the drummer for the last U.S. Maple record), Adam’s brother Ben (from Town & Country), and Robert Lowe (from 90 Day Men and Lichens) to form a new band called Singer. I haven’t had a chance to listen carefully, but I was in a state of ecstasy as I shuffled through the disc. Just hearing that guitar makes me incredibly happy. The song was good. Maybe even very good.

— And lastly, RIP Klaus Dinger, drummer and co-founder of Neu!, Krautrock masters and a huge inspiration to later post-punk, electronic, and avant-rock bands–I think immediately of This Heat and even Negativland, who took their name from the Neu! track I played today. Dinger also was in an early version of Kraftwerk, and then after Neu! went on to form La Düsseldorf and then La! Neu? There was even a nice obit in the NY Times. Viva la motorik!

Background Music: Music to Read James Bond By – Volume Two (United Artists)

Artist Song Album Label Comments New
ESG My Love For You ESG: A South Bronx Story Soul Jazz New York 1983  
Missy Dee & the Melody Crew Missy Missy Dee VA – Don’t Stop: Recording Tap El Numero New York 1982 *
Yellowman Ram Jam Master Reggae Anthology: Look How Me Sexy VP Jamaica  
Pierre Akendengue Evo Afrika Obota Saravah Gabon 1976  
Tarkus Tempestad Tarkus MaG/repsychled Peru 1972  
UFOmammut Stigma Idolum SupernaturalCat Italy 2008 *
Tragic Mulatto Tac Squad Judo for the Blind Alternative Tentacles San Francisco 1984  
Danava Unonou Unonou Kemado Portland, OR 2008 *
Moe Tucker Fired Up I Spent a Week There the Other Night New Rose 1991  
The Feelies Time for a Witness Time for a Witness A&M/Coyote 1991  
Be Your Own Pet Twisted Nerve Get Awkward Universal/ Nashville, TN 2008 *
The Bizarros Nova The Bizarros 7"
Clone Akron, OH 1978  
X Police Aspirations Amphetamine Reptile Australia 1979  
Shonen Knife Blue Oyster Cult 712 Zero Japan 1991  
Jean Paul Sartre Experience Einstein Love Songs Communion/Flying Nun New Zealand 1986  
Kirsten Ketsjer the rock band The Bridge ffffoo k tsscch yoyooyoy Denmark 2007  
Furtips Jester Stand Back, Speak Normally Ajax Holland 1995  
Neu! Negativland Neu! Brain Germany 1972  
Singer Please, Tell the Justices We’re Fine Unhistories Drag City Chicago 2008 *

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