Jill Kroesen: I Really Want To Bomb You / Jesus Song

Jill Kroesen

Format: 7″

Label: Infidelity

Country: US

Year: 1980

Price paid: $5

Purchased at: Angry Mom Records, Ithaca NY

“You’ve been fearing the moment so much you didn’t hear the warning ring.”

Jill Kroesen bThe Jill Kroesen story is a complicated and convoluted affair. Suffice it to say she was a late 70s NYC performance artist and composer of some note. This single, along with her 1982 LP ‘Stop Vicious Cycles’, appear to be her only ventures into what could loosely be deemed ‘pop.’

I’d love to know more about how this single came about. There’s got to be a story here. The music is a rambling disjointed thing, while the vocals are ‘less than polished.’ Or to put it bluntly- they kind of suck. No level of conceptual veneer can disguise what’s probably best left unheard.

But, as is the case with many of these nearly-lost gems, the parts are far greater than the whole:

Fred Smith provides bass. He was the original bassist for Blondie and replaced Richard Hell in Television when Hell left to form The Heartbreakers.

Arthur Russell provides cello. He has worked with David Byrne and wrote/produced the first disco single released by Sire Records. He died of AIDS in 1992.

Tony Machine provides drums. He’s got a long rap sheet including working with such acts as The Criminals and David Johansen.

Engineer Jay Burnett is a prolific artist probably best known for his behind-the-scenes remix work for artists such as Kim Wilde, Oingo Boingo, Colourfield, Katrina and the Waves, and Rick Springfield.

The sleeve art was designed by Jill herself. I’m really fond of its crude but honest look. Low budget and ill-conceived, it nonetheless evokes the spirit of the times. Very DIY, very NYC.

Jill Kroesen a

Cristina Monet: Cristina

Format: LP

Label: ZE

Country: US

Year: 1980

Price paid: $5

Purchased at: The Record Archive, Rochester NY

 

When I first picked this LP up from the bargain bin I was amused by the cover, but not overly impressed. When I saw it was on the Ze label I quickly held it close to my chest. It’s not so much about the ‘music’ in this case; this one’s dripping with history… and valued in the $20-30 range.

Ze is the seminal New York ‘No Wave’ label that gave Lydia Lunch her big break. Cristina has the distinction of being the FIRST artist to release material on Ze.

Cristina herself was a Harvard dropout who met Ze Record’s founder Michael Zilkha while working for the Village Voice. She put out a few low-key LPs and disappeared from the scene. And that’s about it. Oh, there’s more if you’re into minutia:

Everything you could possibly ever want to know about ‘Christina’, the album

Cristina’s backside…

Bush Tetras: Things That Go Boom in the Night / Das Ah Riot

Format: 7″

Label: Fetish

Country: UK

Year: 1981

Price paid: $5

Purchased at: The Record Archive, Rochester NY

 

Bush Tertras were (and are) a NYC New Wave band with ties to the No Wave scene. Typical of bands from New York, they tend to just do their own thing- chart success be damned.

My wife and I had a brief working relationship with the band and their associated label (RIOR) a few years ago when we had the honor of designing the vinyl album art for their ‘Boom in the Night’ LP, which was previously only available on CD. They gave us pretty much free reign to do what we wanted. I went back to their early art style and classic logo/typeface (as per today’s entry; they had dropped this iconic style and went with something more bland with the older design) for inspiration. This was also just post 9/11 so I wanted something edgy to go along with the title and reflect their urban sound.

But I digress… the art seen here on ‘Boom’ reflects their rather dark urban funky sound, with a tinge of the tribal/dub championed so well by other groups such as The Slits and New age Steppers.