Friday, March 16, 2012

"Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance to Anything)" by The Dead Milkmen - March 16th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

Couldn't find a video anywhere for this song, so here is a clip you can listen to:'ll+Dance+To+Anything)

The Dead Milkmen were such a revelation to me in high school. When I first heard them I was wowed by the fact that they were a punk band that joked around and was funny. I was also surprised that the lead singer could have such a screechy voice that was not very melodious, but it worked! The first song I heard by them, was probably the one that most people were introduced to the band by, "Bitchin’ Camaro" – which made fun of people who drove Chevy Camaro’s.
That’s the thing with The Dead Milkmen - - they tool on various elements of the population with silly but clever satirical lyrics (Camaro drivers in Bitchin’ Camaro, punk rock people in "Punk Rock Girl", and in the song I’ve posted today "Instant Club Hit {You’ll Dance to Anything}" they take on artsy British alternative music lovers who dress in all black.) That was me at the time! But it didn’t make me hate them or take offense. I always took them with a slice of humor and thought it was funny that they could pick out these kinds of cues and traits from the population and make them funny.
Around 1989 or 1990 when I was around 22 or 23 years old I went on a really great date down to Boston to see The Dead Milkmen. I believe that they played at The Paradise Rock Club. It was a phenomenal time, and I still look back on that evening fondly, as it was so much fun. The Dead Milkmen had a way with words, and sometimes I would steal some of their lines and take them into real life. When I was in my early 20’s and bar-hopping was a big part of life, I was at times approached my annoying and/or weird individuals who I was not interested in continuing conversation with. I would sometimes borrow a line from this song, "Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything)" and tell them "Hey listen, I came here to drink, not to get laid." I know, I know…not very ladylike, but it worked every time. The weird would-be suitor never knew what to reply to that and just walked away and left me alone.
The Dead Milkmen formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) in 1979 in the Chester County bedroom of Joe Genaro (guitars and co-lead vocalist). He and a high school buddy created an imaginary band called Dead Milkmen, along with a whole mythological backstory about the band, which they released in fanzines called the DM Newzletter. In these fanzine parodies the band played a type of music known as "neo punk folk", were hated by critics, had a large fan following, and released albums every few months, when they weren’t suing their record label in court. They also created recordings about the fictitious band on cassettes.
The name Dead Milkmen was revised from the character Milkman Dead in Toni Morrison’s book "Song of Solomon". Genaro’s buddy joined the United States Air Force and Genaro started college at Philadelphia’s Temple University. It was there that Rodney Linderman (keyboards and co-lead vocalist) began participating in the dorm room-recording sessions of the Dead Milkmen. Genaro met Dave Schulthise (bass) and Dean Sabatino (drums) and along with Linderman began rehearsing as a real band in 1981. The Dead Milkmen made their first public appearance in 1983. The band members took on fake band names Genaro was Joe Jack Talcum , Linderman was Rodney Anonymous , Sabatino was Dean Clean, and Schulthise was Dave Blood.
The band played gigs on the Philadelphia punk rock circuit and anywhere they could, driving around to gigs in a converted ambulance. The band came to the attention of two local WXPN college radio DJ’s Lee Paris and Mike Morrison who invited The Dead Milkmen to play live on their shows. In 1985 the band’s debut album, Big Lizard in My Backyard was recorded for $900 and later released by Restless Records (a subsidiary of Enigma Records). The single "Bitchin’ Camaro" received a lot of airplay on college radio stations.
The Dead Milkmen’s second album, Eat Your Paisley was released in 1986. The first single released was "The Thing That Only Eats Hippies", and it also became the band’s first video. The song became a hit in Australia and received some attention in America.
Their 1987 album, Bucky Fellini, featured a song spoofing European modern music and the art lovers who enjoyed it entitled, "Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything)".
With each album, the band toured and began to increase their fanbase. By 1988 the band released their fourth album, Beelzebubba, which contained their most successful single, "Punk Rock Girl". The video for "Punk Rock Girl" received a lot of play on MTV. The next single was called "Smokin’ Banana Peels".
The band signed a lucrative contact with Enigma Records. The bands next album, 1990’s Metaphysical did not produce a hit single, and Enigma Records was having problems and went out of business.
In 1991 The Dead Milkmen signed with Hollywood Records which a new record label owned by the Walt Disney Company. Their first album on Hollywood Records was called Soul Rotation (1992). The album was more on the pop-tip and was not well-received with their alternative fan base, which had by now was dominated by grunge music. In 1993 they released another album, Not Richard, But Dick and thereafter left Hollywood Records due to a change in management. This album also did not fare well, and both albums went out of print shortly after they were released,
The difficult years with these record companies took their toll on the band. In 1994 The Dead Milkmen announced their decision to break up following a final tour and album. Bassist, Schulthise was suffering from excruciating tendonitus, which was making playing increasingly difficult for him, and the band felt frustrated with the commercial struggles their albums were having. They went back to Restless Records to release what was to be their finally album, 1995’s Stoney’s Extra Stout (Pig).
The band then went on a 13-year hiatus. Linderman began performing with a gothic Celtic punk band called Burn Witch Burn and became a blogger, and journalist who wrote for the Philadelphia Weekly. Sabatino played with a couple of bands including the Big Mess Orchestra and The Hunger Artists. Genaro started a band called Butterfly Joe and also recorded and performed with numerous other bands while also nurturing a solo career. Before becoming a musician Schulthise had studied at Temple University and Purdue University and was a Ph.D candidate in Economics. After the band went on hiatus he returned to college at Indiana University to study Serbo-Croatian language, literature, history and culture. He moved to Novi Sad, Serbia in 1998 to teach English. His writing was published in Svetigora a magazine for the Serbian Orthodox Church. He wanted to stay in Serbia to aid in the country’s regrowth, but fled the country in April 1999 during the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia and returned to the United States to live with his parents in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.
In 2003 a compilation retrospective of the bands songs was released called Now We . They compiled their videos and released them on DVD under the title Philadelphia in Love. The band was talking about perhaps reuniting, but on March 10, 2004, 47-year old Schulthise committed suicide at a friend’s home in North Salem, New York. He had been depressed since his mother, Margi, had died of cancer that January.
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The surviving members of The Dead Milkmen reunited in November 2004 to perform two tribute shows for Schulthise at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia. The proceeds from the shows were donated to various mental health organizations and to Studenica, a Serbian monastery that Schulthise had supported.
In late 2008 the surviving members along with bassist Dan Stevens played two warm-up shows in Philadelphia under the pseudonym Les Enfants Du Prague in preparation for a gig playing the Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas. The shows in Philadelphia and Austin were so successful that they decided to become an active band again. Over the next two years they played occasional gigs and began writing new material. They went into the recording studio in 2010 and in March 2011 released a new self-released CD, The King in Yellow, which was later released digitally on the band’s website.


You'll dance to anything [x4]

Oh, baby, look at you
Don't you look like Siouxsie Sioux
How long'd it take to get that way
What a terrible waste of energy
You wear black clothes say you're poetic
The sad truth is you're just pathetic
Get into the groove just get out of my way
I came here to drink not to get laid
So why don't you just go on home
'Cause if you want to moan you'll have to moan alone

You'll dance to anything [x2]

Don't try to tell me that you're an intellectual
Cause you're just another boring bisexual
"I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party"
Blow it out your hairdo 'cause you work at Hardees
80 pounds of make up on your art school skin
80 points of I.Q. located within

Know what you are? You're a bunch of ...
Artfags! Artfags! Artfags! Artfags!
Choke on this you dance-a-teria types!

You'll dance to anything by The Communards
You'll dance to anything by Book of Love
You'll dance to anything by The Smiths
You'll dance to anything by Depeche Commode
You'll dance to anything by Public Image Limited
You'll dance to anything by Naked Truth
You'll dance to anything by any bunch of stupid Europeans who come over here
with their big hairdos intent on taking our money instead of giving your
cash, where it belongs, to a decent American artist like myself!

You'll dance to anything!

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