Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Wish The World Revolved Around Me

The first time I remember the Doughboys playing in Connecticut was at the Anthrax in Norwalk, in maybe 1987 or so, and just about everybody was blown away by them (they jumped around a lot, as I recall, which was a big deal for some reason). "Pop punk" or whatever you might call it wasn't as widespread in those days, so any sorta-punk band with big hooks instantly drew a lot of attention and the inevitable comparisons to The Replacements and Husker Du; I'm thinking of bands like The Nils, The Lemonheads, Doughboys, Goo Goo Dolls, etc.

Fast forward to 1988 and Toad's Place in New Haven, which is where I saw the Doughboys opening up for The Godfathers. The Doughboys had already started their desperate grab for the brass ring by then; you can't get any less punk than being the support act for The Godfathers, other than being the pastry chef on a Ryan Adams tour or something.

That show remains one of the worst shows I've ever paid to see. The Godfathers completely sucked, rubbing salt into the wound with horribly misplaced cover of the Beastie Boys' "Fight For Your Right To Party", and the Doughboys were pretty weak as well. I only went that night because I had told one of my new-wave friends how great the opening band was going to be; by the end of the night I was shaking my head and saying "I can't believe I used to like these guys," like Otto in "Repo Man".

One of the annoying things about commercially-pressed LPs is that the last track on each side always sounds a little fuzzier than the others, just from the smaller physical space that the grooves are pressed into. Not every pressing is like that, but this one is, so "No Holiday (From Living)" and "I Don't Wanna Know" suffer a bit accordingly. All that aside, if you liked anthemic punk rock back in 1987 and hadn't already heard "Burning in Water" a year earlier (which sorta leaves me out), then you probably thought "Whatever" was pretty goddamn great.

Doughboys -

"The Forecast"

"You're Related"


"Stranger From Within"

"I Don't Wanna Know"

"No Holiday (From Living)"

(these files are now listen-only)


Jersey Beat said...

Chris Pierce suggested that people might compare his band the Groucho Marxists to the Doughboys recently, so I pulled out my vinyl copy of Home Again. I forgot how awesome this band was. I particularly remember a show at the crappy Pyramid Club in NYC where the temperature must have been 120 degrees on stage, the entire band wound up shirtless, and it seemed like the entire crowd was hanging over the edge of the stage pumping our collective fists with every note. Good times.

Brushback said...

I've got "Home Again" on vinyl, too, but I never really listen to it. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

To me, this band went downhill right after their first record, but I run into a lot of people who think they got even better (and who even like "Happy Accidents", for some reason). Maybe I've got it backwards...

End Hits said...

best canadian punk/rock record ever. i have liberated three vinyl versions from used stores over the years and still have my original cassette copy and a re-issued CD version...

saw Kastner open for Evan Dando a few years ago doing acoustic Dboys songs, wasn't terrible. but wasn't the Doughboys either.

actually, ran into Kastner at SXSW last week. he's one of the programmers for Toronto's sister fest - NXNE

here are a few related links:

Brushback said...

Gee, and all this time I've been telling people "Against The Glass" or Punchbuggy is the best Canadian record ever...

I've seen that Chartnet thing before (thru a discussion on the Hockey's Future message board, actually); there's another similar list that some people like better, cuz it lists a whole bunch more Joni Mitchell and Barenaked Ladies records (barf), but I like the Chartnet list because it puts Slow at #17. Heck yes!!

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files. Actually, maybe not, since the CD of this is all over the internet.