Friday, August 28, 2009

Tuxedomoon - Half Mute

With Brian Eno busy riding the nuts of every no wave band he could get his hands on, it's easy to believe that the first generation of post-punk bands were all slumming it in the same loft in New York City. Au Contraire mon frère! Open your ears to the sounds of Tuxedomoon, San Francisco's hottest new band since Chome and The Dead Kennedys.

Much like their kindred spirits and occasional rivals The Eagles, Tuxedomoon appreciated the finer things in life. You won't find them tearing apart perfectly good guitars or ripping their clothes to shreds, unlike their fellow Artforum readers on the east coast. Their wicked choons were infected by haunted lounge music, cool jazz and scrappy socal punk... a sound that suited them better to a life of playing high-class European festivals, French cabarets and art galleries. These guys wouldn't be caught dead riding in a conversion van to a gig, a fact which wrote them out of Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life and relegated them to the snobby margins of 80's indie rock. Pretty sure they could care less as they sip down bottles of 1975 Lafleur on the balcony of the Castello Del Nero while getting handjobs from farm-maidens summoned from the Tuscan valleys below, their tender hands stained a dark red from years of working in the fields. The thousands... no, millions of Canaiolo grapes they plucked from the vines, one by one, all under the unforgiving eyes of their father and his cruel, lecherous hired hands, in the hopes that one day a gentle man would rescue them from their life of sweat and toil. An artist, a visionary, a man with a boiling passion for life whose only remaining desire in the world would be to give all his love to just one woman...

Half-Mute was their first album, released in 1980 after a couple of EPs. When California governor Ronald Reagan was presented with a sealed copy by a supporter during a routine stop on his Presidential campaign, many onlookers recall seeing him overcome by emotion, eventually retreating into his tour bus for several hours before returning to his scheduled appearances, shaking hands and kissing babies, but visibly shaken.


Download: the whole album

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