I am a big fan of the Albany-based rock band Blotto. Have been, always will be. I still have a couple of autographed discs from them in my personal holdings, and I still argue that “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard” should have been a nationwide hit. And by “nationwide,” I needed to hear Casey Kasem introduce it on American Top 40.
That being said, in the past I’ve written blogs about artists who have recorded remakes of Blotto songs, including this 1987 fan remake of “Lifeguard.”
There’s also this absolutely sweet cover of “Lifeguard” from Jocelyn and Chris Arndt, which was recorded after Sarge Blotto’s death. Go to the link here to see it.
And then this geez-o-pete’s version of “Lifeguard,” by a group named Scud Lightning. Yucch.
So over the weekend, news came that some alternative music artists created what is apparently an anti-Blotto tribute album.
No, seriously. An Anti-Blotto tribute album, where several hardcore and punk and alternative groups do their own take on Blotto’s greatest songs.
I don’t know anything about this recording … or the artists performing it … but wow, this is … charitably … painful.
There’s 32 songs on this compilation, and six of them are “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard.” As performed by such notable groups as – trust me, these are verbatim – Change My Diaper, The Dick Panthers, Amplify My Fart, Blood Red Oscars, and Oppositional Defiant Disorders. Yikes. I’ve seen bar trivia team names that weren’t as offensive as these.
And as you can imagine, whoever made these covers decided to go full-bore Carlin with the lyrics. This record would need so many “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” stickers that there wouldn’t be enough room on the CD jewel case to hold them all.
I suppose there are a couple of gems in this bin of coal … at 14:03, someone did a sound collage that featured various Blotto tracks from long ago, so there’s that. And there’s a sorta tolerable version of “I Quit” by the group Eurodisney Deathcamp that sounds like a trio of bikers who stumbled into a karaoke bar.
But that balances off with a half-stoned version of “Bud Is After Us,” by the totally appropriately named Poopy Necroponde. And the cover of “We Are the Nowtowns” by the group Loving Couples is just the group singing, over and over, “We are the Nowtones / N-n-n-n-n-Nowtones,” as if group thought those were the song’s only lyrics. Urgh.
I’m also trying to figure out why there’s two tracks by the group Erectile Dementia with the song “I Went Back in Time and Voted for Hitler,” which I know damn well aren’t in Blotto’s catalog. Yeesh.
Yeah. Trust me, I thought the Scud Lightning cover of “Lifeguard” from long ago was awful. Not a chance. This record surpasses – or should I say, subverses – in every possible way.
Excuse me. Now I have to go play my vinyl Blotto LP’s for about three or four hours to get the gunk out of my ears. Ugh.
Blotto’s legacy is that they helped put Albany on the national music map back in the 80’s.
But why in the blue blazes would you say that a tribute album by a group of hardcore and punk bands who otherwise would remain anonymous outside of their respective home areas would be “anti-Blotto”? It kinda kills the whole idea of a tribute, doesn’t it?
Oh, yeah. We can assume Blotto had a little help getting their videos on MTV, considering a certain VJ once called the 518 home……..!
That is just so wrong!!!!
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