The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pylon


4-9-08 Pylon

7" BEEP / ALTITUDE DB US DB 62

CD CHAIN SKY US 7-2020.2

LP CHOMP DB US DB 65

10" COOL / DUB / DRIVING SCHOOL / DANGER!! ARMAGED UK AEP 12004

12" CRAZY / M-TRAIN DB US DB 61

7" CRAZY / M-TRAIN DB US DB 61

12" FOUR MINUTES / BEEP / ALTITUDE DB US DB 62

LP GYRATE ARMAGED UK ARM 5

LP GYRATE DB US DB 54

CD GYRATE PLUS DFA US DFA 2181CD

CD HITS DB US DB 91

CD5 SUGARPOP promo SKY US ALW/PYLON

I think the first time I ever heard of Athens, GA was when KROQ started playing the indie 45 of “Rock Lobster” by The B-52’s. In rapid succession, I learned about The Method Actors, Pylon, Love Tractor, Oh Ok etc. Pylon and The Method Actors were actually signed to Armageddon Records in England – with US distribution via DB (Danny Beard) Records in Atlanta, GA.

While I would have to say that the two-man Method Actors are my favorite Athens band (I dearly love the “Rhythms Of You” 10”), I am also very fond of Pylon. I had the good fortune to see them play live in L.A. at least twice (Cathay de Grande and Club Lingerie!) – they were always a good live band.

I think my fandom really got going when the Pylon 12” singles started arriving – “Crazy” b/w “M Train” and “Four Minutes” b/w “Beep” and “Altitude” – what great new wave singles!!! I always liked how “Four Minutes” was considered an ‘indecipherable lyric’. I still think “Altitude” is one of the best U.S. pop songs ever written.

And recently, the debut Pylon album, “Gyrate” has been re-issued by the DFA label (Mr. LCD Soundsystem) – dang, it sure sounds good! For being nearly a 30-year-old album, it sounds to me like it was recorded last week or even last night. (It’s available right now, so go out and get yourself a copy of it!)

I am not sure if they are playing any longer – but if you ever get the chance to see Pylon play live, do it. My abiding memories of Pylon live are of Vanessa (the vocalist) spinning around, and the drummer just cashing the hell out of his drums – up to but not over the line where the drums would actually fall apart on stage. In the 80’s, we (me and my new wave friends in L.A.) all had a crush on Vanessa – especially after seeing them live!

I never knew what to make of that difficult 3rd album, “Chain” – probably I should give it another go ‘round. The “Hits” CD is real good to find, so you can have all those singles on CD. But “Gyrate” is the one making the rounds at the moment. Killer stuff!

3 Comments:

Blogger chas_m said...

Every few years I play some Pylon and think of all the memories I have associated with these guys, and how truly wonderful they are (and the scene that spawned them).

As you know, on my latest COW I lead off with "Crazy," a wonderful track and a great introduction to their never-quite-matched sound.

Method Actors, Arms Akimbo, Oh OK, the dBs, Dexter Romweber -- I used to go up to Athens every chance I got (which was a lot) in my late teens/early 20s in Atlanta once I found out what an art party it was. It was the best.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Yeah - Chain didn't do it for me either. I flipped my copy on La La but wouldn't mind getting the neu Gyrate remaster.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

I can vouch for the new-ish CD of "Gyrate" - great sound, lots of power.

7:23 AM  

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