Smegma – Beauty School (from Smell the Remains 1988)
In an effort to make sense of my love for all things bent, I can’t go on without dropping a little knowledge on one of the most important bands that ever existed. Those that came to this page for booty jams might want to ignore this one, but if you like DJ Milton, Mannie Fresh, Gucci Mane, and slowed down Rap music you got to face the facts, you like weird music.
Smegma, along with the man that named this website pretty much decided my direction in life early on. Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy and the above album Smell the Remains basically destroyed music for me at age 15 and lead me on my search for the most fucked up music I could find throughout high school. It took a minute to realize that I could find much of what I was looking for in the Hip-Hop cassettes I had stolen from my art teacher prior to these discoveries, so for a good chunk of that time I was filling my head with a lot of for lack of a better word experimental and more notably improvised music, and still do today. iI might not show within the music I post about here, but I have spent a lot of time listening to mic feedback and tape loops, and I don’t mean King Tubby.
Originally from Pasadena, relocated to Portland in the mid 70s, Smegma are both underground legend and another band the Wire was 30 years late to cover. Comprised of various members throughout their 36 year (!) span, the band has put out a huge discography, sometimes with gaps of over 10 years in between releases. For many, DIY means an impulse to release everything, for Smegma it means an impulse to play music with each other everyday for three decades. Contemporaries of the Butthole Surfers when they were good, and once lead by “the first rock critic”/the guy that wrote “Burnin for You” Richard Meltzer, the band members are in their 60’s and still smoking tons of weed and playing shows with Portland kids 1/4th their age. They’re like a Surf Rock band, if Duane Eddy had a love child with one of the Manson girls and recorded said offspring on a broken reel-to-reel. Not even Lee Perry could expell the Duppies from their tapes.
The above track is the B side 20 minute track from Smell the Remains that still sounds as fucked as it did when I first heard it.
Oh yeah did I mention one of the members plays the dental tape with almost an alto saxophone range of notes?