Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Connecting Tissue: Suburban Lawns Again

Surprisingly, to me anyways, my previous Suburban Lawns post has proven to be one of this blog's most popular ever. Still is. Maybe it shouldn't be too surprising when considering a Google search reveals a still thriving large-ish cult audience out there and even now the band has representations on MySpace, Facebook, Tumblr, Wikipedia and countless other blogs besides this one. Mind you, this is a band whose modest commercial peak was over 30 years ago and its only album has probably been out of print for nearly as long. (It's currently being traded for $35 to $100+.) So who is this cultish audience, second and third generation New Wavers? Well, thanks to their steadfast preservation in interwebs amber, their cult may yet go on for unhatched generations to come.

Previously, I went on about my infatuation with Su Tissue, the band's singer and figurehead. After rereading this more recent interview with guitarist Frankie Ennui  (nee Rick Whitney, a practicing lawyer for the last 20 years) I discovered that in my lack of due diligence I may've overstated her creative role. It appears the band's material was mostly written by the guys, lyrics included, though her vocal stylings––arguably the reason for the band's posterity in the first place, and in the case of Janitor, the janitor/genitals concept––were all her own. It was she who provided the band its highlight reel.

But, as often happens, it's the figurehead we remember most. They're the brand. And if it's a cute chick up front, all the more. (This was also the case with the band I was in, where the fetching non-writing singer was fetching most of the attention.)

In any event, theirs was a brief moment but one still very much worth savoring: Enjoy.

Suburban Lawns, Janitor and Green Eyes from Suburban Lawns (1981) 
Suburban Lawns, Flavor Crystals from Baby EP (1983)


wakalanko said...

actually she did write lyrics, you can tell especially in their second release the EP, you can clearly distinguish her compositions too.... that EP is a jewel, and her solo album salon the musique is a minimalism masterpiece.

Deiter said...

Thanks for the info! I was basing my premise on what I'd heard in an interview from another band member. If I recall, he didn't speak of her compositions, only his, and was mostly addressing his remarks to Janitor which, obvioulsy, gets the most attention.

Not to take anything away from her, her contributions as a singer and character were invaluable.