SONGS I LOVE: “16 Candles”

Danielle DaxBack in high school, I was the pretentious twit that had to be “this much more alternative than you”. Remember the first time you heard The Pixies? I was already “done” with them by then. The Replacements? Please – I was into them years ago. The Residents? Yep – been there, done that! Mission of Burma? I’ve already taken my MoB albums back to the store, to trade them in for the “latest and greatest”… except for that one album with the guy wearing the WREK t-shirt on the back – that’s kind of cool.

At any rate, being the “most alternative guy you know” was my badge of “cool” I suppose, pointless though it all was. To keep myself on the cutting edge, I buried myself in a gigantic pile of imported or obscure music magazines, like Melody Maker, NME, Option, and Trouser Press, to name but a few. One of the positives of this was that it really did keep me on the edge for several years. One of the downsides was that magazines don’t actually play music. Before the Internet, you could read about a band in a magazine, and if you wanted to actually hear them, you paid $15 for the LP or CD. Picking a new band using the printed word works well much of the time, but sometimes I’d shell out $18 for an import LP that I really didn’t like.

Such was the case with Danielle Dax. Her 1987 album Inky Bloaters came highly recommended from several indie mags, so I shelled out the $21 for the import CD… only to hate it. But it’s not a “New York Yankees” kind of hate. It’s more of a “Vegemite hate”, in that I’ll still go back to it every so often and think “oh, it couldn’t possibly have been that bad…”. But after ten minutes with Danielle Dax (or biting in to a thick layer of Vegemite on toast), it just wasn’t meant to be… until now.

I stumbled across this song from Blast The Human Flower, her only major label recording. It’s the last song on the disc, and probably a throw-away track… but it’s somehow cool. Have a listen:


One Reply to “SONGS I LOVE: “16 Candles””

  1. This is probably the best track off “Blast the…”, although “Jehovah’s Precious Stone” isn’t half-bad either. However, IMHO, that album seems her least inspired work – too commercial, perhaps overly-influenced by the BigWig’s at Sire Records to be toned down for greater acceptance by the buying public. Meanwhile, her earlier body of work is incredible. Her second album, “Jesus Egg that Wept”, from the mid-80’s, was glued to my turntable during my college years, and she’s still got a cult following, despite having retired from music some time ago. Actually, I read last year she’d been rather seriously ill, but was slowly recovering.

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