My mother was a big fan of the Violent Femmes, or at the very least, that’s what I’m lead to believe thanks to my memories of her singing ‘Blister In The Sun’ as loudly and terribly as she can whenever it would come on the radio. Somehow, I managed to avoid the song completely until about 2000 (which is a few years after it reached a newfound popularity with Grosse Pointe Blank), but my mother sure made up for my years of not hearing this song with her purposely awful singing.
When I did first hear ‘Blister In The Sun’, I wasn’t aware it was already 17 years old by that point. As years went by, I slowly heard more of the Violent Femmes’ back catalogue, and I eventually went on to discover their self-titled debut record, which has become a favourite of mine.
The track ‘Add It Up’ managed to resonate with me. No, it wasn’t because I was a teenage virgin, grappling with thoughts of sexual inadequacy and loneliness (well, I was, but that’s neither here nor there), but there was just something so relatable in Gordon Gano’s delivery. Here was a young man filled with angst, lamenting his lack of luck with the opposite sex. Somehow, he managed to almost effortlessly describe these feelings in a way that made total sense to me. Which basically makes me think that I lied, and the reason I liked this song was because I was a teenage virgin. Hmm.