Alice Donut Live
Editor's Note: Jan 24, 2016 Fred posted this opinion on Facebook before Beacon of Speech, the Blog, existed. He specifically tagged Joe to read something that he knew he had no intent on reading. Fred is delusional that way.
Okay Joe Kaufmann, I know you're not going to read this, but this is what I was talking about.... I was doing the Beacon of Speech Webcast (#13) with you and Ted and while we were talking about the recently departed Glenn Frey, David Bowie, and Scott Weiland, you guys asked me who my favorite band was. I told you Alice Donut, then you made a bunch of doughnut jokes. For the uninitiated, Alice Donut was the greatest second generation punk band in the history of music. By the late 80’s, most first generation punks had burned up or burned out, leaving the lads from New York City to pick up the torch. When Hair Metal was popular, Donut was better. When Grunge was popular, Donut was better. Burning bright from 1986-1996, they captured the purist blend of punk, skree, and freakery ever recorded. Their probem? You can’t compare them to anyone. Not as hard as the Dead Kennedys, not as mainstream as Green Day, they chose their path and walked it alone. Like debauched rodents, the Donut gang pops their heads up every so often to drop an album or play a rare tour date. If you’re still reading this, Donut’s 10 best songs should have been college radio staples, while this list expands out to the top 50 songs you should check out from their 100+ song catalog. 1. Mother of Christ (1990) You cannot understate the ‘what the hell did I just hear?’ feeling when listening to the opening track on 1990’s Mule album. Mother of Christ was the perfect blend of sacrilegious lyrics and pop-punk hooks. And I don’t mean sacrilege in a Cradle of Filth type of way, but in a ‘fun’ way. The rhythm section harmonizing over the graphic conception of Christ all under the guise of punk sensibilities. “I want to feel what Mary felt, when God spent his seed”
2. Untidy Suicides (1992) Instead of riding the massive Nirvana underground surge, they were left in its wake. From one of the greatest underground albums ever made, Untidy Suicides of you Degenerate Children, the title track was a glorious pillar of bleak despair, leaving you exhausted by the end of the track. And for Christopher Walken fans, plenty of cowbell. “My Christmas Necktie/ Your nice red boots / Asphyxiation from your silk noose”
3. American Lips (1988) From their first proper album Donut Comes Alive, the best analogy I can make for this song is that it’s a punky-kinda We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel. But way, way more, um…disturbing. “My President has Colon-Rectal Cancer / Bloody French Fries at my McDonald’s McMassacre”
4. Lisa's Father (Waka Baby) (1989) Technically released to the masses on Donut’s Bucketfulls of Sickness and Horror in an Otherwise Meaningless Life album, lore has it that the horrible story of Lisa, Lisa’s Mother, Lisa’s Father, and Bill the Neighbor was the single that caused Jello Biafra to fall in love with the band and sign them to his Alternative Tentacles label. Attached to the Waka Baby single from the Dork Me Bangledesh demo, Lisa’s Father was a cult classic song before the age of the internet. (On a personal note, I heard this song listening to WBWC at 1:00 am on a Sunday night back in the 80’s. Never heard another Alice Donut song on the radio ever again. Unless you count my pirate radio station in Minnesota.) “I’m in the soup now!”
5. Magdalene (1992) A combustible mix of frantic guitars and the story of a stripper named Magdalene. Every story from the Untidy Suicides album was a paradox, uncovering stories of the mundane and tormented and plunging them through the sewage and wreckage of American life. “Shower Dollars on his grave”
6. Dorothy (1989) “Dorothy your shoes are fabulous / Beefy calves in poppy fields”
7. My Best Friend's Wife (1990) “Stares right through me/ Right into the tumor/ Of my sick need”
8. Wire Mother (1992) “You grabbed an enormous electrical appliance and, I think it was a VCR, and smashed it across my skull"
9. Lady Di (1993) “It says that Lady Di’s pregnant with an Alien…”
10. The Chicken Door (1994) “And when they hit the ground / You gotta pull ‘em from the flames”
11. Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (with Killdozer) 12. Kcick 13. Sunshine Superman 14. Come Up With Your Hands Out 15. The Son Of A Disgruntled X-Postal Worker 16. Freaks In Love 17. Kiss Me 18. Grain Production in the Age of Cromwell 19. Things Have Never Looked Better 20. Kcick Again 21. New Jersey Exit 22. Rise To The Skin 23. Helter Skelter 24. Prog Jenny
25. My Life Is A Mediocre Piece Of Shit 26. Mrs. Hayes 27. Sleep 28. Bottom Of The Chain 29. Dead River 30. Egg 31. Tiny Ugly World 32. Where Is My Mind 33. Madonna's Bombing Sarajevo 34. My Severed Head 35. Love Is A Fickle Thing 36. Halloween 37. The Tingler 38. In My Head 39. Mummenshantz Pachinko 40. She Tells Me Things 41. Running Arms in the Phillipines 42. Hose 43. Bone Us Track (New Jersey Exit Instrumental) 44. Empty Streets 45. Testosterone Gone Wild 46. Cow's Placenta To Armageddon 47. The Better Me 48. The Puny and Revolting Men of Advertising Smile 49. She Loves You She Wants You… 50. Millenium
Why bring up Alice Donut today? Last night was only their second concert since 2011. It was in Baltimore and, unless an unforeseen Donut movement erupts, was probably one of their last concerts ever. Gonna steal me a photo from the Facebook Group and post it below....
Updated Photo 11-14-17 - Ecstasy or Agony