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The Gore Gore Girls & Beijing Night Fever

From the depths of the archive.org, this time a female garage band from Detroit, and the best of disco hits from 1980s China

Kuzhali Manickavel Apr 02, 2022

Gore Gore Girls, as appearing on Archive.org

Hallo dears! And warm welcome to this elegantly moist column, where I listen to different kinds of music on archive.org and say things like wow! and also other things. But first, there is a clarification I need to make regarding my write-up on Soviet Jazz. I mistakenly wrote that Andre Towmosian played the trumpet on this record. The trumpet player was in fact Carmell Jones on tracks 4 to 6 and Nat Adderley played the cornet on tracks 1 to 3. And while Towmosian was/is an accomplished, self-taught trumpet player, this album only includes one of his compositions. Similarly, Gennadi ‘Charlie’ Golstain, and Givi Gachechiladze only have their compositions on this album. Fam, what can I say; I think I just got very distracted by that whole large-stallion-swinging-giant-genitals thing. Anyway, I apologize for the error and many thanks to David Clark for pointing that out.

In this column, we are going to listen to some 80s disco music from the People’s Republic of China, and a band called The Gore Gore Girls! Let’s go dears!

We will begin with The Gore Gore Girls.

Why this?

Mainly because I like The 5.6.7.8’s. But also, because I thought, hey maybe this is a Hindi pop album from 1996 by a group called The Gore Gore Girls, as in The WhiteWhite Girls. Then I found out this is actually a garage rock band from Detroit and while I was disappointed, I decided to listen to it anyway because I didn’t want to seem racist.

What is it?

Looks like two songs from an album called Get the Gore. I am always excited to come across lady bands who tear everything up and then eat the pieces. I mean, that’s what it says they do.  And I believe them. Even though they also say this: ‘Be forewarned, though, anyone who writes the Gore Gore Girls off as only big hair, go-go boots and reform school allure misses the meat of the matter; slowwitted oglers are liable to get rudely muscled aside when the Girls hit the stage with their fully loaded Gretsch guitars, sweet harmonies and three-on-the-tree energy’.

I don’t know what any of that means. But I think they are talking about me.

Assorted Notes Made While Listening

The first song is called ‘All Grown Up’ which perhaps is a tongue in cheek number? A cutting commentary on gender and sexuality, bristling with angry guitars?

– No, this is actually a song about being seventeen and riding in cars with boys or whatever.

– No. Dude. DUDE!

– Bro that CANNOT be your guitar solo.

– THAT CANNOT BE YOUR GUITAR SOLO COME BACK AND PLAY SOMETHING PROPERLY!!

– You said ‘fully loaded Gretsch guitars’ wtf!!!

– Fam, I feel like I’m watching a coming-of-age movie and the girl is shocking the white people by wearing a leather jacket and hanging out with Hispanic people. 

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– Anyway, the next song is called ‘Pleasure Unit’. And while the first song was disappointing, I’m hoping this will be like some poppy industrial crunch metal about large machines having sex.

– It’s not about large machines having sex.

– This seems to be one of those songs where the lady tells all the dudes that she is her own man so you can all just poop off. POOP OFF I TELL YOU!! She’s not like other girls, I guess.

– I hate feminism.

In Conclusion

Remember when I quoted a few lines from the band’s write-up? I feel like I should quote something else from that: ‘Born by the pale blue glow of “Hullabaloo,” lullabied by the River Rouge Stamping Plant and honed to a shiv point by midnight B-movies, Detroit’s Gore Gore Girls’ come-hither sneer draws a sonic line (in thick, black eyeliner, babies) from the Girl Group ground zero of the Brill Building to the legendary punk Mecca of the Grande Ballroom. Get the Gore’s innocent and insolent sound finds both the gum-snapping punk in the Ronettes and the sweet and dirty romance in the Stooges’.

Again, I don’t understand any of that. But I feel like on the one hand, they waxed eloquent about fully loaded Gretsch guitars, safety-pin-through-the-bottom-lip punkness and how all the boys are scared of us. And on the other hand, they sang two songs that sounded like something from a Barbie movie. Which is mean, but fam, I thought this was going to be The 5.6.7.8’s except with chainsaws. Such are the powers of words fam.

However. I did listen to some of their other songs. And a lot of it is pretty good. For instance, this one is sweet and poppy in a sixties kind of way, I loved the vocals and guitar on this one, and this is a great cover of Where Evil Grows. Which makes me feel that I like The Gore Gore Girls, but I did not like these two songs. I guess it sometimes happens like that in life.

Filed Under

‘Gori Gori O Banki Chori’, ‘Gori Tere Aankhen’, ‘Fully Loaded Gretsch Guitars’


Next! We have Beijing Night Fever- Best of People’s Republic of China Disco Hits

Why This?

How can you even ask? Also, because the cover art seems to be drawn in pen and then photocopied. But mainly how can you even ask fam.

What is it?

Descriptor says it is a collection of 80s disco and pop music from The People’s Republic of China. Seems to be two tracks, each about 46 minutes long. Full disclosure, I don’t know any Chinese languages. Also, full disclosure, I was going to write ‘I don’t know any Chinese’ but then I thought hey I should probably Google that. Which is why I now know that China is in fact one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world with 302 languages. Which means it has a family of languages rather than just one massive Chinese language. Which is something I feel I should have known earlier.

Assorted Notes Made While Listening

  • This sounds like…marching music.
  • I mean it’s good but it’s marching music.
  • Anyway, none of this is pop or disco.
  • Ok here is the disco! COME AWN
  • This still kind of sounds like marching music though.
  • Aw, this one sounds like a 70s Tamil duet song, which is oddly comforting
  • This…..can’t be Surfing USA, right? Because this is an album of 80s disco from The People’s Republic of China. Right?
  • It’s Surfing USA guys. I mean it’s in a Chinese language. But it’s Surfing USA.
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Conclusion

          I only listened to half of this. Partly because I got bored after the first 46 minutes. And partly because after the novelty of ‘disco hits from China whaaaaat’ wore off, these songs started giving me strong Doordarshan-pre-satellite-days-6:52 pm-evening-programming vibes. I may have been listening to disco hits from China, but I was awash in dope Casio beats, the sounds of sad, grainy people singing about India and the importance of using toilets, and the overall audio sensation of a depressed tin can crying in the sad part of the universe. I’m not sure why, but those were my authentic emotions.

          Luckily, I was able to overcome my weird feelings and listen to the rest of this album, which of course is not what happened at all.  I actually ended up searching for ‘china disco 80s’ on Youtube, and I am pleased to say that I discovered some pretty great songs. Which is a relief because I was worried that maybe I didn’t like this album because of my racist face. Anyway, I liked this song by Zhang Qiang so much. I don’t think it’s from the 80s, but Zhang Qiang is the The Chinese Disco Queen who basically ruled everything in the 80s, so you can’t tell me what to do. I also liked this song so much. And this one. And this one also.  I basically liked almost everything I heard by Zhang Qiang. Which is a terrible way to discuss ‘Beijing Night Fever- Best of People’s Republic of China Disco Hits’.

Filed Under

‘Memories of Doordarshan’, ‘A Terrible Way to Discuss ‘Beijing Night Fever- Best of People’s Republic of China Disco Hits’, ‘I Didn’t Listen to All of This and I’m Sorry’ Anyway, it’s time to go now. Please tune in next time where we will listen to more music and have more feelings. Bai dears.

————-

Kuzhali Manickavel’s chapbooks and collections are available from Blaft Publications, Chennai. Her work has also appeared in Granta, Strange Horizons, The White Review, Agni, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review and DIAGRAM. More information can be found at www.kuzhalimanickavel.com.

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