whitelabel.gif

In the mid ‘80s, Dead Milkmen were a college radio programmer’s wet dream. They were smart, snotty, and loud at a time when most bands were polished and pre-recorded. They made fun of anyone and everyone. They even took a shot at Stevie Ray Vaughn once, calling him a “cheesy Texas motherfucker.” (As tempting as it is to pass judgment on the band for making such a claim, it appears that time has already done that on our behalf.)

It was therefore only a matter of time before Dead Milkmen set their sights on the dance-oriented bands that were stealing their college radio glory. And what better way to defeat your enemy than by singing his song: “Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything)” (download), from the band’s 1987 album Bucky Fellini, is completely programmed — save for one well-timed outburst on guitar — and in fact it appears they deliberately used machines that were already outdated, in order to prove their point about the music’s disposability. Depeche Mode, Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Smiths, Public Image Ltd. and Book of Love — all of whom, curiously, will be the subject of future White Label Friday features — suffer the Milkmen’s wrath, along with the “danceteria types” who worshiped them. You want to put an indelible time stamp on your music? Use a word like ‘danceteria.’

The club DJs, of course, loved “Instant Club Hit.” Even the ones with 80 pounds of makeup on their art school skin thought it was funny. I mean, how do you not love a song that tells the people dancing to it that they’re all a bunch of art fags?

About the Author

David Medsker

David Medsker used to be 'with it.' But then they changed what 'it' was. Now what he's 'with' isn't 'it,' and what's 'it' seems weird and scary to him. He is available for children's parties.

View All Articles