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— save for one well-timed outburst on guitar — and in fact it appears they deliberately used machines that were already outdated, in order to prove their point about the music’s disposability.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?