I’d like to apologize for omitting “Comeback Kid” by Sleigh Bells from the February 2012 Music or Space Shuttle? mix tape (which is still fucking awesome; listen to the whole 10-song extravaganza at bit.ly/AqO7Ou).
Here’s the thing: it was a calculated move. I didn’t want the song to dwarf the other nine inclusions on the mix tape; I wanted to devote an entire post to singing its praises…or more specifically, praising the video.
Alexis Krauss staring at me with her big-saucer eyes! Those shorts! Those jeans! (Even if they were stolen from Joe Elliott’s 1988 wardrobe!) The right amount of leg visible under that bathrobe! Those cheerleading moves! That spiky jacket! Alternating between her cool sunglasses and those sexy eyes! That longing look as the song reaches its conclusion! Did I mention those shorts?! That lucky deck chair!
[Madeline Follin of Cults enters the room]
Madeline: What the heck is going on here?
Chris: Oh, hi, Madeline Follin, my rock ‘n’ roll girlfriend.
Madeline: Why is Alexis Krauss on your computer screen?
Chris: Um, I was just mentioning to the adoring Music or Space Shuttle? readership that I think this video is kinda sorta cool. I mean, it’s no “Abducted,” but it’s not bad—
Madeline: What’s so great about this video?
Chris: Derek Miller’s In Utero shirt is pretty cool. That mustard toss was pretty epic. His John Bender-esque fist pump at the end is pretty awesome.
Madeline (frowning): You’re dumping me, aren’t you?
Chris: Um, well, yes.
Madeline: Go outside.
Chris: [sigh] Great tune.
Madeline: No, get the fuck out of here.
And so another rock ‘n’ roll relationship ends. Madeline Follin, who last summer stood just a couple feet away from me as she performed before a rapturous crowd in St. Louis, finds herself kicked to the curb in favor of another raven-haired vixen. Madeline’s got company; I’ve loved me some rock women over the years. Some have been mega-popular; some are girl-next-door types. For example…
When was this?: early 2000s
Initial appeal?: liked the Ramones-style songs in the beginning; liked her look around Get Skintight
Real encounters?: Well, sorta. When they played Gabe’s in Iowa City in 2002 or something like that, my buddy Sam and I were hanging out in back during the opener, having a brew, when Donna R (Sam’s obsession) and Donna F came by and started playing Trivia Whiz. Sam kept yelling out the answers, which may or may not have annoyed the two Donnas. So Sam did the chivalrous thing and gave them $2 worth of quarters; that way he could keep yelling out answers/flirting with Donna R with a clean conscience. At some point in this display of cerebral excellence, Donna A and Donna C came by. I went to say “hi” to Donna A and managed to get out “Durrr-ahhhh-hey!” It was magical.
How did it end?: Once the Donnas became less like the Ramones and more like butt-rock, I was done with Donna.
Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
When was this?: mid- to late 1990s
Initial appeal?: She reminded me of Maura Tierney (what? I liked NewsRadio…)
Real encounters?: None…I never saw Sleater-Kinney live, nor did I see Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks during her tenure as timekeeper. I did have some college classes with a girl who looked a lot like Janet Weiss and played the drums. She was kinda cool. (And of course I was petrified to have anything to do with her other than bum smokes from her after class now and again.)
How did it end?: That girl from Portlandia seemed jealous.
D’Arcy Wretzky of the Smashing Pumpkins
When was this?: early- to mid-1990s
Initial appeal?: A blonde, too-cool-for-school girl who was a member of one of my greatest musical obsessions…yeah, this was a no-brainer.
Real encounters?: Not really. Saw them twice in 1994; got close to the stage the first time. I remember one of my friends throwing a hotel-sized bar of soap at D’Arcy. His intent was that she would catch it/pick it up and use it as a pick, but realized the millisecond after it left his hand that she might take it as a statement of insult regarding her body odor. (No, I haven’t had a real encounter, but wanted to share the soap story.)
How did it end?: The Pumpkins started to suck after (during?) Mellon Collie, and perhaps I foresaw this image.
When was this?: mid- to late 1980s
Initial appeal?: What, you haven’t seen the video for “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”?
Real encounters?: I was, like, 12—that would have been awkward. And I didn’t really want to have to meet the Miami Sound Machine.
How did it end?: As it turned out, the rhythm did not get me. (And I started listening to heavy metal, and, aside from an obligatory liking for Lita Ford and the ladies of Vixen, became asexual for a while.)
When was this?: mid 1980s
Initial appeal?: the song “Burning Up”; the videos for “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”
Real encounters?: Back then I think I saw many a teenage girl trying to look like her (and failing miserably). I also lived vicariously through that boy in the “Open Your Heart” video—does that count?
How did it end?: Who says it did? She still looks great.
If you have any quirky rock ‘n’ roll loves, tell me all about them in the comments. (Ladies, feel free to chime in, too. Perhaps you can ask my better half about her Jimi Westbrook thing.)