Monday, December 11, 2006

Miniskirt mob: Dickless

Of all the bands we’ve covered and are planning to cover, I’ve been most looking forward to writing about Dickless. Few resources on this band exist on the web. They lasted only briefly, releasing two proper singles (one of which we’ll cover later), one song on the Teriyaki Asthma compilation, and one limited-edition single credited to Dickless All-Stars (which we’ve neither seen nor heard). Their wikipedia entry is only one paragraph long, and only recently did somebody create a myspace page dedicated to them. To my knowledge, only the Teriyaki Asthma track saw release on cd, although that will soon change.

In the introduction to Charles Peterson’s collection of grunge-era photographs Screaming Life, Michael Azerrad wrote that “the visionary Dickless broke up before the rest of the world had caught up to them.” While I love to think that the world would have embraced Dickless, I doubt that the world agrees. Singer Kelly Canary’s vocals are on, shall we say, the abrasive side. (I mean this in the best possible way: she sings like a wasted hyena.) As you can see from the myspace page, however, many people fondly remember the awesome bludgeoning that Dickless gave them all those years ago.

It used to strike us as silly to see the term “grunge” applied to slick, carefully marketed, radio-ready bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Blind Melon (!), because Dickless embodied grunge better than perhaps any other band from that era, and nobody would consider them slick or ready for radio. Instead, they played a shambolic, fuzzed-out, assertive, and funny rock, and I regret that I never managed to catch them live. For at least a few months, they ruled.

I had some questions about their releases, so I donned my Sherlock Holmes hat, put on my tan-colored topcoat, and grabbed my best magnifying glass (I own several) and hunted down ex-Dickless drummer Lisa Smith to ask her some questions.

At one point, there was talk about a Dickless retrospective. What ever happened to that?

There is a contract we are signing right now for an anthology that is being put out with everything, ever recorded.

Who is releasing the retrospective?

Lance T. " Bored Housewife" is the label owner who is putting the Anthology out.

What ever happened with the All-Stars single? Were two of the songs on "Hey Lumberjack"? Did Sub Pop ever press any copies of it?

They did, but very few that they passed out at their 10-year anniversary party as a free give-away at the door.

I read that Megan Jasper replaced Kelly Canary on vocals. Did Jasper attempt to sing the same way?

Well, she screamed as well, but nobody can imitate Kelly's gravel.

Did Dickless ever tour?

We did short little jaunts

What are your best and worst memories from that time? Any shows in particular stick out?

We drove all the way to S.F. to open up for Tad and Nirvana on Valentines day, and as a gift to Tad, we learned “Sex God Missy” and changed the lyrics to "SEX GOD TAD."

Finally, I see on your profile that you've gotten into fitness (so have I). What's your mile time?
I am not very fast at all. I run an 11 min. mile on a good day without any injuries!!

* * * *

So there you have it. I personally cannot wait for the retrospective.

Thurston Moore, incidentally, coined the term “foxcore” to classify Dickless and like-minded bands, such as STP. Ha ha ha—“foxcore.” Thurston Moore, you jackass!

The first two tracks appeared on the Sub Pop “I’m a Man” 7”, and “Miniskirt Mob” was appended to the 12”. “Sweet Teeth” appeared on the Teriyaki Asthma compilation.

Dickless--"I'm a Man"
Dickless--"Saddle Tramp"
Dickless--"Minkskirt Mob"
Dickless--"Sweet Teeth"



Matt said...

i got the song saddle tramp from sub pop 200, i having problems gettin these again :). They are a great band.

best blog ever :D

Lamestain HQ said...

My bro is trying to resolve the link issue. They seem to be working fine with me on Mozilla.

Matt said...

aw cool man, you guys rock :D

charlie said...

I sat next to Kelly Canary for an entire quarter in Oceanography class at SCCC. She smelled like cigarettes and never screamed, or even talked. She and I both know what the Sargasso Sea does for eels though, so that's something. And I take the term 'Woods Hole' more seriously now.

She really lets go on the Earth EP.

Mike said...

I heard "Sweet Tooth" when I got the Teriyaki Asthma comp a good while back. That is still my favorite song by them, and I think it forever will. Sound wise they remind me a alot of early Mudhoney...But they have a more fuzzy sound to them than Mudhoney. Which is great, and the screaming I thought was a nice touch also.

After getting into "Sweet Tooth" I sought after the Saddle Tramp/I'm A Man record....To this day, the original version of Saddle Tramp is MUCH better than the Supersuckers cover. But they did a good job in their own right.

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Anonymous said...

Kelly Canary is a lawyer now and directs the Innocence Project legal clinic at UW Law School. She is quite an inspiring person.

Ben Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Can you post the song "C-Word" from the Up Records compilation Up Next?

Gladys Badhands said...

Thank you so much for posting this!
I have the elusive 'Dickless Allstars' 7", certainly one of the dime-pieces to my record collection! x

Wout Vl said...

I quess the anthology never got released, or?