March of the Stickmen

Here’s a double-take of one of my favourite discoveries of the last few years – Philadelphia band The Stickmen, who emerged in the post-punk chaos of the late 70s, made a few albums, had white vans that broke down, got given pretentious labels by critics, drank milkshakes, broke up, got mortgages, died tragically, reformed, had children, gained PhDs, got cynical, moved to the tropics, put out compilation albums, all the usual things.

Actually, some of that was me rather than the Stickmen. Sorry.

Anyway, what can you expect to hear? Imagine what the B52s would have sounded like if only their mothers had stopped drinking when they got pregnant, and then if their rhythm section got kidnappped and somehow replaced by some of the guys from the Birthday Party without anyone noticing, and then the resulting ensemble tried to play two different songs at the same time.

Or just listen to the tracks. Whichever you prefer….

I got these tracks a while back over on one of the usual post-punk haunts, PPJ I think, but they aren’t there now so I’m putting them back up for you. They are both from the Instiable compilation CD, and they both rawk. Frenetic dum-drums, bonky bass, twisty geetar, krazee v-v-v-vocals, squonky saxophone and gosh-darn weird clavinet! Go!



2 thoughts on “March of the Stickmen

  1. …dude, i just wanted to thank you. i was sitting here, reading some articles about philadelphia nightlife of the 80’s (i was too young to partake in it, but, when i started working as a bouncer in the 90’s i used to hear the old-heads talking about these spots with great reverence), and one of the articles mentioned the stickmen. i had’nt thought about them in years, but, for several months back when i was about 16 or 17, they were my favorite band. i still have their only 2 vinyl LP’s (3 if you count the bonus 45 that came with their 2nd album), the jackets are well worn from use. they were MY band…no one else i knew was into them, and i introduced all of my friends to their music (to their chagrin, i’m sure). when i did a google search, not a whole lot popped up about them. so, it kinda warmed my heart a little to see your blog…to see someone re-discover them, and dig them, after all these years, that’s pretty cool (and, yeah, i admit it, validating for me.) rock on, homey.

  2. Thanks Scott.

    Did you see them live?

    They must have had fairly big balls, even for back then. No-one would even attempt to form a band like this now.

    I think a lot of the Insatiable compilation was over at Post Punk Junk dot com at one point. The same guy run Egg City Radio now. It’s worth checking out..

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