Articles by Jim Connelly

Jim Connelly has been eye-deep in media of all kinds ever since he can remember, and probably prior to that. Over the past quarter-century he has worked in the radio, film, music, and internet industries, and has been writing about popular culture and technology the entire time. Prior to co-founding Medialoper, Jim's work appeared both online and off in publications such as Wired, The Village Voice, Neumu and Websight Magazine . . . Jim at Facebook . . . Jim on Twitter . . .

Certain Songs #765: The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Cut Dead”

Album: Psychocandy
Year: 1985

One of the things about Psychocandy was the pacing.

It wasn’t all song after song of buzzsaw guitars and pounding rhythms: there were also songs that laid up on the noise, mostly, and provided a bit of a respite from all of the noise, usually over on a variation of the Phil Spector “Be My Baby” beat.

The most famous example of these songs was “Just Like Honey,” — which kicked off the whole album — but on the second side, the etherial “Sowing Seeds” took also this approach (and had Jim Reid confessing that he wanted peace, like he was a fucking hippie or something), but the most gorgeous of all was the lighter-than-air “Cut Dead,” which cut me to the core, both musically and lyrically.

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Certain Songs #764: The Jesus and Mary Chain – “The Hardest Walk”

Album: Psychocandy
Year: 1985

To this day, I don’t know if seeing The Jesus and Mary Chain play live just a couple of months after Psychocandy came out helped or hurt my love of the album.

After all, we already knew that part of their shtick at the time was to play incredibly short, auto-destruct sets, and so — unlike, say, seeing R.E.M. on the Pagentry tour, which was just a few months later — heading up to to San Francisco to see The Jesus and Mary Chain probably wasn’t going to deepen my understanding of Psychocandy, which was clearly a studio creation anyways.

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Certain Songs #763: The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Just Like Honey”

Album: Psychocandy
Year: 1985

“Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this!!”
— Tony Soprano

While Psychocandy came out in the U.K. in November, 1985, it didn’t come out here in the colonies until January of 1986, which was when I ended up getting it.

For me, it was easily the most anticipated debut album since The Smiths or maybe going back to Murmur! Yeah, OK. Back then, there were a lot of highly-anticipated debut albums, and honestly, Psychocandy was just another one — an artist would put out a couple of amazing singles, even an EP, and so by the time the album came out, there was a fan base just salivating for a whole album of chewy goodness — so while I was definitely looking forward to it, I probably wasn’t dying for it.

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Certain Songs #762: The Jesus and Mary Chain – “You Trip Me Up”

Album Psychocandy
Year: 1985

in the summer of 1985, the layout of our condo at the end of the Ikeway had Kirk’s room at the end of the hallway that connected the bedrooms to the living room and kitchen area. This was important because while all three of us — Kirk, Tim and I — had our own stereo systems, none of us had enough money to buy a communal stereo system for the front part of the condo.

This meant that Kirk’s stereo was the defacto sound system for our entire place, but of course, in order to hear anything in the front room, it had to be turned up LOUD, so that the sound would travel down the funnel of the hallway and explode into the living room.

As you can imagine, none of us minded this, given that 30+ years later, we’re still being asked by our respective spouses if we could turn the music down to a normal volume. Which of course it’s already at, said normal volume being LOUD.

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Certain Songs #761: The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Never Understand”

Album: Psychocandy
Year: 1985

The things you remember, right? Here’s one: at some point in the early 1980s, probably after listening to one of the first two Psychedelic Furs albums, I remember thinking that it would cool if somebody could somehow get the drone of a blow dryer in a song. Not as some kind of art noise like Einst├╝rzende Neubauten were doing, but in tune, as a quintessential part of a pop song.

Well, apparently William & Jim Reid had the same kind of idea, and they used it to create a debut album that ranks in my top 5 all-time favorite albums by anyone, Psychocandy.

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