Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What July 10th Means To Me: RIP Dennis Flemion

"Out of the mist...there was a pimp...out of the mist...there was a hooker! Out of the mist...there was a priest..." and out of this mist...there was this news.

In his book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman dedicates an entire section to a series of 23 questions he asks someone in order to figure out if he could truly love them.  The questions are thought provoking and brilliant, and I can easily see how he would gauge personality and sense of humor from their answers.  I'm not near as smart as Chuck, therefore I could never come up with a similar 23 questions.  So, instead, I play people The Frogs album, It's Only Right And Natural, and watch their reaction.

I'll safely assume the vast majority of you have never heard of The Frogs.  They were just a small indie band from Milwaukee after all, but they were also a favorite of Kurt Cobain, they toured with the Smashing Pumpkins, Beck sampled one of their lyrics in his hit song "Where It's At," ("That was a good drum break.") and Eddie Vedder included the Frogs cover of "Rearviewmirror" on the B-side of the "Immortality" single.  Hell, even Sebastian Bach played shows with them (I saw a few of those in person, and they were amazing.  Actually, the first time I ever saw someone smoke crack was at one of those shows  But I digress.)

It's Always Right And Natural is a series of home recordings that are so stripped down it's not uncommon to hear them break into laughter mid-song. But it's also a highly satirical album that was a shot across the bow to social conservatism. It may have partially been made just to watch them squirm.  And, well, it did earn the wrath of Pat Robertson and some of his peers.  But if you were just to hear the album, you'd be either blown away or absolutely appalled by the absurdity of it.  I still remember the first time I listened to it.  I knew I'd heard nothing like it, and I'd never hear anything like it again.  And I can't believe I still know so many of the songs by heart, and how it still makes me laugh. 
But, if nothing else, I believe It's Always Right And Natural is a barometer of personality.  You can either hang with it or you can't. So, RIP Dennis Flemion, you produced something that was, if nothing else, memorable to many.  And I, for one, will always love it.


  1. i think he did a great job of making the only art capable of making you laugh hysterically while thinking of his death. :)