Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Second Spin: The Cucumbers, The Cucumbers

Posted By on Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 8:24 AM

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Artist: The Cucumbers

Album: The Cucumbers

From: Vintage Vinyl’s 99 cent bin.

Year: 1987

Label: Profile Records

What it sounds like: If Cyndi Lauper joined the B-52’s and pinched her nose while she sang.

Best Track: “Tiger” I have no idea what any of the words to this song were. It was so fast I had to check to make sure I didn’t accidentally switch the record player to 45 speed. It was like R.E.M.’s “End of the World” on speed with a lot of ska influence and some crazy synthesizer noises thrown in for good measure. For anyone out there trying to kick a cocaine habit, I recommend listening to this song.

Worst Track: “Shower” The opposite end of the spectrum, I could hear all the lyrics to the album’s slow-jam and none of them were good. Lowlights include: “I gave my love an orange flower/it smelled so good he didn’t need a shower,” and “We’ll have our tea and our coffee/Then we’ll take a shower/and be happy/ you like the water colder but I like it (in a sexy voice) hotter.”

Who you can thank for the amazing cover art: I have no clue what’s going on here, but it’s mildly disturbing. Art direction and design by Janet Perr.

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Interesting Facts: Via the band’s Web site: The Cucumbers are still a band, but it sounds like they have little in common with their 1987 version: They’re now an acoustic duo featuring the original lead singer Deena Shoshkes and original lead guitarist Jon Fried. Fried’s father is a Julliard-trained oboeist who scored several early Stanley Kubrick films, including “Day of the Fight” as well as a couple Star Trek episodes. The group was the first “rock” band signed to Profile Records, who made a mint after breaking Run DMC. Everything you need to know about the Cucumbers is summed up in one sentence in their online biography: “Jon started playing rock music again when he found college friends (Wes Moore and Dave Rabiner) doing private lipsynch performances of the Ziggy Stardust album in their dorm room (at Brown University.)” Consider them the Vampire Weekend of 1987.

Below is the video for their single from this album, “My Boyfriend,” which debuted on MTV on Christmas Day 1987.

-Keegan Hamilton

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