Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Songs About People # 167 Sylvia Plath

'Sylvia Plath. Was never too good at math. But they tell me that she finished at the head of her class.'

Sylvia has featured in this series already but really she's a natural go to for Rock and Roll. Featured in songs by Belle & Sebastian, Ryan Adams, Sonic Youth and here in a posthumously released demo by Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu lead guitarist and music journalist Peter Laughner. Here he underlines the pure talent and vision that was gone too soon and much lamented by his friend and colleague Lester Bangs in an essay after his death. Laughner uses the classic dumb but smart schtick lines he'd already employed for Ubu's Life Stinks, 'I can't think coz, I like The Kinks' , (and so on), as his opening then moves on to make a broader statement about himself, Sylvia and the whole doomed, flawed, romantic tradition. Later covered by ultimate cult underground guitar band of the eighties Death of Samantha, who hailed as Laughner had from Cleveland, Ohio. A wry, sad, sardonic but quite beautifully written song.

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