If an album or CD is going to stay with me a while, it usually is because it reminds me of a time in my life, or the music is timeless.
As far as the Vulgar Boatmen's "You and Your Sister" goes, it's probably the timelessness of the music. You could have heard this music in the 70s or the 80s and it would have fit well. I discovered this CD in a friend's collection in the early 90s.
It was probably around this time of year in Iowa. It was more than likely cold than cool, and I was going through Kevin's CDs. I remember him having a lot of Skinny Puppy and Ministry. Then I saw this CD.
The Vulgar Boatmen. Heh. A funny play on the song "The Volga Boatmen." You and Your Sister. Heh. Dirty thoughts. I thought that it might be one of those jokey-gross metal bands like The Mentors. Those were always good for one listen, and then you'd give it to someone else like the way you shared a joke.
Once I put on the CD, though, I was surprised for a couple of reasons. First, that Kevin in all his industrial rock front owned such a jangly CD was interesting. Second, having liked the Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo, how could I have missed such a great rock and roll record? The opening chords of "Mary Jane" (apparently, it's NOT about marijuana, but instead about, uh, a girl named Mary Jane) start the call to arms, letting you know, "Young man, we don't need a Marshall stack to kick your ass, this Stratocaster through a the clean channel of this Fender tube amp will do just fine."
The vocals at times are remniscent of the Everly Brothers, in a good way. At first, I expected that the CD would have a few good tunes and then have a bunch of crap on it. While I will say that I have my favorites, each of these tunes have come back into my head at one time or another because of their catchiness. Each song stands alone.
My hands down favorite is "Margaret Says". The imagery in the vocals is great, and the tune has a nice groove that picks up and moves you down the road. In fact, the entire album is a must have for a long road trip, and not just because "Drive Somewhere" is the perfect song for driving somewhere.
I had this on one side of a 90-minute tape one spring break when my sister and I drove to Oklahoma to stay with our grandparents (our folks were in Germany at the time). I think my sister thought this was okay, but she favored the flipside of the tape, which had the Operation Ivy CD on it.