Late Freak Out: Skinny Puppy
Posted by purplemary54 on April 25, 2014
I’ve been trying to catch up on Pop Culture Happy Hour podcasts the last few weeks, with mixed results. I was almost completely up to date last year when Dad started getting sick, and I fell way behind again. As of right now, I’m up to the end of January and Oscar nominations (it is kind of fun listening to all the predictions they got wrong). But it also means that the blog sometimes slips onto the back burner as I’m giggling along with four of my favorite NPR employees (you knew I was a nerd, right?).
But I thought I’d throw this one out here for you late-nighters, even though it might turn you into an insomniac.
I don’t know much about this style of music. Except that it kind of terrifies me. Nine Inch Nails actually comes from this sort of Industrial/Electronica/Metal school of music. But Trent Reznor has, in becoming the public face of this style, softened it somewhat for more mainstream consumption. NIN is frequently pretty dark shit, but it’s also tuneful and melodic and really very artful. Skinny Puppy makes even the earliest NIN music seem like cheerful Pop made by teddy bears.
I’ve sort of deliberately not learned much about Skinny Puppy (here’s their Wikipedia page if you want to know the basic facts). I first heard them back in the late 80s. I don’t remember the name of the album, but I listened to about one and a half tracks, and then I had to listen to something else. Or watch cartoons. Or maybe the news, which was happier than Skinny Puppy by a long shot. I haven’t even watched the entire clip I chose to post. It’s after 10 PM as I’m writing this, and I’d like to be able to sleep sometime tonight. (To be fair, I’m sure the members of the band are perfectly nice human beings, and that they have legitimate reasons for their artistic and musical choices. I just don’t care to know right now.) It’s a little bit like watching a scary movie after a certain time; at some point, you make a conscious choice to watch the sun come up because the shadows are just a little bit too dark.
But all my heebie-jeebies aside, Skinny Puppy is really good at what they do. And it may well be that scaring listeners silly is an intentional goal. If it is, bravo, fellas. You succeeded with me.