The Songs of Summer #61: ‘Blister in the Sun’ by Violent Femmes
Oh yeah…A little Femmes to take us into the weekend sounds like a good idea, no? About today’s song, Rolling Stone magazine says, “This unlikely hit exploded like an over-ripe zit all over John Hughes America in the mid-Eighties.” Did any kid who experienced their teen years in the mid-80’s not love the Violent Femmes? If there are any out there, I’m not aware of them. As soon as that acoustic guitar riff starts, everybody in my generation knows exactly what’s going on. There weren’t many other musical acts quite like the Violent Femmes; a frustrated, sex-obsessed, snot-nosed trio who jammed on acoustic instruments…Were they punk? Folk? Folk Punk? Surf Folk? Surf Punk? I didn’t know. I only knew that they were different, and that they had that one song with the ‘F’ word in it….and to this day, ‘Blister in the Sun‘ is still in my opinion one of the great songs of summer.
‘Blister in the Sun‘ is yet another in a seemingly endless line of songs that formed the musical soundtrack to my empty summer days. I wore out two copies of the Violent Femmes’ self-titled debut album, mostly from playing it in the hot hot sun at the pool. You know how I mentioned yesterday that sometimes a song just sounds better in less than pristine conditions? This album is like that; it’s one of those albums that I think probably best belongs on a cheap cassette that’s baked in the sun for a while. I’ve also owned this album on CD and digital download, and I’m getting it on vinyl soon…But it will always be those cassettes that I think of. It’s a perfect album, and ‘Blister’ is a great song, the only song on my Songs of Summer list that may or may not be about masturbation.
P.S. Speaking of blisters in the sun…If I ever, God forbid, have skin cancer, I will blame it totally on that one day at the beach in Grand Haven in 1986 when I got the worst sunburn of my life, with blisters all over the front side of my body. But even with the terrible burn, it was still a great day at the beach.
P.S.S. WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN