Song Of the Day: December 26, 2005
The Girls - Jeffrey I Hear You
Hearthan Records 45, 1979
One of the all-time great Boston post-punk singles, every bit up there with Mission of Burma's "Academy Fight Song," the Girls' "Jeffrey I Hear You" still sounds forbiddingly weird today, over a quarter century after it confounded crowds at the Rat. The band's only release in their tumultuous two-year existence, "Jeffrey I Hear You" was produced by David Thomas and released on Pere Ubu's own Hearthan label, and Ubu's influence is keenly felt, especially in Robin Amos' wriggly, Allen Ravenstine-style synth lines. Early Feelies is also a good touchstone, but as tightly wound as the Hoboken boys often were, they never quite sounded this unhinged. (The story I've heard is that "Jeffrey I Hear You" is about singer/drummer Daved Hild's brother, who died when they were kids, but I don't remember where this interpretation came from.) Amos is still active in the Boston art-punk scene as a key member of the long-running Cul de Sac, and Hild has made some appealingly odd records with Ralph Carney (Tin Huey, etc.), but here in Boston, this is still what they're best remembered for.