I first caught the Cramps on a humid day in the summer of 1992. It was bizarre, unconventional, amazing and above all else, eye-opening.  In the span of their set I saw the band mix up Buddy Holly, Johnny Thunders, Link Wray and the Ramones; turn it on its head and spin it into some kind of monstrous goo. I was 16 and there was no turning back — it just worked for me. This strange beast—an unholy amalgamation of surf-rock, voodoo, latex, B-movie comic book horror, stilettos, rockabilly, garage and punk—would continue to weave in and out of my listening habits, and psyche, for the next fifteen-plus years.

I’ve been on another Cramps kick of late (the first since Lux Interior’s 2009 passing) and was just telling a friend about the excellent, fan-curated, compilation series: Lux And Ivy’s Favorites. While in the process of uploading the set for him I came across the multiple volume compilation, in its entirety, hosted over at WFMU. Lovingly put together by a Cramps fan, the bootleg series, now at 11 volumes, gathers up tracks that the band either covered, mentioned in interviews, spun during guest DJ sets, or played over the PA to audiences before Cramps shows. The tracks themselves span multiple genres, and eras, ranging from doo-wop, rockabilly, surf rock, r&b, trash rock, and adverts to soul, British invasion, outsider art to the generally unclassifiable. Even if you know nothing about the Cramps, the series is an altogether excellent alternate education in 20th century pop music (and beyond). Find Lux And Ivy’s Favorites, Vol. 1-11 HERE.

MP3: June Wilkinson And Mamie Van Doren :: Bikini With No Top On Top
MP3: Five Blobs :: The Blob

If you’re into this kind of thing, might I also recommend the compilations: Born Bad Vol 1-6, Songs The Cramps Taught Us, Radio Cramps The Purple Knif, Incredibly Strange Music Vol 1 & 2, Mad Daddy, and the Norton Records series Mad Mike Monsters Vol 1-3. Be forwarned though, delving into this stuff is a serious black hole with seemingly no end in sight. Great, no, amazing really, for the obsessed, but bad on your wallet/time/etc. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Elsewhere: The following Cramps interview, conducted by Rex Doane during his Fool’s Paradise show, is described as “essential for truly understanding the mythos of The Cramps. Yes, The Cramps made amazing music, and amazing contributions to the history of music, but to really get a good idea of where they are coming from, is to listen to the music that inspired them.” (via) It’s true, this is a hell of an interview on a great show, by a DJ who really knows his shit. Stay sick, people… AD

MP3: Fool’s Paradise Interview with Lux & Ivy

+ Download The Cramps via eMusic’s 35 free MP3 no risk trial offer

8 Responses to “Lux And Ivy’s Favorites”

  1. you are right on the money with this one, i went through all those comps a few months ago. SOLID HISTORY LESSONS. fungus among us!

  2. Kogar’s actually up to volume 13 ….so yes, there’s even more great music!

  3. you guys should interview Earle Mankey – pretty sure he has some great Cramps related stories. jus sayin’

  4. One of the best music blogs around. thumbs up!

  5. […] on the Cramps tip for minute, I thought some of you would dig the following; a vinyl 45 rip of the Charades doo wop […]

  6. Many thanks Justin, really loved the interview and the songs. RIP Lux – what an amazing man. My old band were fortunate enough to open for The Cramps for 2 gigs way back in ’86 – a cherished memory indeed.

  7. Mad daddy is the bomb! It was on repeat for a few teenage years of my life. Love it!

  8. Fantastic blog. Alex Chilton, SM/Pavement, Velvets, stuff I’ve never heard but love now like Rangers’These things. And the Cramps, who I’m just glad I saw a couple of times back in the ’90’s at the Galaxy Theatre, always around Halloween. What IS a Fisteris?

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