This goes beyond the usual "deluxe edition." You get the Femme's 1983 debut LP ( Blister in the Sun; Kiss Off; Please Do Not Go; Add It Up , etc.) plus demos of all of the above and more. That's disc one; disc two has unissued live recordings of Gone Daddy Gone; Promise; Country Death Song; To the Kill; Never Tell , and more by Milwaukee's indie-rock heroes!
Emerging, literally, from the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they gained notoriety through busking, this strange trio led by guitarist-vocalist Gordon Gano became a cult favorite with their self-titled debut album in 1983. Influenced greatly by Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers, the Femmes' minimalist sound pitted Gano's low-volume electric guitar against Brian Ritchie's acoustic bass guitar and Victor De Lorenzo's ashcanlike homemade drum kit--all of which only served to make Gano's angst-ridden adolescent tirades more arresting. Highlights here are the rockabillyish "Gone Daddy Gone," the snotty "Kiss Off," and the emblematically nervous "Blister in the Sun." All in all, a fond reminder of the innocent days of alt-rock. Note: this deluxe, 20th anniversary version of the album includes an additional 26 demos and live tunes, 22 of them never before released. --Billy Altman