Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vaginal Discharge-Froth CD

I wasn’t planning on posting anything by Vaginal Discharge here. The folk duo certainly doesn’t qualify as punk in any musical sense. But they were a regular at Ozark punk shows in the mid to late 90’s, and I’ve gotten several requests for their stuff, so I’ll acquiesce. The band was made up of Stan (guitar) and Ryan (vocals and harmonica), and specialized in writing uber-obscene, hilarious songs with memorable titles like “Fat Farm Orgy”, “Pass the Percodan”, and of course the classic “Bring Me the Head of Bono”. (Stan later went on to have some small success as a movie star under the stage name “Denver”.) They released a slew of demo tapes, split CD-Rs, and side projects, along with the full-length Froth CD on Reality Impaired Records out of Joplin in 1998. I think it’s their best release, containing professional recordings of all of their most notable songs. From what I’ve been able to gather, a couple of tracks from the 27-song CD were circulated on Napster back in the day and were widely played in some college dorms and frat houses.



Ridgerunner said...

Vaginal Discharge: an Interview with Ryan Smith and Stan Boman

The Undergrowth, Vol. 12, December 2005

The Undergrowth: How’d you guys get started?

Stan Boman: About this time last year Ryan’s older brother gave him a guitar. I was at his house and he brought it out and showed me a few songs that he’d written: “Bring Me The Head of Bono,” “Dead On A Toilet,” and “Another Fuckin’ Love Song.” Those songs cracked me up. That was when it started. I said, “We need to start a band and show these songs to other people.” We figure it officially started around January 1995.

Ryan Smith: It’s around then that we came up with the name.

TUG: What inspired it?

Ryan: The song “Vaginal Discharge” was the first song that we wrote together. When I asked Stan what the name of the band should be he said Vaginal Discharge and, you know, I thought we’d never go anywhere with it. But I couldn’t think of a better name for the band.

TUG: How do you come up with your material?

Ryan: We basically just write songs about things that strike us as funny. We figure that if we can present them right that other people will find them funny too.

Stan: It all started out as a big joke anyway. This guitar is a total piece of crap. It’s worth about as much as the strings that are on it. So far we’ve recorded a tape with it and played seven or eight shows. It was basically just supposed to be a joke.

Ryan: Now we’ve got people booking shows for us that we don’t even know about it.

TUG: Did you intend to keep playing shows or did you get caught up in the fact that people really liked you?

Stan: We hoped to keep doing it. We want to do it as long as possible—as long as people will enjoy us.

Ryan: The first show we played was, for me, kind of a test. I joked that we were going to go out there and get ripped to shreds. But everybody seemed to love us. After that I thought yeah, let’s keep doing this.

Stan: It went over really well.

TUG: How long was it before people started singing along.

Ryan: First show.

Stan: We already had some tapes out. We distributed about 120 tapes locally.

TUG: I was recently at the intersection of 7th and Rangeline and heard “Another Fuckin’ Love Song” blaring from a car driven by some girl I’d never seen.

Stan: That’s great. “Another Fuckin’ Love Song” seems to be everybody’s favorite song. It’s gone over the best out of all of them.

Ryan: The sad thing is that it was the easiest to write.

Stan: You just wanted to write a song with the word “fuck” in every line.

Ryan: A country song.

Stan: You wrote it in like ten minutes.

Ryan: It’s just a generic country song, really.

TUG: The inevitable GG Allin question.

Stan: We know about five of his songs altogether.

Ryan: We haven’t done all of them live yet. When we first started, since we were going to be an unplugged band, I thought it would be funny if we did a punk song unplugged. Stan already knew the GG Allin song “I Wanna Fuck Myself” so he just slowed it way down. It’s sort of like an answer to Eric Clapton’s new version of “Layla.” From then we discovered a whole bunch of acoustic material that GG did and it just seemed to fit the band.

Stan: We think GG Allin is hilarious. His acoustic stuff is really impressive and we like to play it.

TUG: Have you guys had anyone not get the joke?

Ryan: It’s usually the name.

Stan: That’s one thing I want to make clear. We never set out to offend anybody. It’s just supposed to be a joke going back to the name vaginal discharge.

Stan: It wouldn’t be comedy if it didn’t offend somebody I guess. When we write a song it’s a joke between us. If it makes us laugh we’ll play it and hopefully it’ll make other people laugh. We never sat down and said hey, let’s piss these people off. People shouldn’t get offended because it’s really just comedy.

Ryan: And rock and roll.

TUG: Are you gonna cut another tape?

Stan: Definitely.

Ryan: Tentatively, we’re going to start recording a second tape sometime late this month. The next tape should be out by December, early January at the latest.

Stan: There’ll be seven or eight songs on it.

Ryan: Some of the more favorite live stuff that didn’t make it to the first tape because we hadn’t yet recorded it will be on the tape. “Dead On A Toilet,” “What More Could You Want”…

Stan: The Kurt Cobain song…

Ryan: And “Crack Whores” will probably be on it as well as “Binge And Purge” and “Shut The Fuck Up” too.

Stan: And we’ll keep distributing the first tape.

TUG: You say you’re just comedy but with “What More Could You Want” it’s not strictly comedy.

Ryan: I wanted to capture the feeling I had, which is disgust. The dude was sitting on top of the world and it wasn’t enough.

Stan: [“What More Could You Want”] started as a joke. We were laughing about it. Ryan wrote the song and it turns out it’s a funny song that makes people laugh.

Ryan: I understand killing yourself if you’re at the very bottom with no hope of ever improving your life but not when you’re at the top.

Stan: He could’ve just retired and not played anymore.

Ryan: But what can you do except write a song about it.

TUG: What’s your ultimate goal?

Stan: To be on MTV Unplugged, as much as Dan Johnston might resent that. Make sure you get that in.

TUG: I try to give him his share of press. Last time I mentioned his name he came up to me and told me I spelled it wrong.

Stan: We want to be on MTV and make lots of money.

Ryan: [amid laughter] That’s the goal for the band: To make people laugh… And the MTV and the money, of course.

Stan: The most important thing is comedy… We just contradicted each other at the same time.


rayss said...

i got a tape years ago and though i do like folk i remember not liking v d i wish i could find that tape oh well i got from someone in initial detonation i think
i have their 7''s and liked em so much i wrote a letter to say hi and all that. great blog
ray ss

Robert said...

VD may not have been punk in "any musical sense," but lyrically and attitude-wise they were secretly about the punkest thing going back then. I think it would just depend on who you asked. If you asked a Dead Milkmen fan if VD was a punk band, the answer would definitely be a resounding "yes." They, like the Milkmen, just expanded the possibilities of the genre.

And goddamn, I miss their shows.