All Songs Considered Blog
9:36 am
Tue September 18, 2012

First Watch: Corin Tucker Band, 'Neskowin'

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:17 pm

Kill My Blues, the second album by the Corin Tucker Band, is out today, and to celebrate, we've got the excellent video for the band's song "Neskowin."

The song, powered by Tucker's increasingly controlled but still powerful wail and the drumming of Sarah Lund, is partly autobiographical. Neskowin is a tiny town on Oregon Coast, and Tucker says the first verse of the song ("Packed inside the Datsun pointed toward the coast that day") is based on an actual trip she took there when she was 13 with the family of her best friend ("Two teenage girls, headed for the world / heads barely out of fairy tales / bodies grown up, ready to go"). "We stayed in a condo and thought that was very fancy," Tucker writes, but "the rest of the song is mostly made up."

"We did change our clothes several times a day and put on WAY too much makeup," Tucker writes of the similarities between her experience and Alicia J. Rose's video for "Neskowin." "But the adventure was mostly in our minds, ideas about what was ahead of us. Alicia's vision in the video takes it to a whole different level; she really brought her own experiences to the story."

Rose's video follows a teenage girl growing up in the '80s, right at the age when she's ready to trade her Snow White storybook for a copy of Trouser Press; who ditches a family trip to hang out with her best friend. The two girls play their favorite records, put on makeup and hitch a ride to an arcade, where they engage in awkward flirting and get in a fight before escaping to a punk-rock show. Tucker herself plays three roles: the teen's protective but understanding mother, a hippie she flags down for a ride and the girls' idol, punk star Poly Styrene.

"[Alicia Rose] knew immediately what the core of the song is about: the moment for girls when their bodies have just turned the corner into adulthood," Tucker writes. "Alicia took that moment and made it into a modern-day rock 'n' roll fairy tale, and I got to play the fairy godmother, Poly Styrene. What an honor."

Rose writes that she easily related to Tucker's inspiration for the song.

"We both lived out our teenage years left of center in that era. For the narrative, I wanted to craft a bit of a love letter to some of my favorite films from that time — the bubble-blowing and crotch-kicking are both nods to Little Darlings, while there's influence in other scenes from films I literally grew up with, like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Foxes, Goonies, even Decline of Western Civilization. It was a blast to connect the story of the girls to the many 'sides' of Corin (and her band) as a mom, a hippie and a musician. I am a long-term giant fan of both Corin and Poly Styrene of the X-Ray Spex, and have been convinced they were separated at birth for many years. Those voices! Of course, Corin was also a fan and jumped at the chance to pay personal tribute to one of the first ladies of punk — who recently passed far too soon."

Corin Tucker Band's Kill My Blues is out now on Kill Rock Stars.

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