March 6, 2003

From the Horse's Mouth

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Nothing is more charming than a piece of the past reappearing when you long considered it detached from the present. I remember trying to sneak into a bar with my first girlfriend in order to see Girltoucher. We got caught and dragged our embarrassed sixteen-year old-selves home through dozens of rain drenched blocks and various forms of public transportation. We walked away with the scorching, condescending over-21-stare on our backs. We bitched about being young in a city so concerned with selling booze.

Girltoucher was my gateway band. At the time, I was listening to far too many serious punk rock bands with far too many agendas. When I caught Girltoucher some previous night at the Continental, I saw rock’n’roll as a cool attitude, as a fountain of fun, as an outlet for youthful energy that often went wasted. I relived the sensation of jumping on my bed while listening to Guns ‘n Roses — a thirteen year old boy with nothing better to do after school. At the show their singer gave me a demo and I wore that motherfucker out. They made me understand the place the Stones, the Replacements, and their many disciples would occupy in my life. I only saw Girltoucher once. After the failed second attempt I lost track of them. And anyway, I was too preoccupied with the new musical world before me. Eventually the band broke up without releasing any material. Six years later I stumbled upon a rock’n’roll band from NYC by the name of Tiger Mountain that turned out to be none other than Girltoucher with a new drummer and a name less puzzling to the ladies. Tiger Mountain recently released their debut record Analog Heads Gone French. It is a record that reenacts that blissful adolescent feeling of falling in love with rock’n’roll. But this isn’t revivalism or imitation; it is an infection and a fascination that has been flowing from generation to generation, filling slightly different molds, but feeling mighty similar. To me the new NYC rock revival feels different than other musical trends precisely because there has always been rock’n’roll bands playing seedy bars in front of decent sized audiences. Other trends don’t have the same longevity. Just talk to any hair metal band and see if they’re making a good living or selling tires to support their outdated pyrotechnics. Clich