George Brigman and Split ‘Pull Your Pants Down’

There is no Wikipedia page for George Brigman. No, he is far above such cheap cyber tomfoolery. Hell, until this morning there wasn’t even a Youtube link to this song, such is the blind worship of a mass-music listenership plagued by the inability to seek out and share such treasures for themselves. So I created the damn thing myself. No, no. You can stop with the accolades. I’m no hero. George Brigman. He is the real hero.

Kicking around Baltimore at precisely the same time as Rocket From the Tombs, Pere Ubu, Dead Boys and The Mad Staggers (pre-Pagans) were blowing minds in Cleveland, George Brigman marched to the beat of his own drum, creating music that was once described as Burning Fuzz Fried Mutant Space Boogie for the local kids to wig out on. To be more specific, if you ordered a lo-fi, psych, proto-punk, blues sandwich on avant bread with a side of acid-drenched fries smothered in sleaze sauce, then you got yourself the Brigman special. This man slays.

His 1985 Silent Bones EP with backing band Split is a five track sonic journey through steamy instrumentals drowning in misguided cultural geography in the name of cool titles, ‘Iran in Japan’ and ‘Cambodian Bossa Nova’, as well as two absolute schoolings in lo-fi bliss, ‘Mistress of Desire’ and the disease-riddled moistness of ‘Pull Your Pants Down’. And it’s on the latter track where this story commences:

Beginning scene; zoom in to the pleading face of a skinny, long-haired layabout at the feet of a girl several years his junior. The layabout is pulling every trick from the sleaze bible just to get his end wet…

“Come on baby, won’t you Pull Your Pants Down
Pull them down for me
All I want is to kiss your sweet bush
And set your pussy free”

And then…

“I’m in a rut
I gotta pop a nut
It makes me feel okay”

As the song continues with such tender lines as “always taste it, never waste it”, one may be forgiven for simply marvelling at some top shelf lyrics, thus completely ignoring the brilliant musicianship in this lost-from-day-one classic. The gritty yet compelling riff -a plod of sorts, if one were to plod around barefoot in a peepshow booth after a frat of lonely, single losers in plastic raincoats had just purged their daily misgivings- is as hypnotic as it is broody, while the vocals of longtime Split member Wayne Hastings are nothing short of urgent, immediate and most importantly of all, derelict desperate.

But like on all of his tracks prior and since, it is George Brigman who is maestro, creating sonic soundscapes fit for any mid-seventies proto-punk documentary, his guitar the agent provocateur of a Baltimore scene in a crime and economic crisis equal to that of the Cleveland inspiration for the afore-mentioned protagonists of that particular scene.

Nowadays, George is still churning out killer music -his most recent release Rags in Skull‘ an absolute gem in its own right- whilst passionately participating in the Adopt-a-Greyhound program and citing his favourite album as Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band’s Trout Mask Replica‘!

As I said, this man’s a goddamn hero. Far above Wikipedia, but not so far out that he doesn’t have his own website. Check it. Once there, be sure to pore over his incredible back catalogue and maybe make a purchase or two. But first, won’t you, please, pull your pants down? For me?

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Benny Two-Shoes

Filling the void between grouchy dinosaurism and current day hipster snobbery, Benny Two-Shoes is the type of guy who kidnaps control of the stereo at sweet sixteen parties and does not relinquish until every last teenybopper leaves a fully-fledged Stooges fan.   

You can listen to the latest episodes, hosted by Benny Two-Shoes, on Roadkill Radio!

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