A Season of Songs, Day 87: Katholic Kunt

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

Today’s song is “Katholic Kunt” by Huggy Bear off their 1992 debut seven-inch EP “Rubbing The Impossible To Burst”.

Damn, I love Huggy Bear.  I’ll blame them for my initial wishy-washy feelings towards Bikini Kill.  The Huggy Bear side of the “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah/Our Troubled Youth” split LP is just so much better than the Bikini Kill side (which sounds like an idiotic thing to say as the BK side of that record is pretty badass, but I’ll stand by this and say my preference is for the HB side). I’d discover that LP and Huggy Bear’s “Taking The Rough With The Smooch” 10″ during my sophomore year of college.  The mix of female/male vocals, fuzzed out guitars, dance-y songs, pissed off lyrics, British accents and an excellent use of samples (especially the use of the Sally/Linus sample at the end of “Into The Mission”) quickly caught my attention.

I saw Huggy Bear once at the Central YMCA in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1994 with Policy of Three and Vitapup.  While Huggy Bear played a fine show, these are the things I remember from that night.

1) Before the show I was walking down the street of Central Philly with my female friends Sylvan and Joanna.  A guy walking down the street came up and started talking to them. They sort of indulged him for a minute.  I kinda wanted to get into the show but figured it wasn’t appropriate to abandon them on the streets of Philly with some weirdo. While this dude tried to sweet talk them, he at one point used the phrase “I’m a freak but I ain’t no dog.”  This phrase lives in my brain and I frequently find myself resisting using it in my daily life.

2) I remember Vitapup kicking ass.  I had only heard the “Staple in the Sun” 7″ at that point and had always enjoyed that song but felt like they might’ve been a mess live.  I think I remember them kinda being a mess live but a pretty enjoyable one.

3) Policy of Three almost universally put on great shows.  This show was no exception.  I don’t know why this would’ve been, but all their amps were plugged into a power strip plugged into the middle of the stage.  In the middle of one song, the plug got kicked out and without missing a beat, one of them reached down, plugged it back in and continued with their song.  Pretty solid move.

Information on the internet seems to indicate that this might’ve been Huggy Bear’s 3rd to last show ever.

Anyway, the only Huggy Bear records I had for the longest time were the split LP and the 10″.  I had listened to their LP “Weaponry Listens To Love” back in the day and hadn’t really been into it at the time.  About a decade ago I picked up a used copy and the intervening years made me realize I had made a mistake.  That LP has a definitely different feel but it still a really good listen. Then a few years back now I had downloaded their entire discography on mp3.  I’ll be honest, despite loving their the split, 10″ and LP, I haven’t really spent the time checking out the 7″s in this discography that closely.

“Rubbing the Impossible to Burst” is their debut record and it feels that way. It’s lo-fi and does feel a little bit underdeveloped.  It’s still a good listen just not quite on the level of their later records.  The mp3’s I have seem to have the A-side and B-side songs listed incorrectly, as I’m just realizing now as I looked up this 7″ on Youtube and listened a bit closer to the lyrics.  So technically I guess my song for the day should be “Small Messenger Loss” but “Katholic Kunt” just seemed like it’ll get more clicks, so let’s stick with that.  “Katholic Kunt” is a 30-second fuzzed out chant, presumably lyrics about the Catholic Church and its relationship to women, but can’t find the lyrics online to confirm and can’t really make them out.

If you’ve never listened to Huggy Bear and like any of the riot grrl stuff, then definitely check them out.  I say start with “Taking the Rough with the Smooch”, then go to the split LP, then the “Weaponry Listens to Love” LP.  If you dig all of that, be a completist and hunt down the 7″s.

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