Saturday, April 12, 2008

Suicide: Martian Time Slip and Material Issue

In a recent post I was complaining that the LOA should include Clans of the Alphane Moon rather than Now Wait For Last Year in its new PKD volume coming out this summer. I based this contention on the fact that we had enough PKD drug books already, we needed some more of his books that dealt with mental illness. Well, I forgot that the new volume will contain Martian Time Slip, which even more than Clans, deals with schizophrenia and its effects. It also deals, along with his seminal treatise on the subject Maze of Death, with suicide.

My first encounter with suicide came through my favorite band in high school (and still one of my favorites today) Material Issue. I used to go watch these guys at 1st Ave in my younger days and there was not a band in the U.S. that had more pure pop energy. I would dance and sweat and sing along. International Pop Overthrow was one of the first tapes I ever bought, and I'd play it constantly in my first car, a white with brown stripes '84 Nissan Pulsar. Now my car didn't talk, but it loved Material Issue. You may remember their debut for it's semi-hit "Valerie Loves Me." Then came Destination Universe in 1992 and it had some of the sweetest songs I'd ever heard, including one of my favorite teenage love songs of all time, "Everything." Some Hair Metal band covered it a couple of years ago, and I still don't know what I think about that.  Other completely starry eye'd songs from this album that still give me goose bumps are "Don't You Think I Know" and "Next Big Thing." My Senior year was dominated by Freak City Soundtrack. Crazy manic energy. My car and I really dug that one.

However, in June of 1996, Material Issue's lead singer Jim Ellison committed suicide. It was truly a devastating day for me, as I felt like part of my youth went with him.

However, we still have the man's music, and that we can always enjoy. Just me now, as the Pulsar is long gone. Click on the title of this post for my car's favorite Material Issue song.


MPS said...

i remember material issue & the video for valerie loves me. i actually was watching some *VHS* recordings of 120 minutes I had from the early '90s & we were discussing the fate of M/I. weren't they a chicago band?

Maury Souza said...

Indeed, they were from Chicago, it was a great time for power-pop in the windy city. Another such band was Urge Overkill, the only band's fan club of which I was ever an official member.

Apedog said...

Speaking of power pop... I was in the IMA the other day and "Closing Time" came on over the PA. That song always reminds me of you and how it bled through the mix tape you made me.