A Pair of (Older) Music Video Teases
I discovered Digital Underground and The Distillers through video releases.
I lived on MTV from junior high school through college. There was nothing like the hyped-up world premiere of the newest offering from one of my favorite artists with a VJ just as pumped to be introducing it to the world.
What was even better? Getting introduced to an artist for the first time through an unexpected video. There are two videos I remember introducing me to artists I had never heard of that forced me into the same reaction—” Who was that?!”
The first was in the spring of 1989. I’m assuming it aired at the close of a Yo! MTV Raps episode, but it may have been on some other random channel with a shorter music video show.
“Doowutchyalike” by Digital Underground set me up for a year of frustration. It was released as an independent single and wouldn't arrive on an actual album until Sex Packets was released on March 20, 1990. There was no internet access yet and I couldn’t find any information about this group or their amazingly catchy hit from the golden age of hip hop.
As you can see the video is full of cameos at the party—MC Lyte, LL Cool J, and many others. One of my goals this year is to break down Sex Packets, track by track, on a full episode of Album Cockpit Podcast.
The next video is from an LA punk band, The Distillers. Like “Doowutchyalike,” there was nothing fancy about the video. Raw and bootleg-esque, “The Young Crazed Peeling” is punk. Simple. Raspy. Rugged. Lead vocalist and guitarist Brody Dalle, with her super-spiked hair, tattoos, lip piercing and bright red lipstick bowled me over. Who is this and how do I get more?
This time around, with the good ‘ol internet, I was able to find out about the band, and where to find a DVD they were giving away while opening for No Doubt and Garbage.
I can say so much about both of these bands but I’m staying simple and celebrating these two videos and how they introduced me to acts I love to this day.