At the risk of incriminating myself or others in vulnerable positions, it is probably best to eschew any explanations as to how and under what circumstances I first encountered the man known as Blowfly. Leave it be said that listening to Blowfly is most likely not something you do in public. It is probably best, if you own any Blowfly, to keep the CDs in a locked briefcase in your closet, bringing them out only under the strictest confidence and with the closest of friends.
To say merely that Blowfly sings dirty songs is an understatement akin to saying that Cypress Hill merely smokes a little bit of weed, or that DMX has a few traffic violations. No one approaches Blowfly in terms of sheer filth. Compared to Blowfly, Two $hort and the 2 Live Crew are rank amateurs, a bunch of kids spitting their first cuss words behind the gas station. The fact is that Blowfly has been rapping dirty since before there even was rap, over thirty years now. Indefatigable, inscrutable, lewd, and indescribably vulgar, Blowfly is less a man than a force of nature. I ask you, as disgustingly puerile as modern rappers can be, has there ever been anyone capable of naming a song “Girl, Let Me Cum In Your Mouth”, and then making said song an upbeat funky party jam?
It is not merely that Blowfly has no shame, it is that the very concept of shame simply does not exist in his universe. Not only that, but the joy with which he sings his filthy songs is contagious. It would be incorrect to accuse Blowfly of sexism, because more than anything his tracks are about the joy of sex, not demeaning women. Intelligent people can differ as to whether a track such as “Too Fat To Fuck” is offensive, but if you listen to the song, he’s not discriminating against fat people so much as merely offering helpful instructions for those contemplating sexual relations with the morbidly obese. Listening to Blowfly, in some respects, elicits almost a poignant sensation, because his pro-sex attitude is so clearly a product of a long gone pre-AIDS era. There’s little misogyny here, just lust. The crucial difference is that women in Blowfly songs are usually always regarded as equals with whom to bargain and cajole, and very rarely mere objects or “sperm recepticals”, as is so often the case with blatantly anti-woman rappers such as 50 Cent. Blowfly loves women, because if it weren’t for women he wouldn’t have anything to fuck (except dogs, but we’ll get to that in a minute).
But still, such admittedly half-hearted caveats can only go so far in terms of preparing the listener for the sheer amount of degrading filth on display here. This is Blowfly’s second album for Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label. As incongruous a pairing as that may seem, it’s not that strange when you remember that the late Wesley Willis recorded for Biafra as well. But at least Willis had the excuse of chronic schizophrenia to explain his weirdness; Blowfly is just plain crazy.
Punk Rock Party is, as the title might imply, a punk album. Backed by a loose group of punk irregulars, the self-proclaimed Porno Freak runs rampant through the punk rock canon, giving his inimitable interpretation to some of the most famous punk tracks of all time. Like a sex-obsessed “Weird” Al, Blowfly turns the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” into “I Wanna Be Fellated”, and Black Flag’s “TV Party” becomes “VD Party”. When you get down to it, there’s really only so much a critic can say about an album like this. If you know who Blowfly is, you probably already know whether or not you’ll get a kick out of him turning the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” into “Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho”. The playing is competent and the band seems to be enjoying themselves, but really, the main attraction is Blowfly’s growling rasp. It’s the kind of voice you’d expect to hear attached to a trench-coated pervert scouring the city park for young girls to flash, and as such is perfect for the material presented.
I have to admit to being a Blowfly aficionado (perhaps not something I should readily admit in public?), so I got quite a kick out of Punk Rock Party. I mean, seriously, who else could sell a line like “I Wanna Fuck Your Dog” (from the Stooges track of a similar name)? Biafra himself pops up to help out with “R. Kelly in Cambodia” (no guesses, really now), Blowfly’s commentary on Kelly’s never ending legal quagmire. They manage to stick an O’Jay’s number in there somewhere (“Suck and Fuck Train”), and there are even a couple of original numbers, the aptly-titled “Punk Cock is Rock” and “Scumbag Fucker”. I must admit the highlight of the album, for me at least, is his treatment of Devo’s “Whip It”, transformed into (you can probably guess) “Suck It”—I mean, come on, “Whip It” was already about sex! Taking a song that is already about sex and making it even more about sex—that takes talent. There is no such thing as subtext or subtlety in Blowfly’s world, and the results are a glory (hole?) to behold.
The only real puzzle in regards to Punk Rock Party is just why the hell they bothered to include six radio edits. I mean, seriously, is replacing the world “fuck” with “lay” in “Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho” really going to trick any radio programmers? I don’t see “I Wanna Be Fellated” becoming a crossover hit on TRL anytime soon.
// Notes from the Road
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