Billy Childish and Holly Golightly
The legend of Billy Childish (and his many permutations like Thee Headcoats and the Milkshakes) shares a lot with the Ramones. Sure, all his songs are near identical in their simplicity, but the sound on all of them is most definitely his, and nobody else can come even close. “One Chord! One Song! One Sound!” proclaims the cover and I couldn’t agree more. As Childish himself states, “Three chords are a problem, there’s just too much diversity and choice.” Instead of complicating things with concepts like chord changes and melodic destination, Childish Golightly and co. take a riffing approach, dancing around that one chord (probably an E, too) with a repetitive twang line while plain old vocals — no fancy harmonies, that would be a chord, wouldn’t it? — drawl in true tough guy-and-gal fashion. “Step Out,” “Upside Mine,” “I’m the Robber”… Yeah, rock!
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