Since my ex and I constantly listened to music together, blacklisted artists abound, including Beach House, Arcade Fire, Real Estate, LCD Soundsystem, The Tallest Man on Earth, Yeasayer, Caribou, The xx, and many, many more. (Even the National, but I feel as though I can reclaim them since he wasn’t nearly as obsessed with them as I am.) The Vaselines fall into this forbidden category of music I can’t listen to without immediately thinking about him. It’s not like we used to listen to them every day, or even when we made love—but he used to play “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” on guitar, and I would sing along, and that’s not something I can soon forget. And the subject of the title track of Sex with an Ex hits close to home—not because it happened, but because I think about it all the time. Pathetic, I know.
But the Vaselines, founded by Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, although old, are not. For a band that formed in 1986, broke up in 1989, and released only two short EPs and one album, Dum Dum, before disintegrating, you wouldn’t think that a record released 21 years later would garner much attention. But this is also a band that had three separate songs covered by Nirvana—since Kurt Cobain quoted them as his favorite—in the nineties, and therefore had a much harder time fading into oblivion. Plus, they’re actually good. And playing with the Dum Dum Girls, which is fitting since their moniker plays homage to the Vaselines, tonight at the Great American. I’ll be there, trying not to cry per usual.
Who: The Vaselines
What: Sex with an Ex
Where: Glasgow, Scotland
Why: “It feels so good, it must be bad for me.”
How: Sub Pop