The Popstream: The Cramps, "You Got Good Taste"


I think all of us have bands and artists that we've heard a little of, liked, and then somehow never entirely followed up on -- and then the band breaks up or a prominent member dies and all these feelings of guilty underappreciation come to the forefront and finally motivate us to buy one of their albums. This happened to me on Wednesday when I heard about the death of Erick Lee Purkheiser, b/k/a Lux Interior, the lanky, theatrically scuzzy and note-perfect lead singer of neo-rockabilly deviants the Cramps. Even in an alternate universe where their classic 1978 single "Human Fly" was the only song they'd ever recorded, the Cramps would have a special place in my heart -- hell, the moment Lux menacingly hiccuped "I got 96 tears and 96 eyes" should've been enough of a catalyst to send me running to the nearest Cheapo to cop their whole discography. Unfortunately, I wound up going through life for a while as though it was their only song, and I never got around to nabbing one of their whole albums until I heard about Lux's passing, after which I promptly kicked myself and bought Smell of Female off the internet. And then I kicked myself again after hearing what I'd missed.

This track quickly became my favorite one on the album. "You Got Good Taste," a highlight of Smell of Female's live titty-bar set, is a classic bit of old-school double-entendre scuzz which Lux belts out in a way that makes it pretty obvious the taste in question isn't a matter of aesthetics, if ya get my drift. It also contains this gem of lyrical misdirection -- "You got good taste, you got good taste/you come here, sit on my lap" -- which he then tops with the line "you musta stacked somethin' in them fishnet stockin's/you got somethin' I can put my heart in". That voice, and the flailing, gangly body from which it emanates in this video, ideally exhibits the fact that Lux's winking burlesque PG could be sleazier than most singers' full-frontal Rs. God love him for it.

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