Afternoon Snack: Toad the Wet Sprocket, “Hold Her Down”

Lindsay and I burn CD’s for one another on birthdays and XMAS.

I think these are what we would call “mix-tapes” in the “cassette High Fidelity” vernacular.

The whole process is fun: she digs for stuff she thinks I would like and not know (like Neutral Milk Hotel and Atmosphere, whom I shall comment on soon) and I try to do the same, digging for Billie Holiday and Dylan bootlegs along with odds and sods from hither and yon.

So, part of the process for me is simply staring at the wall of CDs in the music room, and trying to pluck out some nuggets accordingly. This time through, the great Toad the Wet Sprocket song Hold Her Down jumped out at me, and made it.

Aside from I love where the band got their name (Monty Python), Toad is a pretty good and versatile band (I saw them at a BFD many years back) and Hold Her Down is a great driving and lyrically powerful cut (listen carefully: it is a vehemently anti-rape song).

So, for my first entry of the new year, rock out.

11 thoughts on “Afternoon Snack: Toad the Wet Sprocket, “Hold Her Down”

  1. I like this. I have to get over my prejudice against bands with bad names. You’d think I would have learned after The Pillows, indeed after Nirvana. Time was a good band had a good name and vice versa; those days are long gone. I have to admit I don’t like band names that sound like someone opened a book and pointed to a word, then did the same thing on another page or two. I just did that and I got Closed Pretend Society, which actually ain’t half bad,

  2. Nothing makes it better, Steve . But, nothing makes it worse.

    I love that you are passionate about what you like. And you are funny about it too.

    But, there is an enormous difference between saying, this is shit” and. ” I don’t like it.”

  3. But if it sounds like shit to me then that’s my truth. In the words of the great R Crumb, “I’m not here to be polite.”

  4. Well then perhaps u should say “this is shit to me” which at least adds the subjective IMHO option, as opposed to “this is shit” which suggests some kind of universal truth?

    Either that or just quietly be polite when someone says “hellacopters are shit” because that is their truth?

    I think there is a way to both state your truth and be polite despite what mr. Crumb (how can I not respect the guy who did “captain pisscum and his pervert pirates”?). And probably even do it without compromising a part if you that is refreshing: your directness.

    • I hate to be a showoff, but Captain Pissgums and his Pervert Pirates is a creation of S. Clay Wilson, not R. Crumb. But Crumb loved the way Wilson rocked the boat, which he most certainly did.

  5. Okay, I’ve listened a few times now to Toad and to Off. Toad the Wet Sprocket is a lame name. It fails on every lesson. I like the sound of this song and I’m against rape, so I should love it (2 for 1), but I find the lyrics uninteresting, like the worst political songwriting. And the music would equally suit a song about creating the perfect bar-b-que. It sounds good but the whole thing doesn’t connect for me.

    That Off song, by the way, is dull. At a minute and a half I can almost make it through, but they’re doing a shitty job of creating momentum. Okay, the solo is good.

  6. 1) Thanks for clearing that up, Peter. I’ve always thought you were for rape.

    2) Most of the stuff you post I can’t make it through.

    3) Just come out and say it – BOTH SONGS ARE SHIT!!!

  7. Again, Steve, there is a huge difference between “I think this song is shit” and. “This song is shit .”

    Thanks for the Crumb correction, Peter. I read Pissgum in the early 70’s and it was the first such counter culture comic I saw. Blew me away on many levels.

    As noted, Toad the Wet Sprocket is a line thrown out by the Pythons, so that gives it cool and obscure reference points to me.

    Finally, the song was written as a reaction to a friend of the band being raped. So, it is more visceral than subtle I think. The song was also dissed by a bunch if women’s rights groups who did not listen carefully enough to the words.

    I love it, especially the opening riff. Toad is a good band, but not broadly commercially successful because I suspect they are smart and follow their own path.

  8. I looked up where TtWS came from. Eric Idle wrote a skit with an interview with an imaginary rock band. He decided to make up the stupidest name he could think of, a name no one would ever in a million years use. End of story. Until years later, he’d driving through LA and the announcer says, “that song was by Toad the Wet Sprocket.” He says he nearly drove off the road.

    So, okay, for that moment it was a good name.

    I’m sure they meant something, maybe something visceral. I’m not getting it, but that’s okay. I don’t get everything. It could be good and meaningful for you, and jive for me. It could improve your live a lot and make mine suck. That’s the way it works.

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