Night Music: Southern Culture on the Skids, “Camel Walk”

I know, I know, I know, this song is a joke, I get that. But it raises all kinds of questions.

Let me set the scene. I spent 4+ hours in the car today, and I listened to the radio. I’m in New York City, I could listen to scores of radio stations, but some of the college stations fade in and out. The one that doesn’t is WFUV, the station of Fordham University.

WFUV has been a decent enough radio station, even though it doesn’t sound like a college station. The DJs aren’t learning their craft. Some of the top DJs from WNEW in the 1960s and 70s heyday still work at the station. So, in spite of the collegiate affiliation this is a professional non-commercial station.

Until recently they played the format known as Americana, mostly, which meant trudging through the dull dirt waiting for the occasional gems. Those days were mostly inoffensive and sometimes good, and since I don’t spend that much time riding in the car in NYC, not a problem. WFUV was reliable if often dull.

Now, it seems, WFUV has changed to something you could call a discovery format. From my experience today they play a mixture of old and new, aiming for the older listener who may recall the AOR (Album Oriented Radio) days fondly.

So, on my drive, I heard Devo and the Dolls, Big Star and Crowded House. Chuck Berry, the Coasters and the new album from Stars. Good, right? You can read today’s list here. But I also heard Nigel Hawthorne and Weezer, the Dave Matthews Band and this.

I knew it wasn’t the B-52s, because it obviously sucked, but it also caught my ear because in a way it seemed in some way to be talking back to the effete socialists in the Delta 5 and Gang of Four and the Mekons. It was saying, us ‘Merkins love our crackers and our surf rock and don’t go messing it up with your jangly angular allusions and arch lyrics. Eat my drool, lick my lil Debbies, suck ass.

Which doesn’t, on the face of it, seem like a losing strategy to me, necessarily, and maybe SCOTS have done better, but this song? I can imagine why it might have been made, it probably seemed funny at the time, and someone clearly paid, but why is someone playing it on the radio today?

Does anybody know?

2 thoughts on “Night Music: Southern Culture on the Skids, “Camel Walk”

  1. Like a bad B-52s tribute band playing “Tequila.” (Although I’ll admit, I watched the whole video – more than I can say for a lot of the bad stuff posted on this site.)

    I’ve never heard nor heard of this band, but if you look on Wiki, they’ve been around since 1983(!) and have done a lot of stuff.

    I can’t explain, but I can’t explain total shit like this either (and it certainly is popular):

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