Song Of The Day 8/12/2014: Pansy Division with Calvin Johnson - "Jackson"



Quarterly Covers Report: This gem of a cover landed in the KAOS offices towards the end of 1994 via a seven-inch from K Records. Pansy Division, a still-active power pop band from San Francisco, had been in existence for three years at that point and were known for songs that celebrated what we'll tell family audiences were "alternative lifestyle physicalities." Sample song titles: "James Bondage," "Rachbottomoff" (about a coy classical pianist), "Surrender Your Clothing" and "Fem In A Black Leather Jacket." Few bands were as irrepressibly fun to play on the air, although we could have benefitted from a seven-second delay in some cases.

P.D. recorded a version of Johnny & June Carter Cash's "Jackson" with Beat Happening frontman and K Records founder Calvin Johnson which did as much gender-switching as humanly possible. The Division's Jon Ginoli sang the part of Johnny's brash, outward-bound, let's say cocksure rambler, while Calvin sang June's skeptical, sarcastic foil of a wife in a vocal range which was roughly that of Johnny's.

This is one of my favorite K singles ever. And it also gives me a thrill because I'm sure half this entry's views are going to come via Google search by some confused Detroit Lions fans.*

* Which reminds me of a funny story. A couple of years ago I was in a fantasy football league with a few people who were closely connected with, in fact integral to, Olympia's music scene. On draft day, someone took Calvin Johnson, the wide receiver for the Lions. The chat room responded:

"Calvin Johnson - Deepest voice in the NFL."

To which someone else responded: "Deepest flat voice in the NFL."

There were many LOL's.

**I realize many of you young'uns may not get that joke, so hopefully this'll help
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