Monday, April 5, 2010

Pointed Sticks - What Do You Want Me To Do

A. What Do You Want Me To Do

B. Somebody's Mom

What Do You Want Me To Do b/w Somebody's Mom
Quintessence (QS-101), 1978

One of Canada's most exceptional power pop groups, The Pointed Sticks formed in '78 and put out a few fantastic singles and an LP on Vancouver's Quintessence label before disbanding in 1981. They were the first Canadian band to sign to the UK-based Stiff Records, and although an entire album was recorded and produced by Nigel Gray (Police, Siouxsie, etc), the intended Stiff LP was never released due in large part to the label suffering financially at the time. They did however manage to put out a 7" EP which featured new versions of previously released songs "Out Of Luck" and the two songs featured on this, their first, 7".

This single features two fantastic cuts, the first being a power pop masterpiece with great multi-part harmonies, excellent clean production, and sing-a-longable choruses. The B-Side is more of a straight forward punk tune in a Devoto-era Buzzcocks vein. The record came in a variety of sleeve colors including yellow, green and red. I do not believe there is any significance in pressing or quantity between the different colors.

Bob Rock, who is most known as producer for Metallica, Motley Crue, Skid Row, and many others of this caliber, began his career in the late 70's with the Pointed Sticks and other Vancouver greats such as the Modernettes, Subhumans, and Young Canadians. He produced the Sticks's first three singles, as well as their 1980 album, "Perfect Youth," which had to be re-recorded after the Stiff fiasco.

Joey "Shithead" Keithley of D.O.A. brought new found attention to the band in 2005 when he re-released "Perfect Youth" on his DIY-based Sudden Death record label, as well as a collection of singles, comp tracks, and other odds and ends entitled "Waiting For The Real Thing." Large Japanese sales led to a reformation of the band and tour of Japan, which then brought on appearances in New York at the Radio Heartbeat Festival and Austin's Wild Weekend Power Pop Fest. The band has remained active ever since, and even released the "My Japanese Fan" 7" and a new full length entitled "Three Lefts Make A Right."

The band made an unusually out-of-place live cameo in Dennis Hopper's demented film, Out Of The Blue. Supposedly the Dishrags were filmed for the movie as well, but not included. See clip below.

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