I met Daniel for the first time at Tokyo Record Style Day. A certain aura about him caught my attention. It could have been his blueish-gradient tinted shades, or the hypnotizing patterns on his sweater or pants. It might also have been the statement kicks, the faux-fur hooded-mink (that I admittedly wanted to touch), or even the fingerless gloves, but more likely than not, it was the polka-dotted mask, which would, ironically as it were, later reveal something about Daniel the more I got to know him.
In the first record shop we hit, a mutual pal, pointed out to Daniel a Strawberry Switchblade record. “Oh, I already have that one” he replied. Having never heard of Strawberry Switchblade (though an incredibly cool name, I thought), and Daniel seeming to be at least a decade (if not two or more) younger than me, I thought they might be something newer that I had yet to encounter. Then later on, at another shop, another mention of Strawberry Switchblade, then another, with Daniel replying to each “If I didn’t already have 3 copies of that one…” and the like. I thought to myself “Man, this guy must really like Strawberry Switchblade.” Then after a long afternoon of hanging, before parting, I made his photo and he busted out a copy of one of their records, their only LP it turns out, and that’s when I got a good glance as the two main musicians that make up the pop duo, Rose and Jill, and noticed they were covered in polka-dots. “Ok, I’m connecting the dots,” I thought, “no pun intended.”
Later I went home to not only give Daniel’s band “Dreamlings” a good listen on bandcamp (very cool – see link in comments) but also to give these SS girls a listen. What I immediately discovered was that I am about 30 years late to the party – They’re icons!!
I later chatted up Daniel again about all this, and he shared some great insights about how SS was originally a 4-piece band with 2 other girls on bass and drums and how they were pushed to record their album with some rather chintzy new wave instrumentation, and how it was a disservice to the songwriting, undermines it a bit. “However”, Daniel said “it adds to this dichotomy that draws me to this band. Some of the lyrics are dark and painful, but wrapped in this candy-coated shell.”
Well, Daniel, you made a Strawberry Switchblade fan out of me! Thanks again! Keep being inspired, inspiring, and styley! More Tokyo Record Style on the way!
Strawberry Switchblade – Let Her Go
Label: Korova – KOW 39T
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM
Released: Mar 1985
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