Although they've made a handful of good songs in the 30 years since, the Tom Tom Club's nearly perfect first two LPs -- "Tom Tom Club" (1981) and "Close to the Bone" (1983) -- will always be the "real" Tom Tom Club to me, with the chirping female vocals of the Weymouth sisters. The band has just released its first new material in a dozen years, a five-track EP led by title track "Downtown Rockers," an ode to the CBGB's scene from which Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth -- and their fellow Talking Heads -- were delivered. My pal Mark Allen and I were discussing the song last night and can't decide if it's pure crap or pure genius. I'm still on the fence -- the cameos by Richard Hell and Debbie Harry in the video are nice, but I'm still not sure if this constitutes an actual song of not. But Mark has made a 180 on this name-check anthem. He explains:
When I first heard it I was like "Whaaaa...?" I was like: is it a children's song? Is it the most obnoxiously stupid thing ever? But now I think it's kind of minimally genius... sort of post-evrything kind of smart. To just shout out bands' names like that over a beat. It's like some sort of Japanese thing Shonen Knife would do or something.
Decide for yourself here: