I write about songs.

Archive for the ‘Voice of the Beehive’ Category

Voice of the Beehive, “Don’t Call Me Baby”

There are very few musical acts that I once embraced about which I later thought, lapse of taste. For a while, this one, from the rag and bone shop of the late 1980s, fell squarely into that category. When their first songs came out, the two singers in the band, who are sisters, sometimes wore top-knots and big, foofy party dresses, and I thought, with their name, they might be a kind of second coming of the B-52s. Which, I should say, was not something that I was sitting around waiting for. I don’t like my music too “kooky.” And still, I freely gave my heart to Voice of the Beehive. Here’s a memory: Taking the bus from Albany back to Boston, listening to the band on my headphones while reading a copy of the Atlantic Monthly. I had decided I should subscribe to the Atlantic in order to become a smarter person, and that I should at least read the cover story of each issue, so I would have something to talk about with civilized people. The cover story this particular month was, appropriately enough, about the psychology of shame.

Only a few years later, Voice of the Beehive seemed ridiculous. The high-gloss production of music from the late ’80s is now widely deplored, and the band fell victim to it if anyone did. My friend John had also bought their first two albums, and now that we liked Pavement and Liz Phair, and knew better, we used the name “Voice of the Beehive” as a kind of shorthand for “bands that we have surely grown out of.” But this video from Top of the Pops, which I came across by accident this morning while looking for another video (I can’t remember what now), makes me think that I’ve been wrong all these years. The dreds and scoop-neck black t-shirt on the guys aside—why did these things not startle me back in the late ’80s? did I see them every day?—Voice of the Beehive was pretty terrific. You would be proud to come from the same planet as people who had written a song as charming and infectious as this one.

Written by peterterzian

February 21, 2010 at 10:55 am


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