Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Goats: Typical American

MRML can't apologize for being a mostly white-punks-on-guitars blog. It's not deliberate, it's just what we know! If I understood more kinds of music, for our current purposes let's say contemporary hip-hop, this might be a more well-rounded blog. But it ain't gonna happen any time soon. You see, keeping up with punk rock is like following a soap opera, tune in every few years and marvel at how little the plot lines have changed ("Johnny Rotten still thinks he's the ne plus ultra of punk?", "MaximumRocknRoll still thinks that music was perfected in 1981?", "Pennywise put out that exact same album again?"). But following hip-hop is like following IT developments - yesterday's coolest cutting edge is today's laughably-dated cast-off.

So don't mistake the Goats appearance here for tokenism (that might be my long-promised Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J series). No, the Goats ferocious debut single from 1992 (!!) oughta appeal to most self-respecting punks. Rather than give a stumbling account of the multi-ethnic Philadelphia-bred Goat's place in hip-hop history, I'll tell you why they belong in the punk pantheon. Better yet, check it out yourself - that chanted chorus, that snotty anti-authoritarianism ("the hell with Stormin' Norman, I write rhymes Black, they be political and plus they be all of that"), that Stiff Little Fingers shirt!

The history of punk and hip-hop, both aggressive, seventies New-York bred musical rebellions, frequently intersected - from the Clash's "Magnificent Seven" to Blondie's "Rapture" to Afrika Bambata's "World Destruction" to Public Enemy's noise and the Beastie Boys entire shtick. That intersection was fruitful, except where it turned into outright cultural theft. Or as Dennis Miller (back when he was a comic) once said, "Oh behalf of all white people, I'd like to apologize for Vanilla Ice. We're sorry, we didn't know he was going to to do that. He didn't say anything about it at any of the meetings".

Typical American CD single

Nothing by the Goats remains in print, yet To the Extreme remains readily available...


  1. hi jeffen and happy new year.excellent post this one.i remember seeing the goats live at brixton academy in '93 on a bill with bad brains,fishbone and dog eat dog.that was one of the best gigs id seen and the goats were brilliant.they had the whole place thanks again for this post its bought some great memories back for me.cheers mate

  2. gobsshyte
    What a line-up (who were Dog Eat Dog?) the whole place must have been jumping all night. Thanks for sharing the good memories!

  3. stoked on seeing this. i used to drop this record alot when i DJed on WKDU 91.7fm in Philly.

  4. jim
    This was a charming micro-era of rap (PE, Jungle Brothers, maybe De La Soul should go in there too...) I kinda miss it.
    P.S. Good work over at Rip It UP - Mcrad there's a name I hadn't thought about for years...

  5. My favourite Punk Rock band was Public Enemy. Never heard of The Goats before. Great stuff.

  6. Glad to introduce someone to the Goats.

  7. I also saw that Brixton show, where the Goats played with Bad Brains. Crazy. After that the joint album 'No Goats, No Glory' was a big disappointment, but their first, 'Tricks of the Shade', with Typical American the lead track, is one of the best alternative rap albums ever. Well worth hunting down.

  8. Agreed on the quality of the first and the let-down of the second - oh well at least you saw them at their peak.


Thanks for clicking the COMMENTS link.
Now that you're here,I should mentions that
without reader feedback blogs slowly wither and die