In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we asked, “What song makes you laugh?”
Spin recently ran a piece on the “40 Weirdest Post-Nevermind Major-Label Albums,” which provided a funny look back at a time when the big boys were shelling out the medium-sized bucks for albums that stood little to no chance of finding commercial success, from Steel Pole Bath Tub to Gallon Drunk and beyond. The list featured an album that I have fond memories of: 1994’s Primitive Enema by the L.A. band Butt Trumpet. It’s a deliberately stupid, jokey record that’s also ridiculously enjoyable if you’re into that sort of thing—particularly a song called “I’ve Been So Mad Lately.” Built largely of swear words (unforgettable first line: “Shit fuck hell damn shit fuck shit”) shouted over fairly rudimentary punk instrumentation, the song is just a primal scream of silliness and rage. Naturally, it didn’t really catch fire in the world at large, nor did other Primitive Enema tracks like “Clusterfuck” or “Ode To Dickhead.” Still, apparently parent company EMI is still protecting this valuable asset: A video using the song on YouTube had been removed for copyright infringement. I found an alternate take (called “I’m Pissed”) that has slightly different lyrics, but conveys the sentiment nonetheless. Primitive Enema would end up being the only Butt Trumpet full-length; the ladies morphed into a band called Betty Blowtorch before singer Bianca Butthole (née Halstead) was killed in a car accident in 2001. Thankfully, she left this filth behind.