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Judybats on Popdose, and First Judybats Album Reissued

May 26th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Blogs, Culture, LGBT, Music

Judybats Native SonJohn C. Hughes has a post about The Judybats up on Popdose.com, part of the “Why You Should Like … ” series.

He doesn’t have to convince me — the ‘bats were arguably my favorite band of the 90s and it broke my little heart when they busted up the first time. When their debut album Native Son came out in 1990, I snapped it right up because my sis had already told me all about them — she was going to school in Knoxville in the years when they were regularly playing the local clubs down there, before they got their major label deal, and she and her friends made a regular thing of seeing Judybats shows during that period. I bought all of their albums as they came out, and I think I fell a little more in love with them with each release.

As I said in the comments section over at Popdose, Jeff Heiskell’s voice — its versatility and the way he colors words as he sings — still astonishes me after all these years. And then there’s the general urbanity of his lyrics — that man has a positively thrilling way with wordplay that recalls the great gay songsmiths of the past like Porter and Coward. (cf. my favorite song from The Judybats’ second album, “Our Story,” which John links to.)

The first four Judybats albums have been out of print for ages, which is a crying shame — but I just this minute discovered that Native Son was reissued in February by Wounded Bird Records. Maybe the other three will follow eventually? Their second album, Down in the Shacks Where the Satellite Dishes Grow, is still my favorite Judybats record, so it would be especially nice to see that one available again.

I’d take this excuse to write more about the ‘bats, but I’m on a tough deadline this week (and my freelance lifestyle knows no holiday weekends). So instead I’ll just direct you over to John’s post. And you might want to make a beeline while those Mavis Pickles the Third links are still fresh.

UPDATE: As he noted in the comments below, Will from Popdose has a follow-up piece up on the site now that looks at the terrific turn-of-the-millenium comeback album Judybats ’00, and then segues into an interview in which Jeff Heiskell himself serves up all kinds of hot dish.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Will

    Be sure to check back over at PopDose later this afternoon for my latest “Hooks ‘N’ You” column, as I unabashedly piggyback on John’s work by spotlighting the elusive “Judybats ’00” album and follow with a no-holds-barred Q&A with Jeff Heiskell about the closing chapters of the band’s existence.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Thanks, Will. I love the Judybats ’00 album, so I’m glad you’re giving that some attention.

  • Bilal

    A friend of mine in high school introduced me to the Judybats right after Full-Empty came out . Down in The Shacks is a glorious album; it took me a bit of hunting to track down a used copy. I’m consistently disappointed that there is almost no Judybats material at the iTunes music store.