Saturday, February 26, 2011

11. Redd Kross - Phaseshifter (1993)

45 years, 45 LPs, 45 days...
Phaseshifter (1993)

F*ckin' Redd Kross!

My first taste of Redd Kross was a cassette of Neurotica (1987), lent to me by a friend who was convinced I would love this band. Rule #1 in the Jeff handbook: The best way to guarantee that I'll dislike something is to tell me that you know I'll love it.  Sure enough, I was indifferent and returned the tape with a shrug and a "meh - it was alright."

Fast forward to 1990. The Go-Go's are on a brief reunion tour to promote their new Greatest compilation. They were booked to play the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis, but got moved to the much cooler First Avenue (due to sluggish ticket sales, I presume). November 30th arrives, and I couldn't be more pumped for what was going to be my 3rd Go-Go's concert. But first, warm-up band Redd Kross took the stage and ripped through a set that turned me into an instant convert. As the band played songs from their new album Third Eye, I remember thinking "Hmm. This might just have to be my new favorite band."  Over the years I would see Redd Kross play at First Avenue several more times before they went into hiatus (the band is currently playing live gigs again and finishing up a new album).

In 1993 Redd Kross released the absolutely perfect Phaseshifter, which truly tore the top right off of my head. I consider it to be one of the premiere power-pop LPs of all time (another being God Bless the Go-Go's (2000), which sadly never made its way to vinyl).  Collaborations between Redd Kross and the Go-Go's continued into the 90's and beyond on various records, but more importantly through the marriage of RK's Jeff MacDonald and Go-Go Charlotte Caffey, who collaborated on the birth of their daughter Astrid in '95.

On 10/25/2005 I posted the following question (at precisely 7:41 PM) to a forum on Go-Go Jane Wiedlin's official website:
The double bill of Redd Kross and The Go-Go's in 1990 made for one of the BEST rock shows I've ever seen in my life. Seriously, I was lucky enough to see the tour when it hit First Avenue in Minneapolis, and they tore the roof off the place. What I didn't know at the time was that there was a little romance happening between Charlotte and RK's Jeff MacDonald. 

My question for Jane: I've often wondered, did Charlotte and Jeff know each other well prior to the tour, or did things start happening as a result of spending time together on the road?  Thanks Jane - You rock super duper hard.  Jeff
Exactly ten minutes later Jane posted the following response:
That WAS a great night, and not just because of the music! Jeff & Char started their crush at that show, and look where it led!


Jay said...

one of the best rawk LP's ever. Period.

Dig Me Out Podcast said...

Check out a podcast review of Phaseshifter by Redd Kross on Dig Me Out at, a weekly podcast dedicated to revisiting forgotten gems and uncovering overlooked albums of the 1990s.