Friday, May 23, 2008

Shaking Hell

Rounding out the end of side 1 on Confusion Is Sex is a Kim Gordon tune called "Shaking Hell."

In June of 2006 I got a little surprise while seeing the band on the Rather Ripped Tour.....SHAKING HELL!!! After 20 years of being retired, the band pull this one out during the final encore of their Rather Ripped Tour. Faces were stunned, minds were blown.

The song features one of the best and dramatic vocal performances from Kim. She begins with a low whisper:

she's finally discovered she a
i told you so!
she's finally discovered she a
i told her so!

She then gets somewhat seductive:

come closer and i'll
tell you!
come closer and i'll
take off your dress!!
take off your dress!!

the primal scream of those lyrics are haunting. Even when she yells "Turn Around!!" She ends with a  heavy breathing, almost orgasmic vocal repeating "shake! shake! shake! shake!"

The song features Thurston on bass with Lee strumming the guitar. Kim plays guitar also. The song is a basic repeating riff with guitar noises, but then breaks down to a lone drum beat with Lee providing a rather melodic drone background.

This song was one of three songs considered for a 7inch single at the start of 1983. Thurston had been really into hardcore and noticed that most hardcore bands released singles because they were cheap and easy to make. The band entered the studio with Wharton Tiers only to realize that they had more than enough material to make a full album. "Shaking Hell" was the first song to be recorded for the record.

Problems would plague the entire making of Confusion Is Sex. The best take of Shaking Hell got erased by accident and several attempts were made to get another good take. The only copy of the erased track existed on a cassette tape. The rough mix down was used as the final track on the record. You can even notice a drop in fidelity when the song comes on.

This song was a staple in the set from 82-84. Shows were often ended with an extended jam of the song. A live version appears on the Kill Yr Idols EP, which was taken from the 11-15-82 show at The Pier in Raleigh, NC.

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