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Music / Fishbone

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The debut EP

"Party at ground zero
A "B" Movie starring you
And the world will turn to glowing
Pink vapor stew"
Fishbone, "Party At Ground Zero"

"Fishbone is a group of brothers that play that heavy metal music. It's the stuff that you see on MTV and turn from."
Damon Wayans

Fishbone are an African-American Punk-Funk-Reggae-Ska-Rock band from Los Angeles who formed in 1979. They are best known for their songs "Party At Ground Zero," (about World War III) and their cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Freddie's Dead" (from SuperFly).

As usual, the basics about their career can be found at That Other Wiki

"Tropes and Soul":

  • Album Title Drop: "Junkie's Prayer", from The Reality of My Surroundings, ends with "The rest are the reality of its surroundings."
  • The Alcoholic: "Alcoholic," "Beergut," "Drunk Skitzo"
  • Angry Black Man: Suggested in "Rock Star"
  • Animal Motif/Dem Bones: Their logo is a fish skeleton
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "Just Call Me Scrooge"
    "Spillin Jack Daniels all over the drapes
    Spray-painting a bad finger over the fireplace
    Tattoos on his arms and knees
    I never thought Santa Claus would be such a sleaze"
  • As Themselves: Performing "Jamaican Ska" in Back to the Beach
  • Bunny-Ears Guitarist: Literalized, as seen in some performance clips near the end of Everyday Sunshine.
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  • But Not Too Black/But Not Too White: Musically, this was one of their biggest roadblocks early on in their career, as black radio stations weren't interested in them because of the punk rock element, and white radio stations weren't interested since they were a black band that didn't resemble anything else.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Some of their songs
  • Cover Version: "Freddie's Dead, " on Truth And Soul
  • "Days of the Week" Song: "Sunless Saturday"
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Junkie's Prayer," "Pray to the Junkiemaker"
  • Emergency Broadcast: Mentioned in "? (Modern Industry)."
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The nuclear anxiety of The '80s is reflected in "Party at Ground Zero".
  • Fatal Flaw: From "Lyin' Ass Bitch," as sung by guest Lisa R. Grant:
    "I still care and that's my fatal flaw"
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  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: From "Hide Behind My Glasses":
    "Incompetent... Moron... Son of a... Son of a... Son of jerk!"
  • The Grim Reaper: Mentioned in "Junkie's Prayer"
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Norwood
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Lacking any footage of themselves from when they started the band in high school, the documentary Everyday Sunshine uses animated recreations instead.
  • Instrumentals: "Post-Cold War Politics," "V​.​T​.​T​.​L​.​O​.​T​.​F​.​D​.​G​.​F.", "Interlude 1," "Interlude 2" and "Pre Nut" (all three from Chim Chim's Badass Revenge), "One Planet People" and "Dear God" (from The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerk).
  • Intercourse with You: "Bonin' in the Boneyard," "Naz-tee May'en"
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Mentioned in "Hide Behind My Glasses"
  • List Song: "? (Modern Industry)" rattles off the call letters of various radio stations.
  • Live Album: Live In Bordeaux
  • Long Title: The It's A Wonderful Life (Gonna Have A Good Time) EP
    • Give A Monkey A Brain...and He'll Swear He's the Center of the Universe
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: From Fishbone through The Reality of My Surroundings
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Due to the below, they've been all much of the scale, from a 1 ("Change") to a 7 ("Fight The Youth, "Sunless Saturday"), though they're most often in the 4-6 range. As eclectic as they are, though, there's no "normal" level of heaviness for them.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: As Mike Watt said in Everyday Sunshine:
    "I've seen them do every style, in the same song."
  • New Sound Album: To some extent, Truth and Soul is this, since it introduces Funk Metal, Alternative Metal and Hard Rock aspects to their previously mostly Ska Punk (with the odd stab at Funk) sound.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: "Party At Ground Zero":
"Johnny goes to Sally's house to kiss her goodbye
But Daddy says to spend the night
They make love 'till the early morning light
For tomorrow Johnny goes to fight"

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