My friend Ken Katkin sent me an MP3 of a great old punk song by The Fems, who were an early 80s Buffalo band that released a great single of totally fried, lo-fi hardcore in the Angry Samoans tradition. The song in question, "Go to a Party and Act like an Asshole", earned an unusually strong reaction from the listenership when I played it last week, and turns out to have a pretty extensive and interesting backstory. Ken is the once-upon-a-time proprietor of Homestead Records, a former fill-in DJ at WFMU, host of the now-legendary Thanks IV Sharin' program on WPRB, and has gone on to do great radio in a variety of other places. Here's Ken now with the deepdish details on this lost classic of the Buffalonean underground music scene:
The Fems were a legendary Buffalo hardcore band of the 1980-82 era, who still play reunion gigs in Buffalo every five years or so. They had a lot of different lineups. The version of "Go To A Party" that's available here was digitized from my cassette of the Fems' no-label self-released 1982 7" single. The single itself sells for about $400 on eBay on those rare occasions when it can be found there; only 500 copies were ever pressed, and the masters were lost. I gave away my two copies in the summer of 1982, which I spent at math camp in Chicago. I gave one to radio station WNUR, which still has it, and the other to a pal who subsequently died in 1997. His widow now lives in Philadelphia and may still have my former copy, but I can't bring myself to ask her for it. By the time I returned to Buffalo from Chicago in August 1982, the Fems record was sold out and totally unavailable. After 1982, The Fems released a reunion cassette in 1990, and a reunion CDR in 2001. Both of those releases contain re-recordings of "Go To A Party," as well as many other tracks. Both were formerly available at Home of the Hits record store on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, but sadly the store went out of business about a year ago.
For your further enlightenment, here are some Fems MP3s, including the original version of "Go to a Party...", the subsequent 1990 and 2001 re-makes, plus another track from the original 1982 EP. All hail the Fems!