If you’re a life-long Boingo fan like me, you’ve probably heard more than one old friend say something along these lines: “Every time I hear Oingo Boingo, it reminds me of you.” This is an odd phenomenon as you most likely are not a member of Oingo Boingo, nor probably do you personally know anyone who is. What this statement means is, at points in your life, you played Oingo Boingo’s music so often, and on so many varied occasions, that it probably annoyed the hell out of your friends.
That is so damned cool.
If you’ve ever referred to yourself as a Lumpling, a Boingoloid, or an Elfmaniac... or if you’ve ever converted a friend into a new Boingo fan by some strange vampire-like siring process, then Drink to Bones That Turn to Dust is a tribute to you.
Every one of you has a “how I discovered Boingo” story. Here’s mine: In 1982, I was lured to Seattle’s New Wave Spectacular music festival by the band Missing Persons. Oddly, I walked away from that event Boingo-curious, not because Boingo played that night (they didn’t; they headlined a different night*) but thanks solely to the festival’s new-fangled “video screening room”.
Music videos were new back then; only twelve people had MTV, and I wasn’t one of them. So in this makeshift screening room I sat on an uncomfortable folding chair and watched a very strange video of the song “Private Life”. I remember thinking the music was inventive and the lead singer was definitely deranged.
The video did what it was designed to do... it made me buy Boingo’s Nothing to Fear as soon as I could afford it. I still own that pristine vinyl edition today. By Christmas of 1983, I was hooked on the band and demanded that Good For Your Soul show up under the tree with my name on it. To this day, Nothing to Fear and Good For Your Soul are two of my all-time favorite rock albums. I honestly cannot imagine what my life would be like today if I had never heard them.
Thank god, thank dog, thank doug... whomever... that Danny Elfman wrangled Boingo into a band and created these two albums (and so many more!). Drink to Bones... is a tribute to him and to everyone who has ever performed or recorded with Oingo Boingo.
Around 1997 Oingo Boingo had been broken up for two years and I started wondering something. “Where the f*@! is the Boingo tribute album?!” I often asked this out loud, ignoring the strange looks I would get in response. It seemed disrespectful to me that neither MCA nor A&M had put such a tribute together yet. This disrespect went on for years! Finally in early 2004, I had asked the question one too many times, and my good friend Leland asked back at me, “Why don’t we just make one?!” We promptly formed Dep’t of Records and embarked upon the project you are holding in your hands.
Starting with bands in Seattle, and with the help of many many friends, DoR began fulfilling this dream. With nothing promised beyond eventual artist royalties and a catered recording session, seventeen amazing artists conquered the challenge we put before them: to adapt an Oingo Boingo tune into their own unique style. We feel honored to have worked with these fine musical representatives of Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, and Wales, UK. This album is also a tribute to each and every one of them.
So please join us in this vast toast by raising your cup and cranking the stereo up!
Head Honcho & Co-Founder
Dep't of Records
17 Aug, 2006