Artist I Really Like: Rob Zombie

That’s the sum total of the thesis of this post, y’all: Rob Zombie, I Really Like His Tunes and His Style.  My reasons, in video form:

 

White Zombie – More Human Than Human

More Human than the Human (1995)

This one is actually from when he was part of White Zombie, and was one of the first songs I heard when I started going clubbing in Glasgow in 1996. I’m not quite sure how I missed it before that, but I did. It was definitely a “What is that and where can I get some more?” moment. When I got home I decamped to Tower Records where – this was the downside of living in suburbia when the Internet was still very young – all they had was the remix album, Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds, which was interesting but not . . . quite . . . what I was after.

Puzzled but not put off, I went back to college; meanwhile, White Zombie broke up and Rob Zombie went solo, and eventually put out Hellbilly Deluxe, in 1998. By then I had jumped across the ocean again (for work, this time) and on weekends I was going to places where they played these two songs a whole lot:

 

Rob Zombie – Dragula

Dragula (1998)

Rob Zombie – Superbeast

Superbeast (1999)

 

My favorite part of the video for Dragula is that he seems to be trying to play Grand Theft Auto in a tricked-out Model-T.  Anyway, jumping forward in time a few years: when The Sinister Urge came out in 2001, I was back in the U.S. again, in Brooklyn, and had mostly stopped clubbing.  I moved again about a year afterwards, and discovered that it’s also a great driving music. Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy) is an especially delicious way to start a long trip. And Feel So Numb is the track I frequently put on in the evenings this past semester as I was walking either to or from class:

 

Rob Zombie – Feel So Numb

Feel So Numb (2001)

 

As I’ve been putting this together I discovered I missed a record while I was in (cultural) exile: Educated Horses, in 2006 (whoops!), so my next and last favorite song is What? from Hellbilly Deluxe 2, in 2010. I have been dancing around my apartment to it for a while now, and also, because this is what I do in my spare time, dreaming of ways I would make a video for it. When I went to looking for the “official” video, I found that a) there isn’t one and b) two fierce ladies have stepped up and made their own, complete with really amazing dance moves:

 

Rob Zombie – "What?" Directed by BODYCON

“What?” direct by BODYCON, starring BODYCON and Kristina Z (2010)

 

The last reason I really like Rob Zombie fits under the heading of “style” and is this: when I (finally!) got to see him live a year or so ago, not only did he play all of my favorite songs, he also did something I’d never encountered at a hard rock show before: he called a special ladies’ only pit, scolded the dudes who tried to crash it, and gave the girls hanging on the barrier a chance to mosh.

I couldn’t get in it myself – I was back by the soundboard at the time, since I had come  up late, after school, just in time for him to come on – but I appreciated the gesture, and him for making it, because in a very real way, a place in the pit is a place at the table. Thank you, Rob Zombie, for the all of the tunes, and for that moment. I look forward to whatever your next musical adventure may be.

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