In paying tribute to one of his favorite songs of the era, film director John Hughes ruined the Psychedelic Furs for kids like me. It didn't matter that the Furs had released "Pretty in Pink" a full five years before the movie came out; or that Richard Butler's voice sounded like the bruised end of a hard night of drinking; or that "Pretty in Pink" itself was the sly insinuation of an acerbic wit. We late-blooming punk rockers were too tough to consider anything remotely associated with Molly Ringwald. By the time I warmed to the confident pessimism of early Furs material, the band was overbaked and undone, integrity having long since given way to gloss. When the Butler brothers formed Love Spit Love in 1992, I had high hopes for the maturation of that laconic scorn and barroom rasp, but Richard sounded dispirited and unsure confining his full-grown ruminations in the guise of a younger man's pop songs. Having witnessed the misuses of that all-too-rare combination of precise hooks, clever lyricism, and a coarse vocal grain, I decided to keep my ears open and hope for a successor. Never did I imagine he would materialize at the Hotel Utah's open mike.... More >>>