“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is bird-flipping, genre-hopping, corner-careening force for good, bad and evil Ronna Reason.

Ronna came from a neon infused 80s punk scene in Chicago, as a rocksteady bassist for Joe For A Night, who lent a veneer of cult cool to alt rock behemoths like Faith No More & Red Hot Chili Peppers who they opened for. Ronna was offered to play with the nascent Smashing Pumpkins but turned it down apparently as not only did they have a name that stunk their own hygiene routines left a lot to be desired. Heading to LA, Ronna played with Pay The Man, Sur Drone and Ms 45, opened for Iggy and nearly hit paydirt with a major label before their own lead singer’s untimely demise.

Since the late 90s, Ronna’s been running the Kingsize Soundlabs operation with partner in crime, and not reason nor rhyme – the producer Dave Trumfio (of The Pulsars) and recently teamed up with LA nightlife don Dave Neupert in designing and opening Gold-Diggers, a boutique hotel / club / recording studio combo in East Hollywood. Most excitingly though, there’s a new self-titled EP and the lead tune features Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow infamy. It’s Essential Logic meets a defiance of logic, and plenty of Reason. Welcome to VS, Ronna Reason!

I played the tune “Do It Again” on my most recent Velvet Sheep radio episode and it really pops, such is the insistence and luridly rebellious resonance of every song on the 5 track Ronna Reason EP…

In some ways retro like “Buffalo Gals”, Neneh Cherry or The Contortions, Ronna Reason is also irresistibly right now, throwing everything at you including the stainless steel kitchen sink and an ACME anvil to boot.

I knew Ronna’s choice of tune would be peerless, and I was not disappointed, not least as it is a BOGOF offering, two for the price of one…so without further ado, here’s Ronna Reason’s “song(s) for ewe”…

“I’ve always been drawn to primitive drums, upbeat bass lines, angular guitars and female vocals… The late 70’s / early 80’s female driven post punk bands have always filled that bill. Good ‘get up in the morning and get your day going’ music!

Bush Tetras, Modettes, Kleenix, ESG, Delta 5, Flying Lizards are some of my favorites, but if I had to chose one, I’d have to go with Kleenex “Ain’t You”.

Kleenex were a Swiss female post-punk/new wave band active from 1978 to 1983. They hit all the marks for me, nice upbeat tempos with jagged rhythms to keep you shaking and moving. I’ve also loved how the lyrics are kind of silly but sound perfect. What’s going on here?

“Take your radio and your lies / Take your radio and your love / Take it in / Now take it out / Taking every valuable / Push it in now push it out / Push it out now push it in / Take your radio and your lies / Take your radio and your love…”

This might be a English as a second language situation of brilliance, and I’ll take it! Come to think of it, a lot of my favorite music is slightly off in some way and these slightly obtuse lyrics are perfect…

…On that note, my runner-up would be Flying Lizards peculiar cover of “Money”… A demented single that actually charted!

The singer seems to have no interest in the song, what’s so over, and it comes off perfectly. The art-damaged production instantly draws you in with its broken piano riff and sparse naked rhythm, while sounding like a old fashioned cash register. On top of this, it’s a cover that sounds nothing like the original, not even close, but in many ways the best version.”


Here’s another top toon from the Ronna Reason EP…

Get the reckid…

and here’s all the other resources you could possibly need right here…


Author: Nick Hutchings

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment