Iowa City’s Gem Jones has been reconfiguring and repurposing pop music throughout a number of different CGIFriday and home-recorded cassette tape releases in the past few years. But it makes complete sense that he’s now landed a Night People release, considering he’s been tearing down the same pop walls as Shawn Reed (of Wet Hair), Night People founder and fellow Iowa City resident. Mr. Jones, welcome to the family.
“Starsquisha” begins like a 1990s daytime sitcom, before falling into a kind of Joe Strummer-filtered take on Gem Jones’ specific style of New No Wave, explored previously on his Symphony in P release on Portland’s CGIFriday label. It’s catchy, trashy, and comes as close to falling apart halfway through as a song built from a drum machine loop can manage to do. Listen to it below, and buy the full tape, Exhaust, from Night People.