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Video Premiere: "Do the Pony" by Shiva Burlesque

2 February 2022

Shiva Burlesque – Photo Credit: Merlyn Rosenberg

While emerging as one of the more creative, tricky-to-categorize bands working in the vibrant underground scene of 1980s Los Angeles, Shiva Burlesque (founded by transplanted Northern Californians Jeffrey Clark and Grant Lee Phillips) recorded two albums, 1988’s self-titled effort and 1990’s Mercury Blues.

Shiva Burlesque’s potent synthesis of acoustic and electric textures, exploratory lyrics and keen sense of dynamics brought them some impressive in-the-know admirers (“… a trip into startled wonder” raved Melody Maker Editor Allan Jones); and comparisons to the likes of John Cale, Echo & the Bunnymen and Love.

Along with Clark and Phillips, this second release again featured drummer Joey Peters along with new bassist Paul Kimble and cellist Greg Adamson.

With Mercury Blues still in rotation on college radio, and the indie-rock scene poised on the precipice of Seattle-mania, Shiva Burlesque split shortly thereafter. The breakup gave rise to Grant Lee Buffalo shortly thereafter, and the album faded into the mists, just ahead of the surging tide of grunge and shoegaze.

Now, more than three decades later, and just in time for many of its themes to uncannily hit home, Mercury Blues has been reissued, this time on Bruce Licher’s eminent Independent Project Records. The remastered album is augmented by a second disc (titled Skulduggery) of fascinating four-track demos and previously unheard “hermetic trax.”

Here, exclusively premiering on Big Takeover, and directed and animated by Dave Gresalfi, is a newly created video for “Do the Pony” on Mercury Blues + Skulduggery:

For more on Shiva Burlesque, go here:

Label website
Grant Lee Buffalo website