Monday, April 07, 2008

Simultaneous Pausing of Men, Menses

A good twenty minutes of last Friday night was sunk into seeing how much of the work of 80s girl group Klymaxx is represented on YouTube. Sure enough, we found the video for the worst-named song to emerge from the stretch of time beginning on January 1, 1980, and ending on December 31, 1989: "The Men All Pause."

Of course, when spoken, the title sounds exactly like "the menopause," which basically obliterates any sense of hipness, sexiness, or stylishness that the video aimed for. (Trends change from one decade to the next, but "menopause equals antisexy" is a constant, crispy bangs or no crispy bangs.) In my head, the menopause association is further compounded by the spelling of the group's name, which perfectly exemplifies what I like to call "truckstop waitress single mother spelling." (It works like this: "I like this as a name, but I think it would look prettier if it all the Cs were Ks, all the Is were Ys and any consonant that could be was doubled. Who would want to meet 'Corinne' when they could meet 'Korrynne'?") As it's spelled, "Klymaxx" also vaguely reminds me of brand name for some ladycare product.

Menopause and pink plastic shavers aside, this band, for me, merits attention also for several additional reasons:
  1. Klymaxx actually played at an event here in Santa Barbara in March. I don't know how many original members would have been in attendance, but that's not worth dwelling on in light of the fact that the event was a launch party for an organic skincare line saddled with one bummer of a name: "Zenpusé." For what it's worth, it could be a magical hat that grants its wearer omnipotence and still no one would buy it. I can see no other reasonable pronunciation for the brand name "Zenpusé" other than "zen-poo-SAY," "zen-POOS," "zen-POOZ," or "zen-PYOOS." Especially paired with the band name "Klymaxx," all of the possible pronunciations bring to mind some conjunction of meditative serenity and the vagina. (Despite my insistence, by the way, I failed to convince anyone that they should review the show.)
  2. My previous experience with Klymaxx involved Nate and I being too tired or hungover to move and watching the better part of an episode of VH1's Bands Reunited that focused on the girls from Klymaxx. In the end, they didn't reunite. I believe "Unruly" Cheryl Cooley was the sole standout. Nonetheless, I learned more about this proto-Fannypack than I ever cared too.
  3. Aside from a three-second audio clip of "I Miss You" on those 80s music compilation informercials, my first awareness of Klymaxx would be a 2003 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Halle Berry. One sketch was a parody of those very 80s music compilation informercials, only specifically for the best of Klymaxx's spoken word performances — as in just the chunk of "The Men All Pause" featuring the lead singer prattling on. Now that I think about it, I couldn't name a band in which the "songs" consist of so much goddamn talking.
On that note, I'll promise not to go on and on. (Who do I think I am, a member of Klymaxx?) But I will share one more music video — the one for "Meeting in the Ladies Room." It doesn't take place at a Fatburger or include back-up singing mustache chefs, but it does feature the 80s glamtastic aesthetic to such a degree that it frequently seems like an In Living Color parody video of the era rather than an authentic artifact.

Sadly, those ain't no Wayans brothers under those wigs. And in light of this song, let's take a look at what would appear to be a trend. One song that seems like it's about menopause. Another that's specifically about the goings-on the in the women's restroom. That means what? That if I found a third Klymaxx hit on YouTube it would have been about queafs? Yeast infections? Alas, I tire of the subject. We'll never know.

And that, friends, is everything I know about Klymaxx.


  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    "Don't slap me ... 'cause I'm not in the mood."

    Truer words were never spoken.

  2. Anonymous2:31 PM

    I know a woman who named her daughter Korynne, with one R. She got angry when anybody attempted to pronounce it "KOR-aine," even though that's how it looked.