Cinema Sounds #23: Be Your Own Pet “The Kelly Affair”

Part of our ongoing Cinema Sounds series, Emily Perez brings us “The Kelly Affair” by Be Your Own Pet, from their 2008 album Get Awkward.

Artist: Garage band fivesome
Influence:
Ultra sleazy non sequel to a camp sensation
The Result: Garage band Sleaze

If the fictitious and spirited rock trio the Carrie Nations were instead a British punk fivesome, they might sound a lot like Be Your Own Pet. Their song “The Kelly Affair” is references the film’s protagonists as they begin their journey,  as a not totally wholesome trio tormenting the consciences of suburbanites. They later flourish into “The Carrie Nation’s” and descend into a lifestyle that includes frequent drug use and occasional mass murder.

The song’s frantic energy resembles the breakneck speed of what might be Russ Meyer’s masterpiece. The film itself, which declares no affiliation to the previously released Valley of the Dolls takes a plunge into the manic lives of all of its sex crazed, drug addicted, ego obsessed characters. Without much of a plot it is instead an amalgamation of moments, especially showing how fame affects the lives of modelesque young women. Perhaps most interesting is the collaboration between noted cinema pervert Russ Meyer and cinema moralist Roger Ebert – in one of Eberts only forays into screenwriting. The absurd hybrid of these two energies is only complimented  in Be Your Own Pet’s upbeat punk retelling.

Though punk is often hailed as the antithesis of lavish sets and pretty people, “The Kelly Affair” is a celebration of the film’s melodrama. Be Your Own Pet’s tinny garage sound and unsubtle lyrics are reminiscent of the low brow nature of the film. The punk stylings are very direct: “everybody’s got sex on their minds/ everybody parties all the time”. The garage DIY music scene and cult film tend to have a lot in common especially in the way that they interact with mainstream culture. In this case both the song and film indulge the sexier parts of fame as a culture but remain parodic. It’s impossible to ignore the film’s most excessive moments and the song is peppered some of the more memorable quotes from the film including (repeatedly) “Not even a Bentley!”

You can download “The Kelly Affair” on iTunes.


Author : Emily Perez is a senior at Columbia College Chicago, where she is studying Producing for film and Screenwriting. She is interested in fringe film making and cult filmmakers with a particular interest in New Queer Cinema. This fall she is Facet’s Program Assistant.

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