He Dines Out On Death by Cristina, 1984



Another album from the cut-out bin:  Cristina’s 1984 album “Sleep It Off.”  Certainly a striking image, if you call a woman with her throat cut in nine different places striking.

Cristina’s full name was Cristina Monet-Palaci, a Harvard grad who stumbled into doing a disco pastiche called “Disco Clone” with a classmate.  It got her some attention in the New York No-Wave scene in the early 80s.

Her second album was “Sleep It Off,” and it’s brilliant.  The song here is “He Dines Out on Death,” a brutal swipe at urban decadence and celebrity and the disposable little people. But the rest of the songs are also fantastic, from her cover of Prince’s “When U Were Mine” (which is represented elsewhere on Cloth Monkey Radio in a Cyndi Lauper cover) to “What’s A Girl To Do?” (first verse: “My life is in a turmoil/My thighs are black and blue/My sheets are stained, so is my brain/What’s a girl to do?”) and especially the first song, “Don’t Mutilate My Mink,” which I’ll throw in as an extra video. The album was produced by Don Was.

“Sleep It Off” was so outré, so sui generis, that no one in 1984 bought it, and it ended up in the cut-out bin at Penguin Feather.  It was her last record, and she got out of the song business altogether, which is a damn shame.  I mean, how many No-Wave divas are there who got their wedding announcement in the New York Times?


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