We’ve all had this happen. A band crosses your path that you think is great and you want everyone in the world to know about it. For some bands it happens, for others it doesn’t. “Making it” as a musician is very hard work (as John mentioned earlier, these musicians do SO much work in order to do what they do) and that’s why it’s so rewarding to be able to help them and support them the way we do at KEXP.
We’ve all felt the frustration of not seeing “our” bands at the top. Not that hitting a chart is the be all-end all, but it means a lot of people are listening to those bands and I always hold out hope that we’ll see it happen to ones who deserve it.
There are precious moments when you see these bands in a tiny club and it’s like they’re playing just for you and if they do blow up, playing festivals and stadiums, you hold those tiny shows so dear. That’s happened to me with quite a few bands and although I love the intimate shows, I am always elated to see them succeed.
Right now, locally, that band for me is The Beautiful Mothers. A few years ago we got a 3 song EP called Rock-N-Roll, produced by Jack Endino. A record produced by Jack will always catch my eye. He’s got an incredible track record and this band was no exception. They came in to perform on Audioasis and although I loved what I’d heard on the EP, I had NO idea what I was in for.
They’d duct taped their headphones to their heads, which cracked me up, but as they played, I understood why. It was a musical assault and was hard to believe it was being put forth by just 3 guys. Their songs are hard hitting, tight and fast, with a thumping from the rhythm secion (Jeff & Rob) that you will feel in your chest. Singer, Eric Balaban has an Ian MacKaye-like style, roaring out passion fueled lyrics over his heavy guitar riffs.
I dove head on into finding everything I could from them. I found the previously released Hikikomori and a few local comps they’d been placed on. One reviewer said “It’s a three-way marriage between stoner rock, punk rock, and grooved-out 70s rock. This’ll have ya out of your fuckin’ chair and giving the two-finger salute till your damn nose bleeds.” Well said.
I highly anticipated their debut full-length release Half American Servicemen and it absolutley stood up to every expectation I had. It found a place on my “top records of 2005″ and although I love it through and through, stand out tracks are “Cornel West” - (MP3), “Dauntless”, “Let it End” and “Sheltered.”
I begged to be the interviewer on Audioasis when they came in to support the new record. Between the first time I’d met them and this in-studio, I’d been to several of their shows and had become a huge fan. This time they wore stocking caps to keep their headphones on, which paled in comparison to duct tape. They absolutely tore it up and I’ve never laughed so hard during an interview, as their personalities are as awesome as their music.
These guys work hard, playing as many shows as they can, wherever they can. They tour, have made several trips to Japan (ask them about DJ Mackey’s punky parties) and their undying love for what they’re doing is worn on their collective sleeve. Check ‘em out and be prepared to rock.
Make sure you tune into Audioasis this weekend and every Saturday from 6pm-9pm. Your host this weekend is the always fun and ever-so-witty Mr. Sean Nelson. He’s got great taste in local music and I really enjoy the show when he hosts.
At 8pm, The Withholders will play live from the KEXP Studios. Another great local band doin’ it all for themselves. The band is made up of 2 people, Aubrey and Val and they’ll be playing songs from the record Stay in My Corner, which you’ve been hearing on KEXP.
Show Off the Scar - (MP3)
Thanks for supporting local music! Until next time...