Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Musings On The Whitehouse...

Why hello Tuning Fork readers. How are you? I am fine, thanks for asking. When my good friend Pitchperfect asked me to write for you all it was because she has spent years being on the receiving end of many a piece of writing that's come from my way. She was confident I could deliver the cutting sarcasm, critical beatdowns, and coffee fueled rants that I had become known for on a regular basis. And well to be honest I then proceeded to totally fail her. Sure I check Pitchfork on a daily basis just hoping for that moment of inspiration, and sure I've muttered various things under my breath like "fucking 100 records came out today and I actually give a shit about Bob Marley reviews, like that stories never been told", and today I was heard to exclaim "shit, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness is a great name for a band", but then the phone would ring, a box of promos would show up, a line up of people would be at the office door asking me shit, and like most people who work in music, next thing I knew it would be 10:00 PM and I was still at the fucking office. Well, screw that moment of inspiration via Pitchfork. I mean hell, isn't there something a little weird anyway about having to be inspired by them to get anything creative done? Today I've been inspired by Pitchperfects history essays and other postings. And the fact that she looked damn cute in her Jawa robe.

So the topic of this post will start with Whitehouse. I mean what's up with that guy in there? What a bad president. I mean Bill Clinton gets blown, this president starts a war.... okay, enough. We all know he's bad, now go do something about it. All the whining, no action is enough to make a guy start loving Ted Nugent. The Whitehouse I'm talking about is the project of none other then William Bennett, not to be confused with Education Secretary William Bennett (although how awesome would it be if they were the same people). I came across this Whitehouse back in the mid-80's while working at a record store in one of those mid-size towns. Which as you can imagine made me one of those totally insufferable indie store teenagers who would confuse all my hardcore friends whilst extolling the virtues of Roxy Music or some "gay shit" (as they would call it). Anyway, following the line from Crass, to Steve Ignorant from Crass appearing on Current 93's "Dogs Blood Rising", to then discovering Nurse With Wound, to discovering The Nihilist Spasm Band lived and played in my town every week... I stumbled on Whitehouse. And what a joyous discovery it was. Anyone who's worked at a store has their favorite "fuck off, we're closing" record. Prior to discovering Whitehouse's "Great White Death" I would say it was The Swans "Filth" or Killdozer's "Little Baby Bunting" that would drive away the hordes of people looking for used Eagles CD's and instead just leave my friends there so we could lock up and get loaded. But oh how they left when such Whitehouse hits as "Ass-Destroyer", "My Cocks On Fire", and "I'm Coming Up Your Ass" would come over the stereo. The point of all this? Rather then go into any great history lesson on Whitehouse or the lineage of Throbbing Gristle to modern noise (you're already on the internet, look it up), I bring this up strictly to encourage you to go see Whitehouse who are currently opening for Wolf Eyes and get schooled on where extreme noise started. And it's also brought up as a segue to one of my favorite concert stories of the last few years which not coincidentally also involves Wolf Eyes.

Coachella 05. Being a big fan of the Wolf Eyes I dragged a small crew of people from the relative comfort of the c-list celebrity back stage area to see Wolf Eyes end off the Sunday lineup. After a Saturday evening spent running from the man ballads of Keane & Coldplay drifting across the polo field I was excited to see something noisy and raw. Upon arriving at the stage apparently nobody else had the same idea, and all the 'angry' kids were currently getting their angst on to Nine Inch Nails across the field. Anyway, so Wolf Eyes cranks up (with a lovely inappropriate palm tree background may I ad...) and proceeds to thin out the already thin crowd. Most of my crew go running for cover also. So after a few minutes I notice a a teenage girl beside me looking like she'd be more at home at a rave then say a power electronics from Michigan show. She's clearly high as shit and staring at the stage with the one of the most terrified looks I've ever seen. This goes on for about 15 minutes with the terrified look getting worse and worse. Given that I've found myself in that situation more then a few times I decide to give her the helpful suggestion that if she's that fucked then maybe she may want to step away from this particular stage and find something a little more soothing. As I finish telling her this she looks up at me (still with those terrified and huge eyes) and nervously stammers... "Is this The Prodigy". Trying not to fall down laughing I politely tell her that her friends are probably the next tent over where The Prodigy is actually playing and she should probably go there, to which she bolts on out. That must of really sucked to be her. Imagine being fucked up on psychedelics convinced your watching The Prodigy and trying to hear the words to "Firestarter" in say "Stabbed In The Face". Was the absence of funny haircuts not a tip off?

Anyway, the phone's ringing, the work is piling up and I'm out of stories for right now. All of this is really to say that these two bands together will present a fabulous cross section of noise new & old and you really ought to go see it. What's this to do with Pitchfork? Well they didn't announce the dates... bitches.

You can still catch it if you live in :

03-07 Montreal, Quebec - El Salon *
03-08 Toronto, Ontario - Sneaky Dees *
03-16 Ithaca, NY - Noyes Community Center
03-18 Brooklyn, NY - The Hook (No Fun Fest) %