Monday, August 29, 2011

The Vodka Family Winstons

In case the two people who read this blog haven't been paying attention, I absolutely worship the Butthole Surfers and revere pretty much everything they've recorded. I know there are a lot of fans that are divisive when it comes to the band's "golden years" (i.e. everything before Hairway To Steven versus after) and pretty much write off their post-1990 stuff as pretentious mainstream crap. Of course this happens with most cult bands (please see Ween, Mr. Bungle, 311, any group which has a bunch of semi-popular indie/local albums before getting on a label with some national distribution) when they decide to move out of their shitty apartment, stop recording on a 4-track and gasp! try something new. As a fan I kinda agree, it sucks when a band you love starts sounding... well... different. As a musician I completely understand; it is fucking BORING playing the same shit over and over! And if someone wants to pay you to go into a studio and help you record something then fucking try it because it is goddamn tiring trying to do all that shit yourself! Make some scratch if you get the chance. Instead of the pennies you net when the 2000 homemade 7-inchers you pressed sell out, get a label to fund your tour and put some food in the fridge.* So yes, there is clearly a difference between Butthole Surfer albums when you compare the psychedelia from Psychic... Powerless to the post punk (?) of Electriclarryland but give 'em a break, the guys aged almost ten years between the two! What are you still doing today that has stayed just as new and fresh as it was a decade ago?** Trust me, dropping acid and recording for weeks at a time doesn't exactly have the same appeal at 40 as it does when you're 22 and living in from farmhouse with a bunch of transient musicians.  I guess I'm ranting because I keep getting in the same argument with the same two friends of mine about the 'Surfers and it gets annoying. The fact I even acknowledge Locust Abortion Technician is absolute heresy yet I'd be surprised to know if either of them have ever listened to that album more than once. They're the same way with Ween (nothing will ever surpass The Pod dudemang) but that's another story. Anyways, here are the Butthole Surfers circa 1985 from their Blind Eye Sees All live video. Compiled from two shows in Detroit, the band wallows in their hallucinogenic Another Man's Sac chaos and sleaze out a great performance. The video splices some "interviews" in between the live stuff, they are kinda funny but sort of get old quick so I relocated them to the end. Additionally, I included a couple alternate live versions of "Bar-Be-Que Pope" and "Cowboy Bob" (circa 1985 as well I think) and "Negro Observer" from 1991. Let me know if my friends are right.

* And I'm not calling anyone a "sellout" or any of that shit here - to me that is just a term used by jealous wannabes who feel they have been robbed of their nonexistent "status" that talking about a band nobody has heard of earns them. Do you think Offspring would have been labeled a "sellout" for recording Smash if it hadn't sold a billion copies? No, it would have been "another Offspring album," sold 20,000 copies, they would have continued lounging in Huntington Beach with their local fanbase and eventually broken up over the typical "we've been doing this for too fucking long" feud bands tend to get into. Instead they smartly got with a label that had great distro (by figuring local distribution=lots of local fans ∴ national distribution=lots of national fans) and just happened to be in the right musical place at the right time. Good for them and other bands which have done the same.

** I know there are those few bands which have been doing the exact same thing forever and yep, they can sleep well at night knowing they "kept it real" but you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that those bands haven't had significant lineup changes through the years or that their waning fanbase doesn't acknowledge that "they're still cool but kinda boring now."

P.S. My audio rip keeps getting deleted (as has all my Butthole Surfers stuff) so I've linked to a VHS rip hosted by the good ol' blog Kick To Kill. Enjoy mangs.  

Currently watching: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things!
Currently listening to: Corrupted Garten Der Unbewusstheit

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