Where have they been? Stars of the underground tell all

Editor’s note: The ’00s have already slipped into life’s rearview mirror, and I think it’s important to take a few minutes and think about recent musical history.

The Mae Shi, The Pope, Laco$te, Totally Radd!!…each represents a different aspect of the early 21st Century’s colorful—and often contradictory—aspirations. Sincerity/insincerity, low tech/high tech, homemade/ready for the club. All aspects were explored musically and offered up for your delight. Now they are back to thrill you again.

Famed L.A. soundman Kyle Mabson talks to these titans of “ought” culture about what it all meant, and what they’ve been doing lately.

This is what the early 21st Century looked like


How long has it been since you played?
Neil: As Totally Radd!!? Which line-up? I was in Colorado playing some TR!! shows last April (2011) with Andy Marlow (Totally Radd!! / Dazzler, Ima Robot) on guitar and Germaine Baca (Old Time Relijun, Josh Taylor’s Friends Forever, Pacific Pride) on drums. If you’re speaking of the last of the last, first-run, OG, TR!!, which initially was a solo project bearing an entirely different moniker as well as (occasionally) my birth name, later to roll through a grip of collaborating / supporting line-up switcheroos– although Adam is the longest standing member (Tommy, where are you?)… Uggh… That had to have been near the end of 2008, just before the perceivably awkward/dismaying/spectacular/best-ever transformation into Dazzler.


Birthday boy Kyle Mabson back in the day

What musical projects are you working on now?
Neil: I’ve played keys (and on rare occasion cello) fairly consistently with Crooked Cowboy & The Freshwater Indians despite some on and off time. That’s a serious fav band right there. I’ve collaborated with Brian Butler and Kenneth Anger’s band “Technicolor Skull” essentially from it’s conception (here’s where I give Tyler big ups for laying down some rad relentless aleatoric prog drum-soloing.) through their most recent performance at MOCA a couple months ago. There’s a posthumous Dazzler LP that’s been worked on here and there over some time. Don’t hold your breath though, because I’m going to be taking my sweet fucking time. When it’s ready, it’ll be ready. Recently toyed around with LISP via ClozureCL, generating a few algorithmic computer music pieces, which will doubtfully ever surface to air. There’s some sort of a solo record I’m dreaming up which I hesitate to pin a concept or descriptor to because it’s much too early to determine where it will end up. I suppose now and again I’ll be goaded into scoring film shorts. Presently I’m mixing Tyler’s debut LP as the band “Greatest Hits” (US) in which he collaborates with Zak Mering (Raw Thrills, Insted). And yes, I am mixing it quite literally as I type this. Music. Non. Stop.

What is your favorite band of all time?
Neil: Fancy Dracula.

What can we expect in terms of facial hair for this performance?
Neil: What can we expect in terms of your next derisively vapid DJ set?

Where can we see that movie you were in?
Neil: You’d have to break into a certain shall-not-be-named Hollywood studio’s vaults where they leave captive motion pictures to die after executing prolonged Mengele-esque editing room torture if you were to even dream of laying your hands on that sweet, sweet, 35mm anamorphic celluloid. There’s an unofficial trailer up on vimeo and some behind the scenes / pre-production Panavision test footage vids on youtube. Search for “Teenius.”



How long has it been since this line up played?
Peter: OACK – Only Amir Coyle Knows.

Is Peter gonna be in his underwear?
Peter: If my abs look good, which they do, but I will be eating a lot of brisket the day before the show. So we’ll see.

How has the electrofunk compilation influenced your lives?
Peter: Tremendous. When I played it for the first time at a party, I ended up in a bed with 4 people getting naked. I also had to leave that bed to go vomit. Later on, I spoke on the phone with Mr. De of Electrofunk Records, and I was very nervous. I was shopping at Home Depot. He called. He gave me permission to use a track for a video I made for an art show. I love the raw energy, the wit and sense of humor and at the same time how abstract that compilation is. It’s a sonic world. Still one of the purchases in my life.

What do you guys do in your regular life?
Peter: I mostly brew (and think) sour beer. I also have about 4 jobs, one of which is running a business. I often describe my gf as a workaholic but I really need to work less as well.

The way we were: Brad, Ezra, Jeff & Tim


How long has it been since this line up has played a show?
Ezra: Has to be euro tour 2005 (?)
Jeff: I think 4 years at least. Hard to tell.
Tim: Probably Euro Tour 2005 (I went back and read the “bowl of dicks” e-mail exchange, it made me kind of sad).

How is the “scene” different than it was back then?
Ezra: No idea. Oblivion is my motto
Jeff: What scene? LA? I don’t know, I haven’t really been a part of it.
Tim: Probably more STDs?

What made you agree to do this after so long?
Jeff: Kyle asked us to play his bday party. We wouldn’t have done it otherwise.
Ezra: happy birthday
Tim: The social networking power of Kyle Mabson. Also, no one else had asked us to do it.

What is your favorite food?
Ezra: kale
Jeff: I like ice cream, but that’s just me.
Tim: “not pizza”

How much are you guys into skrillex?
Jeff: I like his music a lot. I had to rip off a bunch of his music for a game I scored. Whenever I see a picture of him I kinda want to slap him thought (sorry!) e
Ezra: Never heard it
Tim: A lot, not really because of his music, but because of the economy. When you pick Skrillex products over, say, Deadmau5 products, you support American manufacturers.

The Pope...before the decadence


When is the last time you guys played?
Watson: About a year ago. It lasted 5 minutes. PK blew all the power in the place because he has such a huge bass rig (to match his giant ego).
Paul: In the past. It was a while back if I remember correctly. We had just finished having the Mae-Shi, No Age, and HEALTH open for us on our U.S. tour and things were really wearing us down. Our agent was like “Hey man” and we really know then it was time. My contract was up and the Bro Mags had just been picked up by Volcom so it ended on a bad note I guess. I just didn’t think Watson would cry so much.

Why haven’t you played in so long?
Watson: The bass parts are really hard for PK and practice usually just consists of him crying out of frustration and then his tears short out the electricity and also I’ve been really busy with Hot Rod Devil Tongue.
Paul: I guess creative differences. Watson took off and started Hot Rod Devil Tongue and really did well on the Hootenanny circuit. I on the other hand really couldn’t get my act together after being kicked out of the Bro Mags. I tried Bible Thrust and Crass Patch but both failed as members quit before the band actually started. In ancient Hindu they say “A cup cannot be half empty if the cookie crumbles into the egg basket.”I continued my search with multiple theories until you called.

What do Watson and Kneejie do when not rockin?
Watson: I’m really into politics. I don’t know if you heard of this thing called Occupy LA, but that was all me.
Paul: We are old now and really like just spending time with our various children that we have made on multiple road trips. We both are way into eastern philosophy and yoga at the moment. Mainly I am just trying to live off the grid and grow my own food and stuff. Society is pretty much bogus and the president has totally let me down with his attacks on my personal privacy.  I got this plot of land now and am gonna totally learn the way of the Natives once I am done with the show. I don’t actually know how to farm, find water, build, make food, make fire, raise animals, create anything but I am totally going to learn this next week and Santa Monica college.

How is pizza paul doing?
Watson: Ma’s sauce is the best.
Paul: How you doing?

Don’t miss the show tonight…

Image: Kyle Mabson

Monday, February 6, 2012, it’s Kyle Mabson’s birthday show

The Mae Shi (original line-up—first time in many years)
Totally Radd!! (keytar…yes)
Laco$te (original line-up—including that Belgian dude)
The Pope (get there early!)

plus DJ Jonathan Snipes and MC Jesse Miller

Starts 9pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown RSVP

Add SEANCARNAGE.COM for updates & more

Go to m.livetapp.com or download Livetapp on your iPhone for extra goodies (like one free Monday admission for every four Pehr Monday check-ins)

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