Sunday, December 18, 2011

Q and A with Robinson and Yow, raging sets by Oxbow and Scratch Acid in Seattle

Eugene Robinson rips through Oxbow's set in Seattle. (All Cat Rose photos except last two)

Oxbow’s Eugene Robinson once told David Yow after his band Jesus Lizard played in San Francisco that when people left the gig, they were ecstatic. When people exit an Oxbow show, Robinson noted that he doesn’t ever want to see them happy.
On Saturday, Robinson and Yow sat down for a Q-and-A session with writer Chris Estey at the Comet Tavern in Seattle before Oxbow and Scratch Acid slayed the crowd across the street at Neumos.
Here’s some Cat Rose pics and choice quotes from the Q and A (Cat was only able to shoot Oxbow because of Scratch Acid's photo policy -- thanks to Robinson for getting Cat clearance to photograph his band):

Way back to being a kid … Ray Charles, James Brown, The Beatles. But I think the first music where things started to happen differently for me …was in 1977, I got Eddie and the Hot Rods, somebody gave me “Teenage Depression.” And the first live show that I saw of a band, I actually saw the Plasmatics. They kind of became jokes later on, but the show I saw had Wendy O. Williams like shot-gunning the fucking stage to bits, and I don’t think I’ve seen a show like that before or fucking since. It was completely out of fucking control. (He added that the “baddest-ass rap guy” has nothing on that gig.) -- On his musical upbringing

Robinson sings in the crowd during the acoustic portion of the set.

I wanna do a whole list of things under the heading of “How I See Myself.” And I’ve recently done up my Facebook page and I’ve put some Little Richard clip in Paris where he plays, where he just stops playing the piano and somebody’s fucking pissed him off or something in the audience. And he’s shirtless and he’s stopped playing the piano, he’s got stocking feet on and he just goes to the edge of the stage, he’s kind of singing “Ready Teddy,” but kind of not really singing it—and I was like, ‘That’s him, Tom Jones, this is how I see myself, Teddy Pendergrass… in a wheelchair.’ -- On his influences

Oxbow's Niko Wenner.

If anybody’s having any conversation with me at all about doing something for cash, they’re already insane, right? So, it’s not like Oxbow is gonna start doing pop for TV commercials, it’s impossible, impossible, not because we can’t, but because we choose not to. -- On selling out

Oxbow bassist Dan Adams.

Friends of mine have encouraged me to write a memoir, but there’s no fucking way I could do that. I can’t even fucking talk about the possibility of writing a memoir; I’m enough of an egomaniac where I’d like to, but the life that I’ve led, I can’t fucking write about it. -- On writing

Yow and Robinson at the Q and A.

Yow with Scratch Acid Nov. 12 in Chicago (MXV photo)
(Are we) music for lovers? Pretty much everything I’ve been involved with. Before Scratch Acid ever played a show, I made some posters for us and one of them had a really cool photo of a girl’s butt, and it just said, ‘Scratch Acid: music for and about beautiful women.’ And I don’t know how that applies to anything.
I don’t think we had any high hopes. I don’t think we had any sort of vision or anything like that. God, I remember the idea of making a cassette and being able to sell it to people you don’t even know -- that was fucking thrilling, and then we sold like a thousand records—that’s like punk-rock gold. -- On the early days

We had toured most of the US and Europe before we came to the West Coast, and I was scared to go to LA -- I thought, ‘They’re gonna beat the fuck out of me’ … um, fortunately, they didn’t. Yeah, I know we had some bad reactions, but I don’t know if it was necessarily because of dumb-ass skinheads or whatever in the audience. -- On touring

I think a lot of it was sort of based in my sense of humor—spending too much time with people like the Butthole Surfers and stuff like that. -- On his lyrics

Before I was into punk rock, Led Zeppelin was my favorite group, and I liked fusion and stuff like that. And then on a Halloween night, a friend of mine and I, we’d heard about this club called Raul’s (in Austin) and we went and saw the Huns play—and it blew my fucking mind; it had never occurred to me that you could go see musical entertainment and be afraid of the people on stage, and I thought that is fucking cool shit. And just the whole energy and everything, it completely changed my world.
If you pay your hard-earned money, it’s nice if you can leave when it’s over and go, ‘Wow, that was worth the three bucks I just paid.’ -- On seeing bands, performing

Scratch Acid in Chicago (MXV photo)

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