After Party Featuring:
Friday April 18, 2014
Garden Bowl11pm * Free * 18+
Looking over his shoulder at Rubberneck, the Toadies’ platinum-selling 1994 debut, drummer
Mark Reznicek is reflective. “Hard to believe it’s been 20 years,” he says. “It seems like
yesterday. But, at the same time, it was a lifetime ago.”
The songs on Rubberneck are fearless, literate and visceral. Their protagonists are perceived as
anti-heroes: stalkers, serial killers and religious zealots (some are all three). Certainly, they’re not
your average, accessible radio fodder. Well, the Toadies weren’t concerned about that. “We
didn’t even have singles in mind,” Reznicek says. “Or the idea of even possibly getting on the
radio. We didn’t think that would ever happen.” But “Possum Kingdom” remains a radio staple
even today – and “Backslider” and “Tyler” still pop up. It’s because raw expression makes for
The Toadies remain raw. Vaden Todd Lewis still sings as though he’s on the precipice of
insanity, clinging tenaciously but perhaps already plummeting. Lewis’s and Clark Vogeler’s
guitars rip and tear like thick fingernails at supple flesh. Reznicek and bass player Doni Blair
(who joined the band in 2008) fuel the fury with relentless, seething rhythm.
When these sounds and those images and themes mix, the effect is pure adrenaline. The manic,
chugging-choogling strains of Rubberneck’s opening instrumental salvo “Mexican Hairless” run
pell-mell into the equally breakneck “Mister Love,” a backhanded plea for salvation. The pace
slows, a little, for “Backslider,” where a father drowns his nine-year-old son in deliverance. And
then “Possum Kingdom,” the Toadies’ notoriously creepy megahit, slows things down again
with a dangerous antihero’s offer of a different salvation.
In just these four songs, Rubberneck leaves the listener feeling fed. The songs are meaty, with
much to chew on: images to parse, significances to consider, guitar riffs and drum parts to mime.
It continues for seven more tracks – including fan favorites like “Tyler” and “I Come From The
Water” – and leaves you satisfied and a little uncomfortable.
It’s the same with every spin of Rubberneck. That’s why it endures. And it’s why the Toadies,
with their current label Kirtland Records, and the blessing of original label Interscope Records,
are reissuing Rubberneck – remastered and beefed up with five unreleased tracks from the same
Rubberneck’s staying power breeds new fans to go along with the Toadies’ early-adopters,
whose faith never flagged even as the band struggled to release new music. When their would-be
second album languished on the label shelf, they circulated demos and bought tickets. Even
when a different second album, 2001’s Hell Below/Stars Above, fared poorly and the Toadies
broke up, the fans’ steadfast evangelism continued. “These are fans from when Rubberneck first
came out,” Reznicek says. “They’ve turned their younger siblings, and their kids, on to us. We
see them all the time – whole families wearing Toadies shirts. It’s pretty cool.”
A one-off show in Dallas in 2006 became a full-fledged reunion. The Toadies have since steadily
built momentum. A third album, No Deliverance, came in 2008 and saw the band playing
Lollapalooza. The heretofore-lost album, Feeler, finally materialized in 2010. A new album,
Play.Rock.Music came out in 2012. Tours followed each release. The band’s annual Dia de Los
Toadies festival – at which the likes of Gary Clark Jr., Ben Kweller, Centro-matic, Sarah Jaffe,
The Sword and Black Joe Lewis have appeared, grows each year.
Today the Toadies – and their magnum opus – are stronger than ever. Rubberneck’s new master
makes it an even more striking listen. “Three of the five songs were actually recorded during
same sessions,” Reznicek says. In their customary position at the end of the original sequence,
these tunes actually sound as though they’re not bonuses. The loping “Run In With Dad,” where
titular fanatic catches his son fornicating, could fit right in between “Backslider” and “Possum
Kingdom.” Likewise “Stop It,” which is actually a Pylon cover – it wouldn’t be so out of place
between “Tyler” and “Happyface.” The instrumental unfinished demo “Rockfish,” (part of which
was used to create “Waterfall” from Feeler) could make a nice bookend with “Mexican
Hairless.” The other rarities, Rubberneck-era live takes of “Possum Kingdom” and “Tyler” are
Of course, with 20 years and thousands of shows behind them, the Toadies sound even better. On
the road in 2014, supported by the Supersuckers and Battleme, the Toadies will pay tribute to
their fans’ support by playing Rubberneck start-to-finish. “I honestly cannot wait to get
onstage in front of these fans and play the album front to back,” says Vogeler. “I've been
looking forward to it for years and, after this anniversary tour, I can’t imagine that we’ll
ever do it again.” Lewis is likewise stoked. “Performing these songs will never get old for
me so long as I'm able to look out and see smiling, sweaty faces looking back,” says Lewis.
The Toadies will also have vinyl copies of Rubberneck at the merch table. It’s a fitting
celebration that the band can now toast with their new signature beer (brewed by fellow Texans
as Martin House Brewing), aptly dubbed Rubberneck Red. And there’s loads more to look
forward to in 2014 – including a new album due this Fall. “It’s gonna be our ‘chill set’ that we
play on the first night of Dia de Los Toadies,” says Reznicek. “Acoustic, stripped-down versions
of our songs. Probably some new songs, some previously unreleased songs and some new
covers.” Recording is currently underway with Rob Schnapf, one of Rubberneck’s original
And there’ll be more where that came from.
“[The Toadies] has been a hell of a lot of hard work,” says Lewis, “but also a hell of a lot of
fun. And it continues to be every time we take the stage.”
Something of an anomaly on the Sub Pop roster, the Supersuckers bore a limited surface resemblance to grunge, but they were a party band at heart, donning cowboy hats and kicking out a gleefully trashy brand of throttling, rockabilly-flavored garage punk. Their lyrics were a raucous, over-the-top celebration of all the attendant evils of rock & roll -- sex, booze, drugs, Satan, and whatever other vices the band could think of, all glorified with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Save for an abrupt and temporary detour into hardcore honky tonk, their approach stayed relatively consistent through the '90s, as did their quality control.
The Supersuckers were formed in Tucson, AZ, in 1988 by high-school friends Eddie Spaghetti (born Edward Carlyle Daly III, bass, vocals), Ron Heathman (guitar), Dan "Thunder" Bolton (guitar), Dancing Eagle (born Dan Seigal, drums), and Eric Martin (lead vocals). After playing the local scene for about a year under the name the Black Supersuckers (taken from a pornographic novel), the band moved to Seattle, ostensibly in search of a climate more conducive to leather jackets. Martin left the band not long after, and Eddie Spaghetti took his place on lead vocals. Shortening their name to the Supersuckers, the band recorded singles for several indie labels, including eMpTy, Sympathy for the Record Industry, and Lucky; these were collected on the eMpTy compilation The Songs All Sound the Same, which became the band's first CD release in 1992. That year, they signed to Sub Pop and issued their proper debut album, The Smoke of Hell, which was produced by Jack Endino and featured cover art by renowned comic artist Daniel Clowes. Featuring one of the band's best-known songs in "Coattail Rider," the record also spun off the single "Hell City, Hell," whose B-side was a fan-favorite cover of Ice Cube's "Dead Homiez."
The Supersuckers came into their own with their second album, 1994's La Mano Cornuda, whose title translates as "the horned hand" (i.e., of Satan). It featured signature songs like "Creepy Jackalope Eye" and "She's My Bitch," and is still regarded by many fans as the band's best. Following its release, Ron Heathman temporarily left the group due to drug problems, and was replaced by onetime Didjits guitarist Rick Sims on their next album, 1995's The Sacrilicious Sounds of the Supersuckers. Produced by the Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary, the album was noticeably different from the Supersuckers' usual pedal-to-the-metal roar, owing to Heathman's absence, despite some worthy additions to the group's catalog (like "Born With a Tail"). Fortunately, Heathman made a full recovery and rejoined the band for 1997's Must've Been High, a full-fledged excursion into country music that even featured a guest appearance by Willie Nelson. It was released concurrently with a five-song EP that featured country maverick Steve Earle fronting the band.
After issuing their country project, the Supersuckers signed a major-label deal with Interscope. Unfortunately, in the wake of the massive label mergers at the time, Interscope underwent a restructuring and wound up dropping the band without ever releasing the straight-ahead rock & roll album they had recorded. Strongly disenchanted by the experience, the Supersuckers landed on the small Twenty14.com label and finally recorded the proper follow-up to Sacrilicious, recycling some of the material from their ill-fated Interscope debut. The result, The Evil Powers of Rock 'n' Roll, was released in late 1999, and featured the band's affectionate look back on their high-school days in Tucson, "Santa Rita High." The same year, Sub Pop issued a generous 27-track retrospective of the Supersuckers' stay on the label, How the Supersuckers Became the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World. After contributing two songs (including a collaboration with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder) to the benefit album Free the West Memphis 3 in 2000, the group cut a split LP with Electric Frankenstein in 2001.
Burned by Interscope and seeking a permanent home, the Supersuckers formed their own label, Mid Fi, in 2002, and inaugurated it with a live document of their country phase, Must've Been Live. A new, hard-rocking studio album, Motherfuckers Be Trippin', followed in 2003; after its release, longtime drummer Dan Seigal left the group and was replaced by Mike Musburger. While tinkering with a new studio album, the Supersuckers kept the Mid Fi release schedule full with a pair of archival live albums and a collection of singles sides and non-album material, Devil's Food. The Paid EP and Live at Bart's CD Cellar and Record Shop followed in 2006. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
Battleme is the inner psyche and stage moniker of songwriter Matt Drenik. He is also a contributing member to LA’s The Forest Rangers featuring Katey Sagal and Bob Thiele.
On his debut EP, the predominately lo-fi folk record Big Score, Drenik played, recorded and produced everything on his own. The record’s success allowed him to share the stage with the likes of Joe Ely and Joe Pug as a solo artist, in addition to having songs included on FX’s Sons of Anarchy and NBC’s Chuck.
For his debut LP, Drenik signed to Austin, TX label Trashy Moped Recordings. The label was mostly known for putting out the works of Austin’s Ghostland Observatory, an electro duo. Drenik worked with Ghostland’s Thomas Turner who produced and mixed the 11 track record. On its release in early 2012, the record was received to positive reviews, with Battleme sharing the stage with Walk the Moon, Neon Trees and landing slots at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party and SXSW 2013. The record was a departure from the initial lo-fi material, with Drenik and Turner combining elements of concrete folk, garage, sludge and electro to create a record combing through a wide variety of musical landscapes.
In the winter of 2012, Drenik started writing songs for what would become his 2nd full length album under the Battleme moniker, Future Runs Magnetic. He signed with LA’s El Camino and enlisted producer Doug Boehm (Girls, Guided by Voices) to capture a bigger, broader sound that developed with the band that Drenik had put together to support the last release. Portland’s Zach Richards and Eric Johnston formed a bombastic rhythm section that lead the newly written songs into a sustained, thrashy, more organic sound. It was tracked mostly live in the spring of 2012 in Portland, OR and LA, CA.
On Oct 8, 2013 Battleme released a 4 song EP titled “Weight on the Brain” via El Camino that comprised of tracks from the upcoming full length, Future Runs Magnetic, due out in January 2014.
Fri Apr 18 2014 8:00 PM Doors