Interview Ladies Choice Presents…
posted by February 27 at 19:19 PMon
This Friday, Ladies Choice Presents and the Funhouse bring a particularly brooding and brutal show featuring Wormwood, Drain The Sky, Birushanah, and Evangelist.
I will be unnoticeably absent from the show due to a clogged social calendar. These prior engagements are killing me. Iím still kicking myself for missing the previous Ladies Choice/Funhouse joint venture: last Thursdayís Shat show. Itís not everyday one gets to see a grown man clad only in a jock strap and a helmet adorned with dildos sing such gems as Itís About Time To Suck On My Penis Now and Fuck, I Stepped In Shit. Shat mastermind Jeff Wood deserves a spot next to Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston, having survived a gunshot to the head during the Rodney King riots to go on to pen some of the catchiest, albeit thoroughly juvenile and base, scatological-themed metal parodies ever. While Fridayís show will not be the GG Allin-lite fare of Shatís performance, Iím sure it will still be confrontational and abrasive. It was nearly ten years ago when I first saw current Seattle locals Wormwood play in their native home state of Kansas. Over that time theyíve evolved from a Man Is The Bastard/Neurosis hybrid into a more musical beast reminiscent of the early transitional period of Swiss black metal-tinged industrialists Samael. Truth be told, Iím really intrigued by opener Birushanah. This Japanese outfit play math metal augmented by an auxiliary scrap metal percussionist; think Meshuggah meets Skeleton Key.
Both shows are the result of the booking efforts of Seattleís premiere purveyor of the more eclectic realms of live extreme music: Ladies Choice Presents. Adam Bass is the man behind the moniker, and if youíve attended an exceptionally caustic show in recent years, chances are pretty high that youíve rubbed elbows with the man. Despite a spotless attendance record for regional thinking-manís-metal shows, heís taken it a step further by making sure off-the-radar acts donít pass up Seattle by booking them at spaces like the Rendezvous Jewel Box Theatre, the Funhouse, and El Corazon. Adamís wealth of musical knowledge, friendliness, and unceasing enthusiasm make him a local treasure. So of course I had to figure out what makes him tick and harassed him via email.
Tell me a little bit about Ladies Choice. When did it start? How did it start?
Second Avenue Pizza was my first crumbling era. I missed out on RCKCNDY. I missed out on the Velvet Elvis & Gibson’s. I always say: “I missed that boat.” But 2nd Ave was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And I saw it fall. Literally. There I met Colin Sick. He realized a fraction of my potential, and asked me to help him promote a show, and possibly many more. As I remember, he said matter-of-factly: “Youíre the guy.” The very first show was at the Rendezvous’ Jewel Box Theatre with Golgothan Sunrise, Scary Bear, Slightly Less Than Nothing, and very special guest, Pipsqueak. The name Ladies’ Choice didn’t appear for a couple shows. From habit, I hadn’t preferred saying “Hello” as I answered telephones, so I normally said “Ladies’ Choice”. It was actually a shortened version of “Ladies’ Choice Bargain Male Escorts & Local Battered Womenís’ Shelter”. I got lazy, started just answering with “Ladies’ Choice” and Colin got such a kick out of it, he billed our third show “Ladies’ Choice Presents”. I recall it being Severhed, Scary Bear & Severed Limbs…
I swear to God, it seems like I see you at every show I go to. How many shows do you typically attend a week?
You can always easily stalk me at my personal calendar, but if I had to guess… Five. Easy.
It seems like LC is filling a very specific void in Seattle: smaller extreme music shows. Was that the general idea when LC started?
I don’t know what Colin was thinking. He certainly has different tastes: much more Ď80s and Rock-oriented stuff (which is music I have learned to love, no fucking doubt). I was weaned on Mr. Bungle, Melvins, EYEHATEGOD, Mingus, and more than anything, FUCKING FRANK ZAPPA.
For a while, Ladies Choice was also operating as a record label. Whatís going on with that?
In ways, Colin and I split off. He fell in love with an amazing, supportive woman, and found more important priorities. I will always need the sound of live music. Colin put his energy into releasing a few incredible albums:
LC#1: Sean - Singers Ruin Perfectly Good Bands
LC#2: Pipsqueak Ė Babydoll
LC#3: 4-way-split one-sided 12” 45rpm featuring Ronin Chris Murphy, Anthony Curtis, Sean & The Abodox. This was an AMAZING venture, including work by Grammy-missing artist James LeDoux, a b-side etching and a brilliant lock-groove by Terry fuckin’ Bozzio… it’s simply mind-blowing. We haven’t been handed distribution by anyone. The label will live on; it’s just a matter of funding (a.k.a. time)…
What are some local bands that you don’t think get the recognition they deserve? Any bands you want to give people a heads up on? On a national/international level, what’s got you stoked right now?
First things first: I AM A LOZEN SLAVE. T-town heroines…
But there are so many under appreciated bands in Seattle: Wah Wah Exit Wound (featuring virtuoso Dave Webb from Girth on leads), X-Ray Press (you should of heard of them by now… soon?), Prize Country (from PDX; there is a reason I have booked them about a dozen times in the last couple years), and Roy. Yeah. I like me some Roy.
Non-206: Cream Abdul Babar, ASG, Gorch Fock, Dredg,
Do you ever start to feel burned out on music?
Music is the only thing that never turned its back on me. Since my original “Weird Al” cassette collection, to the Nirvana catalogue that got me through some awkward times, to the first CD I ever bought (sucked it up and finally bought a used copy of “Pablo Honey”, from Bret Lunsford of Beat Happening, who owned the only independent record store/used books/antiquities shop in Anacortes, where I adolesced… nice guy.)
While 2nd Avenue Pizza may be gone now, Adam continues to do his part to fill the void by hosting small shows in intimate spaces. His roster continues to grow, though it already encompasses bands like Flipper, Swarming Hordes, Toby Driver & Kayo Dot, Golgothan Sunrise, Hemingway, Giant Squid, Black Elk, Prize Country, Lesbian, Bloodhag, Grey Daturas, Whitehorse, Iron Lung, Thrones, Across Tundras, Battlefields, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Roy, Diminished Men, The Abodox, Everlovely Lightningheart, Loom, Helms Alee, Free Verse, and one large sweaty guy in a jockstrap with a bullet lodged in his skull. Pretty impressive, I must say.