He'll Be a Really Cool Old Man
John Dwyer Keeps Thee Oh Sees Pointed Toward the Good Life
Thee Oh Sees
Sun, 3:15–4:15 pm,
BUY TICKETS HERE
- Here's What We Think of Every Damn Thing Happening at Bumbershoot This Year!
- Five Things I Deeply Love About Daryl Hall & John Oates
- Butthole Surfers and the Ultimate Brown Sound
- Hari Kondabolu Talks About What's It's Like to Be a Pseudo-Celebrity, Das Racist, and His Fear of Dying in an Airplane Crash
- An Interview with Indie-Rock Royals Broken Social Scene
- Red Fang Drummer John Sherman Discusses Excessive Touring, Rolling the Band's Van, and Driving a Station Wagon into a Stack of Full Milk Jugs
- Is It Still Possible to Love Battlestar Galactica, Knowing That the Ending Sucks Donkey Dick?
- A Love Affair with Yukimi Nagano's Voice
- Pentagram Singer Bobby Liebling on Drugs and Doom
- Astronautalis Discusses His New Record, Relentless Dirtbag Touring, and How It All Relates to the Age of Enlightenment
- Eighteen Months of Accomplishments, Van Breakdowns, and Weddings with the Lonely Forest
- Dennis Coffey Has Made a Life by Staying Out of the Limelight
- John Dwyer Keeps Thee Oh Sees Pointed Toward the Good Life
- A Critical Overview of The Stranger's Bumbershoot guide
- Daughter of a Gun: Marya Sea Kaminski's Bonnie Parker Play
- Ryan Feddersen Switches Manet's Nudes and Hands Out Crayons
You're gonna be either a terrible old man or a really cool old man, so you might as well try and point your way toward cool.
It isn't supposed to happen like this. By the time most rock musicians get older, they run out of steam, or more crucially, ideas, but this year's Castlemania, Thee Oh Sees' seventh record, marks the wiggiest offering yet from 36-year-old John Dwyer's current outfit. "Rocking out is keeping him young," theorizes Larry Hardy, founder of In the Red Records, the band's current label.
After years in the Bay Area trenches with the Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, and Yikes! (among others), singer/guitarist Dwyer found the ideal vehicle for his twisted muse in an outfit that combines what-the-fuck lyrics, wild-man vocals, and woodchopper rhythms. But just when you think you've got Thee Oh Sees sussed out as the bastard children of Syd Barrett and the Seeds, along comes a saw, a theremin, a harmonica, or even a flute. (As Dwyer told Dave Segal: "I love flute. To all those who don't like flute—fuck you.") Then there are the lovely "la-la-las" on Castlemania's "Pleasure Blimps." They can also keep it sweet and simple as the need arises.
By the time they released 2009's Help, the lineup seemed plenty secure, but Dwyer had another trick up his sleeve: a second drummer. He added Seattle's equally energetic Lars Finberg (Wounded Lion, Personal and the Pizzas, and 2011 Genius Award winners the Intelligence). Finberg joins Brigid Dawson (keyboards), Petey Dammit (bass), and Mike Shoun (drums).
If they know their way around a studio, the stage is another beast altogether, as that's where Thee Oh Sees really come alive, playing every gig like it might be their last, which means a cluster bomb of blurred limbs, flying instruments, and rivers of sweat. At the center of the maelstrom, hair falling into his eyes, tattoos covering his arms, wearing his guitar high up on his chest, is a man who provides a link between the proto-punk of the 1960s and the farthest reaches of today's rock and roll—John Dwyer, unstoppable force of cool.