want to learn a new word?

my homeboys, battlehooch, were just featured in a little write-up on sfgate. these guys are going to be playing friday night at the uptown in support of their new self-released record, Piecechow — for FREE. w/ wallpaper, somehow at sea, & suicidal barfly. 9PM. 1928 Telegraph Ave. oakland, ca. did i mention free?

what does piecechow mean?
find out by reading the entire article after the jump….

Battlehooch: Fun-Lovers behind ‘Piecechow’

Kimberly Chun

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Disregard, if you dare, Battlehooch’s corrosive blast of art-rock and the Captain Beefheart-style proto-punk, damaged-blues cacophony. The main question when confronted with “Piecechow,” the San Francisco band’s recently self-released debut, is, what the heck is a piecechow?

“A piecechow is an individual – could be an animal or an individual – who is so eccentric that they have no idea they’re eccentric,” says keyboardist and costume maker Benjamin “Pepsi Clear” Juodvalkis. He’s huddled around the phone with his five bandmates at the Battlepad in the Sunset District. “We can all name a piecechow. My choice for piecechow is … Prince.”

“My choice is Rosie O’Donnell,” declares bassist and mask wrangler Grant Searcy Goodrich.

“My choice,” says lead vocalist Patrick Dale Smith, “is Gavin Newsom.”

Homo sapien, Homo sapien sapien and then piecechow – that’s the evolutionary thread the fun-loving, anarchic Battlehooch is riding, whether its members – who initially met at UC Santa Cruz – are busking on acoustic instruments, pots, pans and toy drums in front of the Church Street Safeway to a crowd of dancing fiends, or pranking the audience at Slim’s by sending out a mob of 9-year-old would-be show-stealers in their stead.

“We have a reputation for inciting ridiculousness, which, I think, is a good thing,” guitarist AJ “Fats” McKinley explains. “We try to kick against standard expectations.”

“Endorphins,” says drummer Ryan James Huber, “are what we’re going for.”

But don’t get it twisted: there’s much musical ambition, along with jillions of overdubs and the odd nod to angel-headed pristine pop, on “Piecechow” and Battlehooch’s 2007 EP, “Oof Owf.” The band’s spastic genre-slicing-and-dicing recalls the Bay Area dada-rockers like Les Claypool, while touching on the restless abandon of contemporaries like Maus Haus. In fact, the latter group’s Jason Kick will produce Battlehooch’s next recording, which the combo promises will eschew the edit and aim to capture its live performance.

Battlehooch may have acquired a rep as a party band, but don’t be surprised if it tries to reach out and touch you with its music. “I don’t think ‘party’ implies a lack of seriousness,” says Smith. “We take our music and our performance very seriously. It has moments of being ridiculous, but that’s part of being human. Like six grown men sitting around the phone is pretty ridiculous, too.”

9 p.m. Fri. Free. With Wallpaper, Somehow at Sea and Suicidal Barfly. Uptown, 1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. (510) 451-8100. www.uptownnightclub.com.

– Kimberly Chun, 96hours@sfchronicle.com


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