If ever there is need to confirm the stereotype that midwesterners are “nice folks” Le Butcherettes bassist, Jonathan Hischke, would be the perfect embodiment – amiable with a warm smile and a willingness to engage every stranger he meets no matter how drunk they are. He is the poster boy for their fabled down home friendliness and strident work ethic (he’s been on tour seemingly non-stop with Le Butcherettes after coming off a hiatus with his last band, Broken Bells). Not that any of that is a bad thing, in fact it’s great because it makes him the perfect foil for an interview filled with random questions, assumptions and interruptions by drunken and stoned well-wishers, and mostly because he doesn’t seem capable of rebuffing anyone who approaches him and he readily attempts conversation even where there really isn’t any need for one (you need only listen to this interview to understand what I mean).
Note: This interview was recorded outside Harlow’s in Sacramento directly after Le Butcherettes’ super exciting set. The background noise is overwhelming but then so was the entire show. So, this ought to demonstrate what you missed, or will miss if you don’t go see these guys in a smaller venue before they start selling out stadiums and Jonathan won’t be anywhere near you, which means you’ll miss out on a warm smile and even warmer hug (You want to be hugged by this guy. It’s like being enveloped in a double rainbow). Guaranteed great time!
I have to be honest, when I first read about Le Butcherettes last summer I was pretty skeptical. Mostly because I’m not been a fan of lady singers whose oeuvre mostly consist of songs about love – the jilted and unrequited variety – which is boring. And when they’re trying to avoid that trap they cop the “feminist” shtick and end up espousing hackneyed dogma through unimaginative, illiterate lyrics. I could give any number of examples but I’ll leave that for another time.
But I decided to give Le Butcherettes a chance when I downloaded their first EP, Kiss & Kill and heard the words “Fuck me as hard as you possibly can.” This put a smile on my face as I immediately recognized its clever (smart ass) double entendre, which is at once obvious, and duplicitous. I am a lover of double edge witticisms. (I also enjoy the word “Fuck”) It also didn’t hurt that the band was from Mexico – once my second home, and that they sang in English about things no “self-respecting” (read: obedient) Mexican woman would ever sing about. That EP was quite amusing, if not entirely listenable, the production quality left something to be desired but I supposed that was intentional.
Monday night, September 13, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and his group comprised of Juan Aldrete De La Peña (bass), Deantoni Parks (drums), Marcel Rodriguez Lopez (keys), Lars Stalfors (laptop)and Ximena Sariñana Rivera (vocals), played a far out set at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. I almost didn’t go. Irrational fears of dying in a firey car wreck, caused by an inability to see clearly at night, had me hesitating but I told myself to take heart and get in the car otherwise miss out on what was sure to be a monumental experience. I drove the hour and a half to Frisco listening to my new favorite band, San Francisco natives, Fops, without incident. I barely hit any traffic and even found free parking around the corner from the venue! The stars were surely aligned.