“SONG FOR EWE”
with DAN HAUGH of
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today it’s one half of the super noisy, massively underrated but never forgotten Kill Rock Stars band from the early 90s – GodheadSilo. A man who was actually born in Fargo. A man who hasn’t been sent through the wood chipper but one who has made a Scientific Supercake. A man who had a beard before the hipsters stole facial hair forever. While band mate Mike Kunka played bass, this guy banged the drums like his life and yours depended on it. And that was it, “just” bass and drums. Before having just two people in a band was cool. Before the White Stripes. Before the Black Keys. Before any band with a name using the two words and a colour formula in fact. And before and definitely spiritual forebears of the ace Lightning Bolt. Godheadsilo built a wall of sound and then like Jericho had it rumbling down to your feet, quaking in the boots that were stuck to the beer-sodden floor at the back of a dive bar. Not for stadiums this lot, but for claustrophobic spaces, not least your own tinnitus ringing head. By day a graphic designer, by night a drum roller and ruler, recently the birthday boy, it’s the inestimably great Dan Haugh!
Back in the days of the original Velvet Sheep, Maggie Vail from Kill Rock Stars sent vinyl of the GodheadSilo record “The Scientific Supercake”. When I put it on the turntable in the basement of my mum & dad’s house in Gravesend, Kent where I wrote the zine, it made the foundations quake and I’m sure from the window I could see the Thames Estuary rise like Godzilla had breached England. Coming alongside the also brilliant Universal Order of Armageddon I have long used both bands as a reference point, including in my writings for The Quietus. These were noise bands like no other, rivalled only by the Amphetamine Reptile class of 93.
I was chuffed when I found Dan Haugh amongst Maggie Vail’s mates on Facebook and even more pleased he was up for a “song for ewe”.
GodheadSilo have been on hiatus since the release of “Share The Fantasy” in 1998, and although Dan & Mike joined forces with Murder City Devils vocalist Spencer Moody in a band called Smoke and Smoke they hadn’t done much on record since that band released the album “Love Suffers Long” in 2004. While they continued to drink Mountain Dew and ride BMXes (probably?) I’ve had to content myself with Oozing Wound.
I was however excited to see that Mike has released his collaboration with the Melvins on Sub Pop Records (who else?) after it has largely sat and shat on the shelves since 1998.
The album is coming out in April, and here’s a sneaky audio peak.
I’m hoping Dan has a secret album with Mudhoney, but what is exciting is that GodheadSilo have started to emerge from their cocoon to play some shows. I’d certainly promote them if they ever wanted to come to the UK. Here’s hoping.
Dan not only agreed to do a “song for ewe” he nearly bit my hand off…getting back to me in transit in full adrenalised mode…
“Hey nick! holy shit. King Crimson’s “Epitaph” or Blue Cheer’s “rest at ease” are my favorite songs ever… but probably not obscure enough? I fly back to New Orleans tomorrow–i can dominate this then. thanks a lot for asking; this is rad. /d”
And he was true to his word, coming on full force with his “song for ewe” proper. So without further ado, it really is…
OVER TO DAN:
“Okay. I thought this was gonna be hard, but—Lo! (and behold!) . . . har-har.
I remember coming home from tour and there was a thin twelve inch box amongst a pile of unpaid bills and nasty bits of whatever. It was addressed to me, at my home address, with a nice handwritten note stamped with a golden hoof, or something, and other miscellaneous things, and doodles, and stuff. Really nice, and really weird.
Later, I’m just looking at this crazy 2-colour, hand-glued, hand-printed gatefold LP jacket and wondering what the fuck…? The postage was about $5 and postmarked from San Francisco.
At the time I was so-totally not interested in any new music. After hundreds of shows, and hearing tons of shitty punk rock, I stopped giving a shit and completely reverted to my middle school program of Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden, and Beatles. But I put this record on anyway, ‘cause, you know, it was like a magical present from nowhere and it looked cool, and smelled fresh of ink, and it was still sticky.
Jesus—hippies. Silly San Francisco hippies… trying so hard to sound like Steel Pole Bathtub, or Velvet Underground, or some weird hybrid thereof. That’s what I thought 30 seconds in.
San Francisco punk-hippies… Jesus, this is really, really weird shit. That was another thought I had later in.
San Francisco punk-hippy geniuses; holy shit. Seriously. Geniuses.
Twenty-two years and many, many listens later, this album is a genre within itself. My previous comparisons lend nothing and question my credibility entirely. I could have said Nitre Pit is like Leonard Cohen meets Superchunk, which really, though, for all it matters, could be just as genuine.
Needless to say, the drumming throughout is insane. And yeah, they later transformed into Deerhoof… that one band.”
THANKS SO MUCH TO DAN, AN EXCITING FIREBRAND.