Federation of Horsepower, Whiskey Boots and Buddy Lush
September 26, 2008
The Riot Room
Better than: Making every green light from the River Market to Midtown on Main in the middle of the day.
By BERRY ANDERSON
Troy Van Horn of Federation of Horsepower.
Last Friday night, even though entertainment options were as numerous as dancing baby boomers in the P&L, I had no trouble choosing my destination for the evening. At that point in the week, I was tired as fuck and if I had balls, they needed to be rocked off. The only solution was the Riot Room.
Parking my car a block away, I could already hear the thunderous drum beats of Buddy Lush. A previous spectator of many a Buddy Lush Phenomenon matinee show at the Brick, I quickly recognized that Duh-duhduh-duh-duh that ends most, if not all of their songs. This time however, it was on real drums and not that pickle bucket bullshit normally used for their early evening shows.
Seven dollars for the door dude and a stiff ass Smirnoff Watermelon and Roaring Lion later, I moved to the front of the sparse indoor crowd to hear frontman Jon Paul open a tune with something about “old folks” and “back before any of you can remember.” Buddy Lush can be described as a three-piece of highly seasoned, hard rockin’ older dudes that have been around these parts for a piece (heard any Sin City Disciples lately?). They pretty much don’t give a fuck either. That being said, they really didn’t have much patience for my questions, my camera and me.
Continuing on with the Riot Room rock block experience was Whiskey Boots, Amy Farrand and Heather Loffin’s homegrown guitar and drum nut crusher that holds a special place in my small heart as the subject of my first published piece for The Pitch.
It was their first show the ladies had played since December and needless to say, their ferocious sounds made me get goosebumps and made them get sick.
“That was shit tons of fun,” a supersmiley Loffin said after their set, outside on the patio. Having recently quit smoking, she explained that Whiskey Boots sets are so physically taxing that, “After three songs, I feel like I’m going to puke.” But when it’s all over, explains Amy Farrand, “I’m not mad anymore. My hair is fucked up and the nauseous feeling is gone.”
Last year’s release of their self-titled EP was marked with few follow-up live performances due mostly in part to location differences with Loffin (also a mother of two) in Lawrence and Farrand in K.C. It hasn’t stopped the writing process though as Loffin performs and records the vocals and guitar parts and sends them along to Farrand to add rhythm and whatever else is needed to bring the noise, sans bass. “People always want to play bass with us,” she says. Their refusal to give into the obvious formulas or to snap up every gig they are offered, assures that Whiskey Boots’ future will be paved with golden flasks of Jim Beam.
The night ended with an hour and a half plus set by Federation of Horsepower. Gregg Todt, frontman and Johnny Dare’s BFF was celebrating his 45th birthday. A 30 year veteran of the K.C. music scene, Todt completely blows me away with his performance abilities. He sort of looks like he is about to have a coronary but he keeps going strong like a chainsaw through the hood of a El Camino. Guitar player Troy Van Horn was hot too (literally and figuratively), rockin’ that black leather jacket and long hair under those bright lights.
The set consisted mainly of songs off of last year’s release, Stay Down, which I had previously listened to three complete times earlier that day. A new addition to the FOHP show was dancer Eartha Delights, the sexy, fuzzy-headed, bespectacled burlesque dancer that twisted and gyrated her glittered torso to the sweaty, crunchy sounds of Todt, Van Horn, Catfish and drummer Kriss Ward (whose new band, Faster Than Hell, does killer Butthole Surfers covers, fyi.)
After the long set, I caught up with Todt (who had just delivered a birthday cupcake to his girlfriend outside) and praised him for outlasting his crowd that night. Much in the vein of Buddy Lush, he told me, “I’m too stupid to quit going and too old to give a fuck,” before grabbing another cupcake and disappearing into the muggy night.
Personal Bias: I give complete and total props to all three bands.
Random Detail: Ricardo, who was surprisingly dancing away to FOHP instead of the Roman Numerals at the Westport Beach Club on this particular night, was wearing this thought provoking t-shirt.
Critic’s Notebook: At the end of the Whiskey Boots set, Amy Farrand kicked over her cymbal and threw her drums sticks down and it was totally awesome.
By the Way: I have something to say to the proprietors and managers of the Riot Room: Love your bar, guys, hate using your fuckin’ toilets. Please get some flush handles. Stat.