The Whines Start the Spring Hustle

I’ve been trying to understand the reasons why I’ve neglected the blog this week. I guess I could attribute it to post-SXSW stress disorder – how I have no desire to publish my own opinions anymore after every band and their brother (unfortunately not my brother) kinda puked their way through Austin for four days straight. Is there really anything else to say after you’ve seen Asher Roth make indie fame one minute, then play to 10,000 Spring Break bros the next? Or seeing Metallica play a once-in-a-lifetime set for a select few? Is there guilt in that glory?

Maybe it's the stress that accumulates from not seeing certain bands on my wish list (sorry Woods, I wasn't paying attention -- but Songs of Shame is currently a W.O.W. favorite) or realizing that some of the best bands in the country weren just not represented. It’s that in-the-know in-the-know circuit (let’s go Fungi Girls). Or maybe we’re all just trying to decipher exactly who Hipster Runoff is, and why his omniscience is dead on? Or perhaps we’re all still digesting the interview Matt Horseshit gave the Washington Post? Perfect or perfectly combative? Or both simultaneously? I’m sad to see this guy go out on an over-the-road tour away from my city because, like a lot of people from these parts, we look up to this savant for inspiration, direction, drugs. And if that’s wrong, I would certainly hate to be right. In the course of those four days there wasn’t a dude on the block who told the truth like this interview does, or told the real tales of the termbo elite without ever looking over the site, once. I mean, do we have a Bob Dylan nowadays? If there’s anyone in this camp who wants to be Zimmy, it’s him. And according to my count there ain’t much in the way of a Zimmy so it might as well be him. How will he ever give an interview again?

Matt Horseshit was the first one to recommend the Whines, and I’m the first one to go and look for said recommendations. This Portland (I much prefer the PDX) trio makes fool's gold out of nothing, much the same way Eat Skull and Psychedelic Horseshit do, except here we have the femme equiv. I’ve been holed up with this debut 7” since returning from Tejas and there's been little to get me out into daylight yet. “Insane OK” builds nicely on those ‘90s remnants we still cling to, as if this song could have been spliced hastily from something the Built to Spill mustered on their second or third record. I don’t hear any punk, and that’s perfectly fine, nor do I hear any fey fanboy yammering. I do hear a jam, some jam. The same lazily spun melody is found in “Indian Homewrecker,” where Barky’s half-drunk murmurs seam right into the half-drunk mescal-guitar drove of her surrounding peers. Finally, “Lines Between Us” prove there’s a pop element to the ruckus. Much like the hope I still hold for PDX equals Meth Teeth and the shattered anthems of the forthcoming Wild and Inside or the bent anttenea of Little Claw – there is something in the fluoride of Oregon. Am I dreaming, believing? Quite essential at the moment.

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