Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sax It Up: Sailor Poon Sails Into SA

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 6:15 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY WILL BRANCH
  • Courtesy Will Branch
Six-piece Austin rockers, Sailor Poon, will be roaring into the the Alamo City for an all ages show at K23 on Friday August 26 for the twelfth of 15 dates on their west coast-oriented “Poon the Moon” Tour. In particular, they’ll be supporting a brand new 3-track vinyl seven-inch through Austin’s Giveaway Records entitled Yeast Pigeon.

Kicking into action with a frenetic drum roll in “On the Rag”, the single launches into a sublimely fuzz-laden cacophony of power chords, manic vocals, punchy keys, periodic screams, and anarchic saxophone licks hurdling the song smack into the appropriately quirky, mysterious, and circus-like sounding organ introduction of the follow up track, "Something Smells" — also a lovably zany, and, of course, catchy mix of garage and punk. Amazingly enough, Sailor Poon and Giveaway Records are aiming to donate all of proceeds from the record to Planned Parenthood.

For the band, it was a simple choice. 

“We chose Planned Parenthood because every woman deserves access to a decent abortion," the band's members told us in an email.

Which is a very cool mission for a “joke band." At least, that’s the self-coined label Sailor Poon have proudly chosen to take on with both good-natured jest and a degree of seriousness in describing their early origins, goals, and music.

The band name stems from a tongue-in-cheek play off of the popular 1990s Japanese-manga character, Sailor Moon, and many of their songs have a proclivity to take on fairy tales, themes, and imagery notably heard in "The Dick," "Hairy Women," and "Butt Gush," all songs on the band's aptly titled 2015 debut-full-length, Pooney Tunes. Yet, like any great joke that hits the right chord, there is much more to the composition, improvisation, energy, and execution underlying the delivery.

“We wrote songs like 'Butts,'” the band told us, "where the guitar part is literally just sliding up and down the strings, and the keys are just getting squashed down randomly. It was supposed to be this sarcastic stab at the testosterone-fueled world of music and society in general — like riot grrrl, but more absurd, because nothing can be truly serious unless it’s funny.”

Exploring the serious via seriously non-serious mechanisms like humor may sound peculiar to some, and Sailor Poon’s members are the first to admit that not quite everyone caught on to the deeper messages behind their particular brand of sarcasm, wit, and absurdist humor in the early days. Yet, in various ways, it’s an ethos that occasionally still underlies the raucous fun the band, now a little over a year old, eagerly aims to have for themselves and dole out in large quantities for their audiences, even as the overall sound begins to transition to and incorporate more psychedelic sounds into its upbeat-punk stylings.

“We always keep the live show in mind when writing songs,” the band told us, “and we try to remain as gimmicky as possible. To be honest, we really only play music so we can undress on stage and scream at strangers, so we write music that fits that vibe.”

But gimmick or no gimmick, there’s no question that Sailor Poon has the musical chops to throw down, rock out, and stir up a crowd into a frenzy by channeling a strong stage presence into an already high energy display of upbeat rhythms, antics, and theatrics.

Most recently, they captured the attention of contemporary garage-rock guru extraordinaire, King Khan, during their co-mini-tour through Texas together as he proclaimed Sailor Poon to be his favorite Texas band since the 13th Floor Elevators in front of a San Antonio audience at Paper Tiger and later on social media. The pair, excitingly enough, may even collaborate on the recording of Sailor Poon’s second feature length album due out on vinyl at some point in 2017.

In the meantime, San Antonians dropping by K23 next weekend can expect to see a rip-roaringly fun set from Sailor Poon, complete with the potential for some free stick and poke tattooing provided by sax player Billie Buck.

“Every time we go San Antonio we end up staying up all night,” the band told us via email. “Last time Billie gave everyone tattoos in this empty practice space until 8 a.m.”

Rock and roll.

With the Rotten Mangos, the Bolos, & Shrines
Friday August 26th at 9pm
All Ages $6 at K23

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