Harvey Milk are without a doubt one band I am obsessed with, and the funny thing is that most people I meet who are fans of them are also obsessed with them; it seems that there are few casual listeners to their music. Born in Athens, GA in the early 1990's, they issued a slew of records that should have been recognized much more than they were; their non-peggability probably hurt their public/press profile, not to mention the neo-Barrett psychedelia that was emerging from their hometown overshadowing them somewhat in the scheme of collegiate radio. But what amazing records, and thanks to people like Chunklet, Relapse, tUMULT and others, the microscope once again has turned to them in the last few years and they've come back into action fully. I finally saw them for the first time a few years ago at Tonic opening for Khanate, and it remains one of my favorite live show memories. They sucked the oxygen out of the air for minutes at a time; extended passages of silence give way to crushing, Melvinsy swaths of pure majestic overload; singer/guitarist Creston issued forth gutteral vocals like he was fronting Lynard Skynard slowed down to 16 RPM. Muzzy chords would just loom ominously over the room for what seemed like an eternity and then they'd crack open into propulsive Thin Lizzy mode and change bizarre time signatures on a dime and sounded just fantastic. When asked if they could get on WFMU's SXSW bill for March, I couldn't have been more thrilled. We had a close call getting HM on my show a few years back but some crossed signals confused their show-up time with their club soundcheck; my engineer had by then gone home and I was devastated. But now, having the band show up and kick off the proceedings at Spiro's first on the bill (sorry about the club's drink ticketkeeper being AWOL, Stephen!) was a total freakin' dream come true. With Joe Preston (Melvins/Thrones) on 2nd guitar! What a way to start an evening. (Pic: BT)
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