The Show: Wednesday, July 18, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Butthole Surfers

By Paula Felps

Rebelling against the schlock of synthesized ’80s pop acts, the Butthole Surfers made it clear from the start that they were playing a different tune. If the name wasn’t enough, their live shows certainly delivered the message loud and clear. The band was bizarre and unstructured from the very beginning; the backdrop to their sonic experiments typically featured images of medical or dental operations. All the while, the group was cutting and pasting together its brand of art rock — hefty doses of punk, trash, and twang. It was enough to catch the ears of Dead Kennedy frontman Jello Biafra, who signed the Surfers to his Alternative Tentacles label. Their eponymous 1983 debut put all things Butthole-ian in motion.

The quality of the Butthole Surfers’ often grotesque and disturbing music is open for debate, but you have to hand it to a band that somehow always manages to churn out some infectious grooves that, despite their sandpaper-on-raw-nerves aspects, have won legions of fans. Even Capitol Records jumped on the bandwagon in the early ’90s, handing the boys from Austin a major label deal that eventually led to the Surfers’ first radio hit (“Pepper”). Comfortably back on more independent ground, the Butthole Surfers — including Fort Worth native King Coffey — are again happily doing what they’ve always loved best: jamming discordant sounds unapologetically into tender ears and forever changing the way music can be appreciated.

8:30pm Fri at Ridglea Theatre, 6025 Camp Bowie, FW. $17. 817-738-9500.


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