SONIC REDUCER A much-floggied, foggy notion worth repeating: if the natural creative energy coming off John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees could be harnessed, we’d all be muttering, "What global warming? When’s the next Oh Sees show? Mama needs to warm her digits with some superheated, Grade-A crudo rock ‘n’ roll."
Yep, dude has been in a grillion bands including the Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, OCS, the Hospitals, and now Thee Oh Sees and the Drums. His artwork pops up in the legit exhibits like last year’s "Bay Area Now" installment at Queen’s Nails, and hell, he’s even talking about writing a feature film centered on his folk-garage-noise amalgamation Thee Oh Sees. Entire scenes are forged from this kind of go-go gumption and yessiree an argument could be made that the San Francisco underground music and art whirls would be the sadder, sorrier, and definitely less shit-stirring if Dwyer never moved here a decade ago. If Noise Pop aims to home in on independent culture, it need look no further than this man, who I checked in with as he prepped the perfect chilly-weather meal, chili, on the brink of his Noise Pop shows.
Sick or sad? Taking the temperature of the San Francisco music scene
"I think there’s a lot of great stuff from veterans also new young shit, the second wave from when I’ve been here. I think there will always be something rad under the covers.
"I think there’s a lot of generator shows under freeways, people playing every night. For younger people it’s same thing I had when I moved here: those house parties where people get wasted and all the bands are playing."
The way to the next great house party
"I don’t find myself at house parties every week anymore. I’m not as apt to dig in as hard as I did in the past. I did get older. Sometimes you find, ‘Shit, I’m 32. I don’t want to be here. I gotta go home.’ It’s cool, though."
Thee way of the Drums
"The Drums is mostly Anthony Petrovic [Ezee Tiger, the Hospitals] and me sharing a drum kit and playing unison drums, prep-rally style with vocals. It’s exhausting." I wonder, do you two have much experience with prep rallies? "Anthony was a cheerleader. I’m totally serious."
Thee Oh Sees SOS
"There’s a new album coming out on In the Red called Help. We just finished it with the same guys and same production: Chris Woodhouse in the Mayyors. We recorded in a hangar in Sacramento where Tape Op is made. I think it has a similar value as the last one except we recorded on two-inch tape rather than half-inch so the sound is lush." Is it Beatles-inspired? "I listen to the Beatles all the time. I guess it might be a Beatles tribute why not? Except it doesn’t have an exclamation point and we haven’t worked on a film yet."
The way of Castleface
"I love vinyl, and it’s nice to put out people’s first record, too. And it’s an honor to put out records by people who are making good shit."
THEE OH SEES
Feb. 26, 9 p.m., $12
Café Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
March 1, 8 p.m., $20
444 Jessie, SF