Monday, May 17, 2010
The wit and wisdom of Matt Carter
Matt Carter played bass in Ovipositor from late 2003 until early 2006. He's the kind of guy who doesn't say a lot, but put a stringed instrument in his hands, and you'll get an ear full. His style in Ovipositor was a kind of lead bass; he'd play crazy melodic runs all over Colin's block chord structures. It was great fun to play drums with him.
Ovipositor did a short tour up the West Coast in 2005, playing in Portland, Seattle, and Bellingham. The last show we did was at the Funhouse, in the shadow of the Space Needle in Seattle. I guess the Funhouse's claim to fame is it's facade.
The show was kind of odd, as it was almost divided into two separate shows. Show "number one" featured Ovipositor and Speaker Speaker. Both bands consisted of guys, playing Rock music. Guitar, bass, drums.
Show "number two" featured Part Man Part Horse and So So Many White White Tigers. Both of these bands featured an artier, more "2005" approach. Both bands also drew what appeared to be a more "hipster" crowd. At that time, the mode consisted of pegged blue jeans that were worn very tight, big sneakers, Chairman Mao caps, and greasy, unkempt hair. A standard urban bohemian look, I guess.
Us mooks from the bands in show "number one" could only watch and squirm in the icy waters of our lack of 2005 hip.
So So Many White White Tigers were at that time building up quite a reputation in their hometown of San Francisco as a kind of next big thing. They featured guitar, drums, and a singer. The singer, Eliza I believe, approached her craft from the school of "yelling urban crazy woman". This persona seemed to be in place both on and off of the stage. While talking with her before the show, I was regaled with her story of the wild night they'd had in Olympia, with drugs and booze and cops. I guess I could have countered with the nice time I had talking with Dave Crider and his his wife the night before, but soon realized that the conversation was to be one way, so ended up doing a lot of nodding "yes" and wondering how her band would sound.
Her band sounded pretty great, actually, and I could see what the buzz was about. Their guitarist, Ned, had mastered a shattered, ripping, LOUD sound, and sprayed it all over the club. Eliza's schtick grated after a short while, though. It gets a little bit trying to see a woman trying to be confrontational and crazed in the face of people who clearly are in on the joke. It also gets a bit trying to hear a woman screaming over and over again in a monotone, with lyrics rendered unintelligible by bad mics and feedback.
The show ended, as shows do, and as we drove down I-5 towards Portland, Matt, Colin and I talked about the bands we'd seen and heard. When So So Many White White Tigers came up as a subject of conversation, Matt quietly muttered, "...look, I'm not the guy who molested you when you were thirteen" in his no-nonsense Michigan drawl. We got a great laugh out of that one. It was probably the best one-liner of the tour.