When I first heard the term Witch House I thought it was a joke, like I knew it was a real genre but I thought the term was used tongue-in-cheek. I was wrong. There’s a real scene out there associated with it, it started in New York but has since spread out all over the country. It’s home in Los Angeles is the tiny storefront club called Show Cave in Glassell Park. (It’s right across the street from a house where I bought my first communal living dining room table in 1995 from a family of junkie white folks. The dad yelled at his wife for selling us the chairs with the table and flicked his arm at us as we were loading the vintage chairs in our car, fucken take ’em, damn! he yelled). I wrote about the Show Cave scene in my review of Tearist. I like the place, it isn’t obnoxious like so many other clubs are, folks seemed downright relaxed, almost friendly and comfortable in their skins. I’m not expecting the same for tonight’s show at The Echoplex where I will see the above band, considered the torch holders of the Witch House scene, Salem.
Salem is notorious for being one of those bands that doesn’t give a fuck but who cares if they space out on interviews when they make such badass music. I have a particular fondness for their early stuff which is like hip hop slowed down PCP style until it sounds like some wicked gnome spewing mush from a broken jaw. I’ve read the older songs were influenced by Houston based DJ Screw who is known for his “screwed and chopped” beats. However, the sound goes back even further, check out Hell Interface Project I posted about a couple of weeks ago. In any case, all the music is right up my electro alley and I’m looking forward to hearing how it all sounds live. Also, gonna do my fair share of scenster watching and gonna count up all those upside down crosses and triangles the audience is sure to be sporting in true Witch House style. Psychic TV, anyone?
Interesting take on the Witch House phenomenon here. Grave Wave, hehe.
Pitchfork’s guide to Witch House here.
Can’t stop listening to the Salem’s remix of Gucci Mane. Listen here.