SHOW REVIEW: Big Daddy Meat Straw
La Luna, December 19, 1997-Portland, Oregon
Well, I honestly think I may burn in hell for just BEING at this show!
The first time I ever heard BDMS was on a CD called "Puddlestomp" which is a compilation of local Portland musicians/bands. The song was called "Fifteen". When I heard this song, I stopped my CD player, and played the song over again... and then again.... and then again... because it was one of the most outrageous songs I have heard in a long time! I read on the CD cover that Big Daddy Meat Straw is "Fearlessly Flamboyant Alternative Theatre Rock - Highly Visual, Highly Audio, Portland's Biggest Religious Cult Symptom".... hmmmm.... sounded like something I should check out.
I finally got that chance last month at La Luna.
It was like watching "clowns on acid", a circus act gone horribly wrong, but highly entertaining. It was fun, in a twisted way. They did some GREAT spoofs - even did a version of "The Safety Dance". The props were wonderful. Giant blow-up pickle, swords, a dummy (Mr. Stanley), whipped cream, stuffed animals, rubber snakes.....and the stage was crowded with dancing people (the BDMS clowns) in all kinds of costumes (or lack thereof) such as a cheerleader, and 2 girls dressed in nothing more than 3 pink puffs of fur, pig noses and pig ears.
My favorite songs were a spoof of a Vegas Lounge Act "My Penis" by Vinnie Las Vegas, and an "Andy Gibb tribute" which included a spoof of "Night Fever" and chants of "Warts Taem Idad Gibb" (read it backwards). And of course, the song "Fifteen" ("don't panic, we're not satanic - just because we mutilate cattle..."). During the encore, 2 live chickens were brought on-stage & Vinnie was splattered in "blood". I was REALLY surprised they (the chickens) didn't slip away and fall into the audience - my friend and I just kept looking at each other saying "are those REAL chickens?!"
One of the main vocalists for Big Daddy Meat Straw is Robin Banks, a Portland DJ for the radio station KNRK. I recently had the chance to talk to Robin about the show.... My main question was about the chickens. Apparently they belonged to Vinnie, and were not harmed during the show, and the "blood" was fake - even though Robin says, "it was REALLY hard to tell, since it looked soooo real". He tells me that after the show, the chickens were released at a home with "other chickens". He said that he was surprised the chickens were so calm during the show (as was I) and he thinks it may be because they (the chickens) had never played for such a large crowd before : ) I told him I kept picturing the audience getting a hold of them and tearing them to shreds - but Robin said he thought they would have just wanted to take them home as pets. Turns out that both Robin & I have had a pet chicken before! Anyway, I'm sure they are quite popular with their new chicken friends (being that they are big stars and all now).
Robin tells me that BDMS has been around since about 1992 and that he has been involved since almost the beginning. They are not currently touring, but do a few shows a year in Portland. They do have some releases out... 2 tapes: "Big Daddy Meat Straws Last Supper", and "The Final Suck"; as well as a single "Moving To Seattle". They also have a CD, "One For The Money" on Major Records which a kind of "compilation" of everything they have done. They do not currently have an "official" web-site.
BDMS puts on one STRANGE show, and it's well worth seeing if you want a lot of shock value for your dollar! My friend and I walked out of LaLuna looking like a couple of deer caught in the headlights of an on-coming car - which is what I think was the intended response! As we left, we found the entire street closed off and fire trucks and police cars were EVERYWHERE. Apparently there were some unhappy people who didn't get in the show and called in a false alarm. A fitting end to a very strange night!
Highly visual? Fearlessly flamboyant? .......All of that and then some!