Dwarves (band)

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"The Dwarves" redirects here. For the novel, see The Dwarves (novel).
Dwarves
Dwarves in Monto London.jpg
Dwarves show in August 2007
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, USA
Genres Punk rock, hardcore punk, garage punk
Labels Sympathy for the Record Industry, Sub Pop, Epitaph
Associated acts Mondo Generator, KMFDM, Chthonic Force, Queens of the Stone Age, Drunk Injuns, Royce Cracker, DJ Marz
Website www.thedwarves.com
Members Blag Dahlia
HeWhoCannotBeNamed
Rex Everything
Whölley Smökkes
Greg Saenz
Past members Salt Peter
Thrusty Otis
Wreck Tom
Clint Torres
Crash Landon
Chip Fracture
Dutch Ovens
Vadge Moore
Dylan Weed
Fresh Prince of Darkness
Eric Generic
Marky DeSade
Sigh Moan
Tazzie Bushweed
Dark Shoulders
Andy Christ
Slambeau
RANDALL CYR
He Who Cannot Be Named in Sheffield, England 2007

Dwarves is an American punk band formed in Chicago, Illinois, as The Suburban Nightmare, in the mid-1980s. They are currently based in San Francisco, California.[1] Formed as a garage punk band, their career subsequently saw them move in a hardcore direction before settling into an eclectic punk rock sound emphasizing intentionally shocking lyrics. They have been described as "one of the last true bastions of punk rock ideology in the contemporary musical age".[2]

History[edit]

The original members of the Dwarves began making music together in the mid-1980s as teenagers in the Chicago garage rock outfit, Suburban Nightmare, which was compared to The Sonics,[3][4] and which has been described as part of the Paisley Underground scene.[5]

The band became notorious for self-mutilation, on-stage sex, and taking hard drugs, and their live shows would often only last around fifteen minutes, occasionally cut short due to injury caused by spectators.[3][6][7][8][9] The band's sound began to evolve beyond its early garage roots with their second (nine-minute long) LP,[10] Toolin' For A Warm Teabag, which saw the band drifting towards a more truculent punk rock sound, influenced by GG Allin.[11] The band released Blood Guts & Pussy on Sub Pop in 1989. By this time the Dwarves had dropped their early psychedelic sensibilities and morphed into a hardcore punk band. The Blood Guts & Pussy LP was followed up by EP Lucifer's Crank released by No.6 Records, as well as another Sub Pop LP, the metal-punk Thank Heaven For Little Girls, both in 1991.[10]

In 1993 the band issued a press release stating their guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed had been stabbed to death in Philadelphia. Though this later turned out to be a hoax, the band even went as far as to attach a tribute to the "late" guitarist on their 1993 Sub Pop-released album Sugarfix.[3][7] Sub Pop did not respond well to the hoax and summarily dropped the band from its label.[7][10] The Dwarves reformed in 1997, releasing The Dwarves Are Young and Good Looking (described by Adam Bregman of Allmusic as "the beginning of a new Dwarves...one that plays real songs, had a set list, and left the club unbloodied"),[12] and its 2000 followup The Dwarves Come Clean.[3] In the film Me, Myself & Irene, Jim Carrey is seen singing along to Dwarves "Motherfucker", which Dahlia later said he got "tens of thousands of dollars" for.[6] In 2000, the band offered the track "River City Rapist" to George W. Bush as his presidential campaign song.[13]

In 2004 the band released The Dwarves Must Die, its first LP for the indie label Sympathy for the Record Industry, which featured guest appearances from Dexter Holland (The Offspring), Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age), Nash Kato (Urge Overkill), and voice actor Gary Owens.[7] Dahlia was assaulted by Josh Homme of QOTSA before a Dwarves show in Los Angeles in 2004, which saw Homme placed on summary probation for thirty-six months.[14][15]

In 2009, Blag and HeWhoCannotBeNamed were immortalised as Bobbleheads by Aggronautix.[16]

Band members[edit]

Singer Blag Dahlia (aka Julius Seizure, born Paul Cafaro),[17] and guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed (aka Pete Vietnamcheque) have always been the two core members of the group.[3][6] The lineup has shifted around them, and currently consists of members "Fresh Prince of Darkness" (aka Marc Diamond from the band Motochrist) on guitar, "Chip Fracture" on bass and backing vocals and returning drummer Gregory Pecker (aka Gnarlie Watts). "Rex Everything" and KMFDM drummer Andy Selway (under the alias Dutch Ovens) are on again/off again members. Former members include "Wholley Smokes", "Dutch Ovens", "Clint Torres", "Tazzie Bushweed", "Thrusty Otis", "Crash Landon", "Wreck Tom ", and "Vadge Moore", among others.[3]

Music style[edit]

They are known for their simple, loud, yet nuanced punk repertoire, and controversial lyrics. Since the garage punk sound of their early days, they developed a more direct hardcore punk sound, often identified as "scum punk" due to the intentional perversity of the lyrics. Around the turn of millennium, the Dwarves developed more of a manic pop punk influence. Bits of hardcore, surf rock, pop, hip-hop, and rock & roll all factor into the band's current punk rock sound.

Their shows have been notable for some aggressive fights on stage (with the audience and even a cop), and because HeWhoCannotBeNamed performs either in nothing but a jockstrap or totally nude, apart from his trademark wrestling mask.[1]

Cover art[edit]

Their album covers are unusual - naked women, and a naked dwarf sodomizing a rabbit covered in blood, for their 1990 album Blood Guts & Pussy[10][18] - followed up a decade later, with a similar theme, this time covered in soap suds, for Come Clean.[3]

Side projects[edit]

  • Former drummer Sigh Moan formed Specula with Specter Spec, releasing the Erupt album in 1995.[10]
  • Blag Dahlia has worked as a producer for Joey Santiago's band The Martinis,[19] and is also half of the duo The Uncontrollable with Nick Oliveri.[20][21]
  • Blag Dahlia has also performed solo acoustic sets, which he described as his "camp counselor guy routine",[6] released a bluegrass album, Blackgrass in 1995 under the name Earl Lee Grace.[17]
  • Blag Dahlia was a part the side project Penetration Moon, which released a sole single, "Fifth a Day", in 1991.[3]
  • Blag Dahlia has published two books, Armed to the Teeth With Lipstick (1998) and Nina (2006).[17]
  • Blag Dahlia sings "Doing the Sponge" in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode The Chaperone, which originally aired on Nickelodeon October 2, 1999. "Doing the Sponge" is written by Salt Peter (Peter Straus), former bassist for the Dwarves.[22]
  • Blag Dahlia's most recent side project is pop/rock band Candy Now!, which he formed with Angelina Moysov of Persephone's Bees.
  • HeWhoCannotBeNamed has released two solo albums, which have featured guest appearances from his fellow Dwarves members, including Blag Dahlia. "Humaniterrorist", a vinyl only release in 2012, and "Love/Hate", a compact disc-only release in 2013.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Lick It" 7" (Ubik, 1988)
  • "She's Dead" / "Fuckhead" 7" (Sub Pop SP50, 1990)
  • "Drugstore" / "Detention Girl" / "Astro Boy" / "Motherfucker" 7" (Sub Pop SP81, 1990)
  • "Sit on My Face" / "I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend" (by Seizure) split 7" (Sympathy For the Record Industry, SFTRI 132, 1991)
  • "Lucky Tonight" / "Speed Demon" / "Dairy Queen" 7" (Sub Pop SP21/163, 1992)
  • "Anybody Out There" / "Who Cares" 7" (Sub Pop SP84/254, 1993)
  • "That's Rock 'n' Roll" / "I'm a Man" 7" (Sympathy For The Record Industry SFTRI 280, 1994)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (But Blondes Don't Like Cripples) 7" EP (Man's Ruin MR005, 1995)
  • "I Will Deny You" / "The Dwarves are Young and Good Looking" / "One Life to Live" 7" (Reptilian REP018, 1997)
  • "We Must Have Blood" / "Surfing the Intercourse Barn" 7" (Man's Ruin MR051, 1997)
  • "Trailer Trash" 7" (Recess Records, 2014)

Music videos[edit]

  • I'm a Living Sickness (1986)
  • Drugstore (1990)
  • We Must Have Blood (1997)
  • Over You (2000)
  • Salt Lake City (2004)
  • FEFU (2004)
  • Massacre (2005)
  • Stop Me (2011)
  • The Band That Wouldn't Die (2011)
  • You'll Never Take Us Alive (2012)

Compilations[edit]

[24]

Punk-O-Rama vol.3 (single track 'Everybodies Girl')
Punk-O-Rama vol.4 (single track 'I Will Deny')
Punk-O-Rama vol.5 (single track 'Better Be Women')
Rock Against Bush Vol. 2 (single track "kids today")
God Save the Queers: A Tribute to the Queers (single track 'Love Me')
Hot Curly Weenie (single track: 'Throw That Girl Away')
Hot Curly Weenie, vol. 2 (Tracks: 'There She Goes Again' and 'Sleep Tight (with FYP)) Short Music For Short People (single track 'the Band That Wouldn't Die') They also played a track called 'We Must Have Blood' in a 2005 movie titled Pot Zombies featuring Blag Dahlia and HeWhoCannotBeNamed.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gentile, John (2009) "Interview: Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves", A.V. Club, April 13, 2009, retrieved 2010-02-07
  2. ^ "The Dwarves", Time Off, 2009, retrieved 2010-02-07
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 311-312
  4. ^ Carlson, Matt "Horror Stories Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-02-07
  5. ^ Baker, Brian (2008) "Music: The Dwarves", City Beat, October 28, 2008, retrieved 2010-02-07
  6. ^ a b c d DuShane, Tony (2006) "Punker camp counselor? Blag Dahlia Dwarves' front man calls his solo show his 'camp counselor guy routine' -- with trademark unrepentant, politically incorrect lyrics", San Francisco Chronicle, June 1, 2006, retrieved 2010-02-07
  7. ^ a b c d Carlson, Matt "Dwarves Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-02-07
  8. ^ Ali, Lorraine (1993) "Violence Gets Dwarves 15 Minutes of Fame at Bogart's", Los Angeles Times, August 6, 1993
  9. ^ "Punk band aiming for longer return set", London Free Press, 12 June 2003, retrieved 2010-02-07
  10. ^ a b c d e Sprague, David "Dwarves", Trouser Press, retrieved 2010-02-07
  11. ^ DaRonco, Mike "Lucifer's Crank Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-02-07
  12. ^ Bregman, Adam "The Dwarves Are Young and Good Looking Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-02-07
  13. ^ "Dwarves Offer Help to George W. Bush on the Road to the White House", PR Newswire, February 10, 2000
  14. ^ Crandall, Bill & Borzillo-Vrenna, Carrie (2004) "QOTSA Brawl With Dwarves", Rolling Stone, November 11, 2004, retrieved 2010-02-07
  15. ^ Levitan, Corey (2005) "Homme Sentenced for Brawl", Rolling Stone, June 10, 2005, retrieved 2010-02-07
  16. ^ Spacek, Nick (2009) "Dwarves Bobbleheads Now Available", The Pitch, August 18, 2009, retrieved 2010-02-07
  17. ^ a b c Ritchie, Ryan (2007) "Blood, Guts and Literacy: Blag Dahlia steps out from behind the Dwarves to wax hysterical", OC Weekly, July 12, 2007, retrieved 2010-02-07
  18. ^ Carlson, Matt "Blood Guts & Pussy Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-02-07
  19. ^ "The Martinis' Joey Santiago on...", CMJ New Music Monthly, Issue No. 123/124, p.6
  20. ^ Baker, Brian (2010) "UNPLUGGED AND UNCONTROLLABLE: Stoner-rock vet Nick Oliveri explores his dark side on Death Acoustic", Cleveland Scene, February 3, 2010, retrieved 2010-02-07
  21. ^ Kerr, Dave (2006) "Nick Oliveri: Mondo Uncontrollable", The Skinny, 13 October 2006, retrieved 2010-02-07
  22. ^ Chun, Gary C.W. (2004) "Punk with pomp", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, December 3, 2004, retrieved 2010-02-07
  23. ^ "Dwarves - Underworld / Lies / Down By The River (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1993-01-01. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  24. ^ "link". Amphetaminereptile.com. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 

External links[edit]