I had been spending the majority of last Saturday locked in my room listening to Devo’s “Freedom of Choice” on repeat, hiding under my covers and stroking an autographed 8×10 glossy of Mark Mothersbaugh before I learned that there was going to be a show at the Biko House that night. Not just any show, I discovered, but a rousing showdown between two of the finest political satirist-slash-music groups in the Santa Barbara metropolitan area, the Behemoth Experience and Ball Hog.
As this was my first Behemoth show, I was shocked by the number of mullets, bolero ties and cowboy hats I saw on stage. The banner tacked over the colorful mural on the Biko wall – which bore a striking resemblance to the Jack Daniel’s label – warmed my heart like that infamous black label often warms my belly. Indeed, I was taken back to the twangy Southern days of my youth, growing up amongst rednecks with missing teeth in central Georgia. But the lyrical content of the Behemoth Experience’s Southern-friend stylings tingled my satirical senses. Their repertoire included a number of songs about the Bush administration’s love for oil and the questionable nature of the war in Iraq. Most notably, however, was the Devo cover that ended their set. I was certainly not expecting to hear the words of my dearly beloved and fellow Ohio ex-patriots that night from those speakers. Nor was I expecting to almost lose an eye as one of the singers of the Behemoth Experience pulled out a whip and began flailing it willy-nilly in all directions.
After pulling out what I assumed to be all of the stops, the Behemoth Experience left the stage. I have seen Ball Hog on a number of different occasions, and this particular performance was on par with their best. Ball Hog is a band that pleasantly reminds me of the American punk and indie rock of the 1980s,