Comedian Patton Oswalt often jokes about growing up in Sterling, Va. Sure, for him, growing up in a backwoods suburb of Washington D.C. in the early 80s meant missing out on D.C. punk legends like Bad Brains, Fugazi, Minor Threat, et al. (His excuse for owning Phil Collins No Jacket Required as an adolescent: Hes totally punk rock! Hes got on sneakers with a suit!)
But for Pygmy Lush (also from Sterling), their adolescence wandered in the other direction. The 90s in D.C. and surrounding areas gave birth to a collective resurgence of punk rock that became decidedly more heavy, lengthy and loud. With punk beacons sounding off nationwide, New Orleans followed suit. (Hit the jump for more music).
Bryan Funck (New Orleans DIY torchbearer, Thou vocalist and meticulous New Orleans punk archiver) compiled what may be the best testament to and biography (relative to geography) of these bands by the late-90s, those leading the procession included D.C.-area natives pg. 99, City of Caterpillar, Malady, Mannequin, Hissing Choir, Majority Rule and a slew of others (whose members consisted mostly of those in the aforementioned bands). Their link to New Orleans is as essential to their makeup as their D.C. forbearers.
Fast-forwarding through years of sweaty, cathartic, sonic brutality, we get to Pygmy Lush. From the ashes of the previously mentioned punk footnotes, the current phoenix resembles a solemn, Southern gothic, alt-country outfit. Quite a turnaround.
And a good one, at that. So good that their 2008 release, Mount Hope (Lovvit), lifted the band from fringe obscurity to blogstardom. With comparisons to Iron & Wine and Six Organs of Admittance, critics read the band as a far cry from their punk background. But they remain steeped in a fiercely DIY community, and, as evidenced Saturday, March 14, during one of many March tour stops in Louisiana, they proved they can still get loud. Very loud.
Here are the bands remaining dates in New Orleans (for softer ears, that is):