April 2008 will be remembered as the end of one of the greats. As Philadelphia's The Teeth hang up their guitars and head towards other adventures, all of us in the spinto band will miss them. I thought it might be nice to share a few memories from the band:
Some time in 2002 or earlier, some of the boys and I went down to the East End Cafe in Newark DE to see a Wilmington band called Motor. We were sitting around talking about Al Gore or something when the show started. It was the first time I saw the Teeth and I still remember it. They had a different drummer and more conventional haircuts, but they rocked out pretty hard. They were driving a minivan that had www.theteeth.net spray-painted on the side of it. I talked to Aaron after the show to tell him how much I enjoyed the performance and I remember it being the first of many times our conversations ended with some kind of weird discomfort on my end. Over the next 5 years, we ended up playing more shows with the Teeth than anyone else in town as they were always up for sharing the stage. As far as Motor goes, they rocked pretty hard that night too.
it seems like there is a huge disproportion between the many
experiences with the teeth stuck in my memory and the short time i
have been aware of them. over the past few years i have been lucky
enough to get to know aaron, peter, brain and jonas, and share with
them not only the bandstand but musical ideas, recording thoughts,
daddy ray's fig bars, rides to concerts and practice warehouses,
coffee, jokes, handshakes and pizza.
they were always an explosive team, and i think my fondest memory of
them as a fine tuned squadron was seeing them play with a 'bop-it'
machine. the bop-it is a sort of simon says style game with four
triggers…a little voice tells you what button to push and of course
the game gets faster and faster until you screw up. the toy was laying
around jonas' house and late one night it made its way into the spare
bedroom where we were mixing their album. with each tooth holding a
different trigger they started playing 'bop-it' twisting, pulling,
spinning, flicking and anticipating the bop-it machine's every move.
commanding the bop-it machine the teeth appeared as they always did:
pushing all the right buttons and leaving me dumbfounded.
In May of 2004, we joined the Teeth for Bennington College's annual Sunfest music festival. In addition to having bands play throughout the day, the college's lawn was outfitted with carnival attractions such as high-strikers and dunk-tanks. The centerpiece of all these amusements was a giraffe-shaped bouncy castle that stood over twenty feet tall, casting a protective gaze among the festival goers. As night began to fall, I watched from afar as the Teeth took in the festivities, and slowly began huddling around that floppy giraffe. I could sense that some form of spectacle was imminent, and within an instant, they began to pounce upon it; their devilish smiles clearly visible with each of the giraffe's violent spasms. As I watched them attack that inflatable giraffe, I felt the same mixture of glee, fear, and awe I reserved for their live shows. It was only later I realized they were recreating this crushing scene from nature. The Teeth were a captivating pack of lions and they will be severely missed.
A while back we were offered a show at Messiah College. If you can't tell by the name, Messiah is a Christian college in Grantham, Pennsylvania, and we decided to bring along the Teeth. We stood around chatting about what a strange environment this event offered us. I wondered to myself before the show whether the Teeth would change anything about their show, namely some lyrics which certain young Christians may be offended by. Surely enough the Teeth attacked the stage at full kilt with Aaron jumping on a table and intimidating the audience while Brian 's devilish mustache drew stares and intrigue. When those lyrics I was waiting for occurred ("the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were always fucked for sure") I turned and acknowledged my band mates, none of whom seemed very surprised at the outcome as maybe as many as ten or fifteen students left the building. If there were such a thing as quintessential Teeth performance, then this was it. A certain merciless, take no prisoners attitude that is something to be admired, and I am sad to have seen it for the last time..
To hear a new song that we had never heard recorded before and to read a well written eulogy to the band, peep out this site
KEY: Jon Nick Tom Sam