WHaT 155: The Mount Rushmore Conversations – Babyland

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written by I Die You Die
May 4, 2017 | Category: We Have a Technical

Babyland, live in Vancouver, 2003.

On the fourth and final of our Mount Rushmore Conversations, we’re talking about a band which resonates emotionally with us more than anything: California’s late, great Babyland. We discuss the duo’s inspired blend of noise and melody, the inspirational bent of the band’s themes, and the enduring cult legacy of the band in today’s landscape. As with the previous iterations of the Mount Rushmore Conversations, this is all off the cuff discussion between friends, with no pretensions of being the definitive statement on any of these bands. Get at us in the comment with your memories of Babyland. As always, you can rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, download directly or stream from the widget down below.

2 Responses

  • Machin3slav3 says:

    Memorable moments:
    1. Drove up to San Fransisco to see Babyland open for Chemlab at Bottom of the Hill, 2006. Met in the flesh 3 online friends from the ye old Sick City forum that night. Babyland put on an amazing set and it was great to see Chemlab after being a fan for many years. I spoke with Smith after the show and bought some merch. Mistakenly, I walked off without paying for one item. Realizing it a few minutes later, I walked back over and told Smith to charge me. He gave me the cd for free for being honest. Aww.
    2. The boys went on tour to promote Cavecraft and what would end up being their final tour and the second to last show I attended before they broke up. Their first official date was in Phoenix Arizona so I hopped in the car with my girlfriend at the time and headed to Phoenix for the night. The venue was a bar that had a goth night, which I believe was that night,and at the same time was hosting a toga themed wedding in the adjacent room. When I saw Dan I said hello and he looked at me with a bewildered look and asked what I was doing there. I told him….I was there to see them play! The crowd loved the show. I ended up hanging on the side taking pictures of the people who came out to see babyland and the wedding goers who started to come over from the adjacent room. It was amazing to see people in togas rocking out in this hole in the wall bar. Other than that, Phoenix is pretty shitty so we drove the 5 hours back in the night to LA.
    3. In 2008 on December 12th I completed my thesis presentation for my bachelors in Architecture. I was exhausted after barely sleeping the previous 2 weeks and ready to just melt away after the jury. That night Babyland was performing at the smell and it so happened to be Smith’s birthday. I made my way to the venue in DTLA and parked myself in a chair until their set. Up until their performance I was completely spent but that quickly changed as soon as they came on. That night marks a defining moment in my life and I will never forget it. A neat poster was on sale to commemorate that night and is part of my collection.
    4. Sparks in my face.
    5. Recently gave a brief presentation of the history of industrial music at work as part of the Monday morning staffing meetings. Ended the presentation with Babyland and played Gehry..but not before playing Mini Mall. Making a connection of my experience and passion of the built environment as a designer / Architect to how Dan speaks to it in those songs. My colleagues seemed perplexed and had no follow up questions at the end.


    • Bruce says:

      Awesome stuff, thanks so much! As you mentioned architecture I was wondering if “Gehry” had any special resonance along those lines, and then: boom. Always fun to incept stuff from Our Thing into the day job. I work the phrase “to have respect they must accept a world committing suicide” into my lectures on a particular play and no one’s ever the wiser. ;)

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