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You are invited, by anyone to do anything. You are invited, for all time.  

Sounds of self awareness and belonging were ringing out through the Showbox Theatre last night, as The Dismemberment Plan resurrected a pivotal moment in time when underground indie-math rock culture thrived in Washington, DC. I was immediately slapped in the face with a flash back to the teenage feeling of being isolated within a group of spazzy, awkward cool dudes who seeped with stupid scene cred. This time it didn't matter, because we all grew up. 

The Dismemberment Plan invited emotion and unity into the crowd with explosive bursts of urgency and freedom. Clinging to each other we swayed and sang,  
I lost my membership card to the human race, so don't forget the face, because I know that I do belong here.  
The old wave of off time syncopated drums scattered over syrupy guitars, resonating like red wires/black wires plugged into the right ends. Some guy in the audience screamed “Black Cat! Black Cat!”. This means nothing to no one unless you went to shows in DC at the Black Cat. There was always a debonair dude out front spanging with a top hat, saying Black Cat, Black Cat, in a smooth rhythm. I felt a piece of home here. Memory Machine, Gyroscope, I Love a Magician and of course The Ice of Boston were all on the menu accompanied by full crowd stage takeovers, a bra thrown at the band and um...Travis made out with a boy named Paul on stage. 

-Jude Miqueli



Tender Validations recently had the opportunity to chat with Western Washington University's KUGS Beast Meets West Radio Host, Gabe Fauber. Here is what he had to say.

TV: Hello, Gabe. Thank you for joining us. I hear you’re big in Japan. Can you go into detail explaining exactly how that happened?

GF: It was 1997. I was in high school and my buddies and I found a shopping cart in an alleyway that was abandoned. We were high schoolers and we got to the point where I was in the cart and being pushed down hills. We were messing around with it and having a good old time. We ended up doing this for two days and on the second day one of my buddies brought a video camera, and on the first run of being filmed I got t-boned by a car, and the whole thing was on film.

TV: That’s crazy! Were you okay?

GF: I was fine. They type of car and the type of shopping cart were the perfect combination to protect me from injury.

TV: The stars were aligned. 

GF: The stars were aligned, exactly. So it looks really brutal on film, but it’s not. I didn’t get any injuries; I didn’t even break any skin. But it was all so fast, it looks really intense. That was ’97. I had it on VHS for a long time, and I sent into Real TV in the year 2000. From there I just kept getting calls from production companies usually about once or twice a year asking for permission to use this footage on shows. In 2007 the clip had been on numerous shows, and I got a call from a production company out of San Francisco that deals with Japanese TV. They called me up, and wondered if they could use my clip, and how much money I wanted, and what time I was available and all that stuff I said “yes yes yes”. So they flew a director from Japan to Bellingham, and they flew a translator up from their office in San Francisco, and those two guys met up with me here in town and spent two days interviewing me, and filming where I lived, and what I was doing, and even some re-enactments. It was really thorough, really in depth. They even hired kids from the town to play my friends.

TV: They filmed a re-enactment of your life with people who weren’t really your friends?! That is so awesome. Is there anywhere you can see the footage [of the re-enactments] online? Or is it lost forever?

GB: I have a DVD of it. They ended up using some of the footage and made their own narrative and it went onto a TV show that is apparently really popular in Japan.  It’s like a video contest show. You know #1-5 top videos and they have all these different categories, and I’m not sure what they are cuz I don’t speak Japanese, but mine was something like “Stupid Wacky Stuff that White People Do”cuz it was all stupid and wacky white people. They did a whole treatment and I’m in the process of getting it translated now finally, but ever since then I have been able to say that indeed I am big in Japan.

TV: I envy you. Is there anywhere on the internet you can see the Japanese show that got you huge?

GB: I ended up making a DVD compilation of all the shows that I’ve been on that I have copies of. So it’s on the DVD and it’s just a matter of putting it up online. The footage itself is on YouTube if you wanna just check out the clip. If you go to YouTube and look up “Idiot Kid Shopping Cart”.

TV: Speaking of Japan, do you think Japan or Scandinavia’s metal scene is better? Where is the metal mecca?

GB: The metal mecca…I would say the metal mecca is Scandinavia because there are more distinct styles of metal in a cultural geographic area. Like you have Norway, Sweden, Finland, and if you want to count Denmark just in the hinterlands area. And then you have midland Europe just a hop skip and a jump away. Japanese is definitely big and has a big influence. Asian metal is starting to emerge now but currently Scandinavia really has the best offerings.

TV: Which is gnarlier: Japanese or Scandandanavian metal?

GB: Gnarlier? OOOooh that’s a tough call. It depends on what you mean by gnarly.

TV: Like human sacrifice, cannibalism…like GNARLY.

GB: Scandinavia. The Japanese metal that I’ve heard is wild, it’s crazy, it unrestrained.  It's not necessarily violent or evil or with ill intent. There always seems to be an undercurrent of fun. And that just might be the stereotype of Japan, but it’s not coming from the same place as say the Norwegian Black Metal scene which is a response to Christianity and their loss of culture.

TV: Good Answer. Next question: Have you always been a metal head or do you perhaps know all the words to “on bended knee” by Boys II Men?

GB: I don’t know “On Bended Knee”, but “End of the Road” I totally got.

TV: That was a beautiful moment in time.

GB: It was glorious. I remember it like it was just a week ago. But I pretty much always have been [a metal head].  Every 5th grader gets a boom box--that’s just how it is, right? It’s like if you don’t have a stereo by the time you’re in 5th grade, you’re gonna get one that Christmas. And I didn’t have one, so sure enough (as I’m sure is required by law) I got one Christmas of 5th grade. There were there CDs I was given: U2’s Achtung Baby, Pearl Jam’s 10 and Metallica’s Black Album. I can tell you right now you know which one got the most play. It was Metallica and it was just because the guitar sound. The way it sounded.  I can’t explain it. I couldn’t explain it then, I can’t explain it now. But it’s the sound that resonated in my mind. It’s the closest sound to the one that’s going on in my head-the frequency that’s going on in my head.
It all started with that. And then I just needed more. So then Megadeth, Fear Factory, Corrosion of Conformity …anything I could get my hands on. This was before Napster and all that shit so I just had to go buy dubbed tapes. And then 1998 I discovered Scandinavian scene with In Flames. Hearing In Flames The Jester Race for the first time took my metal to a whole new level and I’ve just been riding that wave ever since.

TV: Would you say Metallica is the gateway metal band for most?

GB: Easily, easily.

TV: For someone who is just trying to discover the metal side of them, what band besides Metallica would you suggest they listen to?

GB: That is a tough question.

TV: Because it’s such a broad spectrum, right? I’m interested in delving into the metal scene a little more. I mean Metallica and all the big name bands like that I’m familiar with, but as far as Scandinavian and Japanese metal and all that stuff I have no idea.

GB: There’s a distinction to be made as far as American thrash metal versus Scandanavian and all the rest, and that’s the vocal style. You’ve got the clean vocals where you can understand what the guy’s saying; you can sing along. And then there’s the predominate vocal style of metal which is growl. The death metal, Cannibal Corpse kind of sound. There’s the black metal shriek and everything in between. And with the growl, that really alienates a lot of people which is unfortunate because the best metal bands are the ones where you can’t understand what they’re saying unless you read the lyrics.