By Melissa Fossum
By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
Lyrically, Bluhm weaves a free-associative tapestry from little pieces of everything he can see and muse on while staring out a van window--road life, workaday life, childhood, colors, animals and airplanes--anything goes. He also likes to create new worlds out of old phrases, as in the unreleased "Mountain Time":
"In Mountain Time, there's not allowed atime to gently shape your hairdo/In Mountain Time, it sets aside a space for girls who smell like health food/In Mountain Time, a screaming school bus full of Girl Scouts meets the river's tongue/In Mountain Time, a lonely grandmother gives birth to her own grandson."
Sometimes Bluhm just goofs off, and the band goes along with him. Check "Pet Foot," a no-chaser rocker off Part-Timer Goes Full: "Well, my pet foot's my left foot/I keep it close to me, closer than a beekeeper keeps his bees/And I kick it with my right foot when it steps out of line/My right foot is a lemon, but my pet foot's a lime."
Back in San Francisco, the houselights go down at the Fillmore. The Hips take the stage and rip through "The Desert Song" as the bodies turn into a roiling mass. The music won't stop until last call, some 200 minutes later. The set is spontaneous but not chaotic.
"We're willing to check out any kind of new area," Loiacono says after the show. "We have no set list, no written plan and no idea, really, of what we'll do next."
In this case, it seems, the music plays the band.
Mother Hips is scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 3, at Electric Ballroom in Tempe, with Gravy, Audra, and Fugue. Call for showtime.