Local Wire

Mighty Sphincter @ Rips

Though the name Mighty Sphincter may sound like a stereotypical fictional punk band (say, the band that the mohawked goofus on the bus was jamming on his ghetto blaster in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home before Spock gave him the knockout pinch or whatever), the mythic Phoenix band was very much real. Spinning out of first-wave Phoenix punks The Exterminators, songwriter Doug Clark formed Mighty Sphincter. Performing a mutant punk style called "deathrock" and borrowing from classic rock like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, Clark took the theatrics of L.A. scenesters like Darby Crash and combined them with a dark, clanging sound. "All of the band has always focused on making fun of everything, even ourselves," Clark states to Atakra.com, which offers a comprehensive — if hard-to-read, on a neon green-on-black webpage — history of the band. "Christians, gays, punk rockers . . . Nothing was sacred when it came to being made fun of, and we took every opportunity to do so. And still do." Representing a sardonic and dark side of Phoenix post-punk, Clark has kept busy. A recently released DVD, The Metro in Phoenix, featuring rare Sphincter footage shot at Tempe's legendary Knights of Pythias, is for sale on the group's official site, and this weekend will see a rare acoustic gig from Clark, debuting new material from the band's forthcoming A389 Records debut.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.