Local Wire

The Brother Unconnected: A Tribute to Sun City Girls

For many, punk rock was/is an end in itself, an opportunity to rock fast 'n' loud and/or dress up funny. For others, punk was a door to limitless cultural possibilities, a way of denying obstacles to artistic expression. The UK's Pop Group and the Raincoats embraced, to varying degrees, the avant-garde (both jazz and classical), reggae (and its cousin, dub), and global folk sounds — consequently, their catalogs have stood the test of time better than, say, Generation X or the Runaways. Incubated in Phoenix during the 1981 punk scene, the Sun City Girls were possessed of a similarly feral yet sun-parched scope — free improvisation, surf music, indigenous sounds of South America, the Middle East, and South Asia, beat poetry, and kabuki-like makeup were merely a few hallmarks of their approach. Comprised of brothers Alan and "Sir" Richard Bishop and Charles Gocher, Sun City Girls toured the world with more than 75 releases in assorted formats to their credit, finally dissolving when Gocher passed away from cancer in '07. This year finds the brothers paying homage to him and the quarter-century legacy of which he was a part: a national tour featuring the Bishops performing SCG songs acoustically and Gocher's experimental films.
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Mark Keresman