I Wanna Be Sated

Fleshies have what it takes -- nudity, pissed-off lyrics, blazing noise -- to be Oakland's next great punk band

"We've gotten into this thing where we've been pissing into bottles for so long that we don't realize how anti-social it is," Pseudonym says.

"Every town we pull up to on tour, we'll open the door and all the piss bottles will roll out," Bon Bons laughs.

"It's how we mark our territory -- we leave a bottle," Mattowar says.

Akim Aginsky


Saturday, May 19, at 10 p.m.

Tickets are $5


Visit fleshies online

El Rio, 3158 Mission (at Cesar Chavez), S.F. Strychnine, Squat, and 400 Blows open.

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"If I can just find a leftist slant to piss bottles," Pseudonym ponders as the rest of the band cracks up. "Aha! Plumbing is definitely a bourgeois concept."

Lest you think the band is a bunch of piss-happy layabouts, let it be known that several members are involved in two of the East Bay's most diligent collectives, Geekfest and S.P.A.M. Records. Geekfest began in 1996 as a one-day outdoor event for bands that couldn't play Gilman. It was organized by Pseudonym (then John Geek) and held at a toxic waste dump by the Richmond Bridge. The event proved so popular that it has expanded over the years to a whole week. (The next one takes place June 13-17.) Drummer Hamiltron met bassist Bon Bons at a Geekfest in Benicia, and Bon Bons and Pseudonym played together in several Geekfest bands.

Pseudonym also co-founded S.P.A.M., which stands for Smarmy Post Angst Musicians. The label has issued releases by Bobby Joe Ebola & the Children MacNuggits, the Pilgrims, and the Blast Rocks!!!, as well as Fleshies' self-titled "demo CD" and two split singles. (The band goes into the studio to record its Alternative Tentacles debut later this month.) Although Corbett Redford and Dylan McPuke run the label day-to-day, Pseudonym still pens the e-mail newsletter and helps out. And when he's not busy, he performs with Jenny Raven at the "Mr. O Show," a punk rock variety event that was recently banned from the Stork Club for rowdiness.

"All the shows are math-oriented and feature me wearing provocative underwear and Jenny abusing me," Pseudonym says. "One time she hit me with pi pies to [synth disco artist] Klaus Nomi. Then she smashed 45 45s on me to Sisqó's "Thong Song.' And last time, she stuffed 17 Seventeen magazines in my diapers to ['60s French pop star] France Gall's "Baby Pop.'"

It's easy to see why the rest of the band can be overshadowed by Pseudonym's antics. But if the players weren't so drunkenly accomplished -- splattering out a high-speed mix of Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Turbonegro -- Pseudonym wouldn't be able to take off into the netherzone. Both Bon Bons and Mattowar sing backup on many songs, and all four members play with an intensity that belies their offstage, nice-guy selves.

"I think I've got a chip on my shoulder, and when I'm onstage it comes out," Hamiltron says. "We all do."

"It's like scream therapy," Bon Bons says.

"I feel like if someone exhausts themselves enough, leaves vomit and shit everywhere, and ends up crumpled on the floor, [he] probably won't have much anger left," Pseudonym explains. "If I didn't have this band, I'd probably lose whatever tenuous grasp I have on reality."

Which would be a shame -- and would probably make for a damn good show.

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