Hail to the Chiefs

The Presidents of the United States of America are out
to have a frolic of their own.

THE PRESIDENTS OF the United States of America are making a campaign stop in the land of the lovelorn. Huddled in the Los Angeles studios of the syndicated call-in radio show "Love Lines," the Seattle trio is here to dispense advice on sexual dysfunction and to talk up their self-titled debut album, a collection of raw and ridiculous meditations on simple pleasures, small hurdles, and everyday nonsense. Ample qualifications for tonight's task.

Right now, bald-headed singer-bassist Chris Sallow is listening hard to a 14-year-old caller who's fretting over the still-festering nipple she scratched while skinny-dipping. "Just be patient." says Ballew reassuringly. "I had a girlfriend with nipple rings. Her nipples smelled like a Dumpster."

Such is the wisdom you might expect from the author of "Kitty," a wry document of Ballew's war with his cat ("Fuck you. Kitty I You're going to spend the night outside," Ballew's lyrics fit right in with the Presidents' loopy mix of punk, power-pop, and folk, all of which makes for wondrously catchy singles like ' Lump." Ironically, the wacky Presidents Ballew, guitarist Dave Dederer, and drummer Jason Finn hail from Seattle. a city with a reputation for tortured tunes of fear and self-loathing "There's a whole party-down rock'n'roll scene there that predates grunge by 25 years," insists Dederer, referring to bands like the legendary Sonics, the Young Fresh Fellows. and the awful Traci Lords' Ex-Lovers, whose anthem, "We're Not Going to Make It: the Presidents have adopted as their own. It's a strange motto for a band that has a Top 40 album, but Ballow isn't going to let success get to him. "It's like when I played on the street." he explains. "You can't get freaked out it an old woman is listening to you do a song called 'Naked and Famous.' You've just got to go for it" - Steve Appleford - Exposure
Return to PUSAbase homepage