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By: Michael Lara

Midnight Boom (2008)

“I say... I think this is the best batch yet.” Captain Beefheart (a.k.a. Don Van Vliet), never knew how appropriate this song from his mammoth discography would best describe how the masses at SUMMER SONIC were feeling about not seeing THE KILLS deliver Midnight Boom and more in their second installment at SUMMER SONIC. Relentlessly traversing the world since their latest release, a most unusual day in Japan unfurls for Alison “VV” Mosshart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince, with all realizing this surreal and frustrating twist.  With their drum machine ‘Little Bastard’ collapsing this 9th of August, marking it immeasurably and momentously memorable.

With a melee of changes undeniably certain to come from such a sudden cancellation in front of a three thousand plus throng in wait, bottles and trash incredibly and unusually at first fly onto the stage as the Japanese representative does his best to courageously plead for all’s understanding. And while the passionate natives remain restless, VV calmly appears onstage to take the bull by the horns to tell exactly what’s going on, with her apologetic sincerity cutting through it all. In doing so, the once irate masses mellow, but ponder upon what could have been. What should’ve been this day.

While their new and potential disciples fan out to other stages and despite Midnight Boom not finding room to bloom in Tokyo, incredibly a few words are still manageable to be shared between myself and Alison, giving insight into the mesmerizing mechanics behind the raw, yet refined motorbike these two maintain and ride together:

Thirsty: In looking around the sprawling festival grounds today, it’s noticeable that most people here are no different than those to be found in the States and elsewhere, with their own urgent need to show their allegiances. Whom do you show yours to and to what level?

VV: It's usually not too modern... Our allegiances... I can't speak for Jamie cos he's not here, but I grew up listening to Fugazi and Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground... Those things inspired me a great deal, as well as painters and writers and people working outside music on other artistic projects... However, if there was one band I’d walk a hundred miles to see or even hear speak, it would be Captain Beefheart. A conversation with Don Van Vliet would keep me awake for years.

No Wow (2005)

Thirsty: Right on. And definitely keeping aplenty awake around the world now are the Beijing Olympics underway, another prime platform to show one's allegiances. If you had the choice to compete in any event, which one would it be and why?

VV: I don't really follow sports. And what's going on in China is insane. I read that the Chinese are filling seats with fake audience members to cheer for the Chinese, polite cheerleaders per say, and that the little girl that sang at the opening ceremony was miming... that the real little girl who sang it wasn't cute enough....

Thirsty: Yeah. It has been far from a steering away from controversies spectacle for sure. Definitely something that won’t quiet during its duration and beyond, just as before for sure. Is there any other artist you would want to compete with and why them?

VV: I’d like to hear what Don Van Vliet has to say...

Thirsty: So would I. Something to know for sure. Back to you, as regards to your Midnight Boom, what keeps you both hook and line in life?

VV: Performing on stage and doing art... We have so much to do... That's what keeps me around. I never forget that. I always feel as though I've just started.

Keep On Your Mean Side (2003)

Thirsty: On the flipside, what makes for another good morning?

VV: Good news is always great to wake up to, a postcard through the letter box…. breakfast with friends.... not having to go to the airport, etc.


Just as Captain Beefheart plainly explained on Letterman nearly two decades ago, ”You want to be a different fish? You gotta jump out of the school.“ Both Alison and Jamie continue to do so.

Get one step closer to the good news from their ceaseless beginnings:


All opinions expressed by Michael Lara are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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