FM DUST ARCHIVES: Teenage Tit: Live Forever Now!

I never worried about putting Teenage Tit’s dome-steaming album Live Forever Now! (DUST003) out as a cassette; I always felt like a community that was okay with Fag Tapes or 16 Bitch Pile-Up could probably sustain one more gnarly/rude moniker. Putting it out as a download is a little more ass-clenching… I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, and it’s potentially a wider swath of people to offend… but the sounds demand it (besides, the band is roughly half female, and I’m pretty sure the handle was their idea (excuses, excuses)).

 

Teenage Tit is, for most intents and purposes, an alter ego of Portland-based rock and roll/space-age r&b freakshow The Fur Coats (T.T. predates that band by a short spell, but so do many other conglomerations featuring several of the same members… they’re a tight-knit crew). The Fur Coats live in a haunted mansion in the Portsmouth section of North Portland, wherein they create a kind of music that could only be aided and abetted by spooks: theirs is an easy marriage of ? And The Mysterians, The Dynamics (the ones that did “Misery”), and maybe a little Roxy Music for good measure. Head songwriter/vocalist Chris Hoganson (who, full disclosure, also played (plays?) with me and his brother/fellow Fur Coat/Teenage Titter Thomas in FOREVER STOKED) has even started flexing a mean Curtis Mayfield falsetto to mix things up.

Live Forever Now!, however, shows this same crew (plus or minus a couple folks) in a different state entirely. The liner notes indicate that the album was “recorded on Valentine’s Day 2009 in a hot pink room full of fog and bubbles”. This is probably true: it was most likely recorded at the crew’s old haunt, Dekum Manor, whose living room was indeed hot pink, and often full of bubbles or machine smoke. That said, Chris claims that every member of the band was also peaking on acid during the recording, so these details are specious.

Said details are unimportant, though, as the sounds produced by Teenage Tit will transport you to that same bubble-filled place, whether it’s real or not. This gloriously demented, echo-damaged free-improv mess echoes the most hallucinogenic sections of every great out-psych LP without sounding quite like any of them, though the Holy Modal Rounders ca. Indian War Whoop, Cromagnon,  and early Smegma are reasonable touchstones. This is weird, though, given that I don’t think the folks in this band give a shit about any of those records. Mostly, Teenage Tit just gives a shit about having a good time, and whether they use any of their sound-parents as deliberate reference or not, Live Forever Now! is a classic document of good times had.

Dustin Krcatovich is a cartoonist, writer, designer, founder of FM DUST, and a collector of certain curios and ephemera (with a focus on 20th century "junk culture"). His writing and illustration work appears frequently in The Quietus, Tiny Mix Tapes, and Esquire's Culture Blog. He is also a former editor and contributor to Secret Zen Garden,Saagara's illustrated mindfulness/wellness blog for young people. He currently resides in Portland, OR.