When I spoke to queer-punk duo PWR BTTM earlier this week (great job on that description, by the way, Wikipedia, couldn’t have said it better myself), I asked them what sort of songs they intended to create on their forthcoming album.
“We just try to write songs that we like,” said Ben Hopkins, who shares all musical duties with the other half of the band, Liv Bruce.
For a lot of groups, that would sound like a cookie-cutter or even lazy answer to a music reporter. That’s not the case for PWR BTTM.
Their beauty, in both aesthetic and audio, comes from the celebration of their tastes, lives, and identities, all of which are especially important because personal, lived-in queerness is not often given such a large stage. In a presumptuous world that slaps us with a boy or girl label from the day we're born, swimming against that stream is a radical action. There's also the twosome's talent -- as heard on 2015 debut album Ugly Cherries -- for writing catchy yet nuanced bangers, as well as ponderous, moving ballads.
In a very sharp turn for this article, I asked PWR BTTM what I should wear for Halloween.
“The best Halloween costumes need to be explained,” Bruce said ahead of the New York City band's sold-out show Thursday at 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis. “Seventy-five percent of the time the person just sighs and walks away, but 25 percent of the time you’ll meet someone who loves it just as much as you do and be friends for life.”
I couldn’t agree more. In that spirit, we decided to ask PWR BTTM for their takes on several other potential Halloween costumes. Here's what they had to say.
Bambi, but older, and ready to start a podcast about his mother’s death
Liv Bruce: Cute, cute.
Ben Hopkins: I love that.
LB: Is the rabbit the co-host?
City Pages: Thumper passed away.
LB: Oh, so Jeffrey the turtle. He’s like the producer or something. It’s in his garage, like it’s not in Bambi’s garage.
LB: I haven’t met you, so I don’t know how much you look like Marilyn Monroe, but I assume a lot, and that costume only works when you don’t look anything like her.
BH: Why don’t you do Marilyn Manson Monroe.
CP: That was my next on the list.
BH: Then do that one!
Marilyn, the nice church lady who was very kind to me
BH: Then be that nice old church lady, bitch!
The Beach Where my Father was Murdered.
LB: [Laughs.] That’d be great.
CP: I should note that my father died of pancreatic failure, but I’m pretty sure he had his first drink on the beach.
BH: I love that, you should wear a visor that says RIP on the front.
A Fourth of a Bottle of Gatorade
LB: Like a bereft bottle of lime Gatorade?
CP: You’re not even sure what’s left is Gatorade.
LB: Like just backwash? Oh my god, yes. If you don’t wear a good costume to our show, I’m going to set myself on fire.
BH: I’ll be honest, these are the best Halloween costumes I’ve ever heard.
LB: I just had a great idea, I’m going to be a used condom for Halloween.
LB: I’m going to get a huge fucking trash, bag and, put a gallon of milk in it, and tie it around my neck so it covers all of my parts and just be a used condom.
CP: So this is going to be a very recently used condom?
LB: Yes, like not even a day, within the last couple of hours. And no one can care that I’m getting milk everywhere because I’m advocating for safe sex.
BH: I’m going to be Dan Quail, the former vice president, for Halloween.
CP: Ooo, that’s cool.
BH: I have this obsession with topical jokes that have gone bad. I wanna be like Dam Daniel for Halloween, a meme that no one cares about, like a Rage Face, a meme that no one loves. I’ll be Dat Boi or something.
CP: That would be fantastic, you’d actually have to have a unicycle.
BH: I’ll be Dat Boi, I guess.
Jasper, The a Little-Bit-Too-Friendly Ghost
LB: I think it would be better to be like Casper, the Unfriendly Ghost. Like just a little bit of an asshole.
CP: I could say like, “Depression, isn’t a costume, Katrina!”
LB: Oh my god!
With: Bellows, Lisa Prank
When: 7:30 p.m. Thu., Oct. 27
Where: 7th St. Entry
Tickets: Sold out; more info here