San Francisco pop-rock band The Mother Hips will play McMenamins Old St. Francis School on St. Patrick’s Day. I called up band co-founder Tim Bluhm and asked him why so many people think the Hips are a jam band.
“It used to make us so angry when people called us (that),” said Bluhm, 40, in a telephone interview from his home in San Francisco last month. “It actually sort of crippled us in some ways because if we would’ve just accepted that label we probably would’ve made some inroads into that world … but we were too stubborn and too concerned about our image.
“We really didn’t like that. It curdled our blood,” Bluhm said. “But that was a long time ago and now we’re older and we realize that stuff is for other people to worry about. We don’t care what anyone calls it.”
Why so many people who haven’t heard the Hips believe they fall into the “jam band” category (think Widespread Panic, Phish, etc.) is a bit of a mystery. Sure, the band’s name evokes visions of twirl dancing to an endless guitar solo. And sure, the band played the jam-friendly H.O.R.D.E. tour, like, forever ago. But for the most part, Bluhm and his mates have been crunchy pop-rockers from the start.
“I mean, we had long hair,” Bluhm said, “but so did Black Sabbath.”
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Franchot Tone warms up Velvet, Bex (as in Shannon Bex) plays the Domino Room, Great Big Sea rolls into the Tower Theatre, Sunny Ledfurd returns to town, Jerry Joseph brings The Jackmormons to Silver Moon, and The David Mayfield Parade is at McMenamins. Plus, Jim Jam honors departed music lovers, Mountain Country Idol’s finals are this weekend in Redmond, and a renowned jazz duo will perform on Sunday morning at Cascade School of Music.