Arts DEVO loves his Mother … and Die Antwoord

Mother DEVO at age 19

Mother DEVO at age 19

Surprise! My mom is 60. Her birthday was last week, and as my three sisters and I made our way down the historic El Camino Real on a road trip to Avila Beach and a surprise birthday dinner with mom, it occurred to me that I am only a few months away from being the same age she was on the day I got married. And I wondered, “Does that mean I’m also going to be 60 years old at some point?”

Yikes. 60-year-old me. What will that look like? Will I still be running my mouth off about smelly hippies, local art freaks and aging hipsters in a weekly newspaper column? Will my appendages make it through another two decades of pick-up basketball intact? Will I still want to be listening to Sonic Youth and Black Eyed Peas?

I have to do something. My cultural identity won’t allow me to get much older. I will not survive if I start being mistaken for someone’s dad at concerts. Someone get me some noni juice and a goat’s placenta … and unload a few vials of botox into my face, while you’re at it.

Thanks, mom I am very appreciative of the constant example of kindness and selflessness that my mother has displayed throughout my life, but I think the thing I’m most grateful to Mom (and Dad) for passing on to me and my sisters was our big mouths—figuratively and literally. We are vocal with our opinions (and I, for one, have a wide-mouth bass-sized pie hole). And I’m certain they’ve regretted it at times, since we will sometimes use our powers for evil—e.g. loudly ripping apart a television show while everyone is trying to watch. More often, though, we’re breathlessly taking turns sharing our thoughts and opinions (which was good training ground for writing about the arts in a weekly newspaper), and after an intoxicating two-day marathon of endless talking and laughing while traveling and hanging out with the family unit, I might just be out of things to say. It’s a great feeling.

Disgusting, or the best thing in the world? I swear I’m not grasping for something new in a knee-jerk reaction to getting older, but I will take the fact that I am completely won over by the surreal South African rap-rave freak show known as Die Antwoord as a positive measure of my vitality. My love for Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek has been secret for too long. Their very un-PC approach to every single thing is not popular with everyone, but theirs is a whole new thing that combines the South African ghetto-chic Zef culture with a don’t-give-a-funk appropriation of anything that can magnify their anti attitude. You could go on for days adding up all the pieces of the aesthetic—go to YouTube and see for yourself. Ninja: shirtless, sporting prison-looking tats, spittin’ fast and flapping his weenis up and down beneath his ubiquitous, black Pink Floyd boxers; and Yo-Landi: with a Mad Max haircut and skin-tight gold pants singing like an 8-year-old girl with a look in her eyes that says she wants to cut your throat. It seems as if a DJ’s iPod was dropped from a plane into an undiscovered tribe, and when first contact was made, the members of Die Antwoord were there grabbing their crotches and waiting to take over. Something new.

Die Antwoord’s Yo-Landi Vi$$er and Ninja


• MTV R.I.P.: The Living Karaoke Band returns with a new theme of live covers—the ’80s of MTV—for local singers to belt out. Friday, April 1, 7 p.m., at the DownLo.

• Spring coup d’état: 1078 Gallery celebrates April Fool’s Day with a spring-themed art and fashion mash-up featuring food, music and the work of local designers— Natalie Hays, Micah Hankins of Iron and Ink, and Marc Andrew Fitzgerald of Able Abe Clothing. Friday, April 1, 7 p.m.