B Sexual orientation
Despite the name of their upcoming album, Ceci n’est pas un band, the B Sexuals are indeed a band
For guitarist Phil Goodwin and drummer Mike Conroy—collectively known as the B Sexuals—one of the keys to happiness is not taking yourself too seriously.
Take, for instance, the manner in which the band arrived at its name. Originally called Bust Exhales, the duo soon grew tired of the moniker. Local musician and filmmaker Bob Barango had designed a logo for them already, but that didn’t seem reason enough to keep the name. The solution seemed easy: simply cut up the existing logo and rearrange the letters to form a new, more thrilling name. The choices: Texas H. Blues, Bushel Taxes and the B Sexuals. The guys chose the latter.
“An ex-girlfriend said that the reason we broke up was because I’m bi-sexual. So, it seemed fitting,” Goodwin joked.
Formed about a year ago, the B Sexuals came together after Goodwin attended a party at Conroy’s place. “My friend dragged me to it,” recalled Goodwin. “I asked you [Conroy] if there were any books to read because I hate parties. He gave me a companion book to Schopenhauer. I read it for a few minutes, and then I asked for the real Schopenhauer,” Goodwin explained.
“Yeah, you sat in the corner and read the entire party. So, at that point, you were the introverted, uninvolved Phil—which we never saw again,” Conroy added.
It’s that kind of absurdity that has defined the band’s dynamic ever since. “Usually, I’ll make up a song, and there will be a couple catchwords that just come to my head. I’ll play it for Mike, and usually he says it’s awful, but sometimes he’ll like it. He’ll come up with random names for the songs, and that usually becomes their subject matter,” explained Goodwin.
For the most part, the B Sexuals’ songs are stripped to the bare minimum: an acoustic guitar, vocals and a minimal drum kit—mostly played with brushes. Goodwin’s vocals are strongly reminiscent of David Byrne. This is especially true on the track “The Fizz Song (Flat Tire Remix),” on which Goodwin sings “And the fizz is full of this carbonation / They work and sweat. I’m on vacation / And the fizz is … ah ha, ah ha / And the joke ends … ha ha, ha ha.”
Most of the B Sexuals’ songs are upbeat with cryptic, nonsensical lyrics. The music is undeniably infectious and sure to get at least one, if not all, of your appendages tapping. This is lightweight stuff, and that, my friends, is where the charm lies.
On “Shannon (Bloody Human Freeway)”—a song inspired by the demo lady at Trader Joe’s—Goodwin sings, “Got the hair. Got the job. I am well-regarded. / Shannon, Shannon, Shannon.”
When asked, “Why the demo lady?” Goodwin answered, “I don’t know why she’s the demo lady. She got her master’s in Web design, and she can’t find another job. That’s a tough market these days.”
The duo’s latest effort, the Synthetic Pleasure Show, has it collaborating with Barango in what Goodwin describes as “a musical, sort of.” Frustrated with playing shows to inattentive audiences, Goodwin decided to showcase his music in a different setting. “I thought it would be more fun to play in a theater—just kind of change the context, and everybody would have to pay attention,” explained Goodwin. The show made its debut in mid-December to a half-empty but fully satisfied audience.
The band’s upcoming album, Ceci n’est pas un band, won’t be released until June, but two songs (including “HTMF,” which stands for Honky-Tonk Mother Fucker) are available as downloads on their Web site, at www.thebsexuals.com. “We haven’t released anything, which I think is kind of suicidal if you’ve been a band for a year, but we’ve still got shows, and I just liked being more of a live band,” explained Goodwin.
It’s clear that these guys are having a blast making music together—and if they happen to entertain some people in the process, so B it.