Title TK (4AD)
Luis Cabezas and Kelly Ogden: The Breeders rank right up there near the top of our early 90’s alternative favorites, emerging right in a sweet spot for us in our early teens where music began to take on a significance beyond something you just listen to. Growing up in the 90’s meant we lived in a time of music meaning more than an audio file, more than a background effect, more than a soundtrack or part of a playlist. It almost felt like a spiritual awakening, as if we were existing during a giant cultural shift that was changing not only rock & roll but people’s outdated attitudes and values. It was a sarcastic, play-dumb-for-fun and fantastic time to be alive. In retrospect, we were super innocent Floridian teenagers and music saved our lives in the cheesiest way possible.
It would be easy enough to pick an album from the early 90s as our favorite record, and even easier to say it’s by Nirvana or another likely target. The Breeder’s 1993 LP Last Splash was in heavy rotation in our bedrooms, and we locked our doors and played along on our guitars as our tiny acts of rebellion against The Man. It wasn’t until a few years later that we’d truly appreciate the significance of The Breeders in the context of our musical journey.
In January 2002 we packed our clothes, guitars, iguana, cat, tarantula, and prairie dog into a Corolla station wagon and drove out West laser focused on “making it”. We didn’t have a safety net, we didn’t have any family in SoCal. All we knew was that we wanted to rock and Los Angeles was the best place to do it. Along the way we noticed The Breeders were playing in Houston in advance of an upcoming release. It was chilly, the show was sold out, and the bouncer finally let us in when we slipped him a 20. The venue was hot, humid, and a total release from sleeping in our car. Afterwards we stood outside their bus, just super eager fans wanting to say hi to their heroes.
Their tour manager Wolfie was loading gear and we struck up a conversation. Once he learned these insane kids were moving to L.A. he insisted we meet “The Girls”. Within a few minutes Kim & Kelley Deal were talking to us and insisted we bring our car around so they could meet our cat. After what seemed like an out-of-body experience talking to the sisters the night ended with Kim suggesting we contact them once we got to L.A. She said they’d help us out.
So we contacted them. And they set us up with our first rehearsal space, right across the hall from them at Francisco Studios in Vernon. They let us open for them, they came and sat on our dirty couch in the practice space and watched us fumble through writing the songs that would become our first album, Eat My Heart Out. And having even the slightest bit of validation and support from a band we considered so paramount showed us that the most important trait you can have as a musician is generosity. To lift each other up. To support the people coming after you and with you… because rock n roll is an unbroken lineage of influence and appreciation.
Title TK came out later that year and we listened to it in our car driving around LA, going to and from shows, learning the lay of the landscape. It became our soundtrack for that ambitious time where we’d play anywhere we could, any night of the week, slugging it out and finding our musical community. It still brings us back to that rawly ambitious time. The songs aren’t written to be hits, they’re not radio friendly unit shifters, but they remind us of why we started our band to begin with.
The Dollyrots Love the Breeders: The Dollyrots’ Down the Rabbit Hole compilation album is out now.