When 45 Spiders guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Peter Vidito isn’t playing, recording, or buying music, he’s releasing it. His label, Deep Reverb, has released records by Zoothead as well as a compilation 7-inch (Betting Man’s Hand) and Standard Forms of Communication, the debut CD from his own band. Music, independent or otherwise, is a main concern of Vidito, his bassist wife Cathy, and drummer Ferdinand Osorio.
“All of us are unapologetic indie-rock fanboys (and girls). Cathy and I sink much coin into our expanding record collection, and Ferdinand’s buying tons of stuff from Vinyl Ink every weekend, it seems. With us, it’s just music, music, music all the friggin’ time. It’s so pathetic,” says Vidito, in true self-deprecating indie-pop fashion.
Polvo, Galaxie 500, the Wedding Present, the Stanley Brothers, the Meters, and Captain Beefheart are all referenced by Vidito on the album. “Since [indie music is] what we love, those themes just seem to leak into the lyrics,” he explains. “I personally find indie-alterna-underground-whatever-ya-wanna-call-it music simultaneously crucial and disposable. I feel very Lester Bangs about rock ‘n’ roll as a whole: It’s an often dumb and pointless commodity, but I couldn’t imagine a life without it.”
The band’s name refers to “those little yellow adapters that fit into the center holes of 45 singles….They’re vaguely arachnoid-looking, and I’ve always called ’em ‘spiders.’ Voilà!…a name that confounds [listeners] and alludes to that most-vaunted archetype of indie rock: the 7-inch single!” Vidito says, driving his obsession home.
With 45 Spiders, Jenhitt, Charming, and the Others, there’s a small but growing number of groups returning to the style of indie-pop that redefined the city’s music scene a few years ago, moving it away from the Dischord sound.
“When Cathy and I moved here [from Hawaii] in the spring of ’94, I felt like we had brushed up against the tail end of that unbelievable early-’90s pop explosionyou know, Unrest, Velocity Girl, Tsunami, the whole Slumberland thingand then it seemed to have tapered off a bit. We were kind of depressed,” he says. “Great bands had taken a breather or had broken up, and great venues, like the old 9:30 and d.c. space, called it quits. Artistically and emotionally, the city seemed very cold. Things seem to be bubbling up right now, though. There’s a whole heap of great local bands out there doing their thang.”Christopher Porter
45 Spiders, Zoothead, and Five State Drive play Phantasmagoria Feb. 13 to celebrate the release of Paint With Sound, a compilation that features all three bands.