It's not easy being a Shithead. Especially when you're the Godfather of Canadian Punk, Joey "Shithead" Keithley. Then the demands will really keep you hopping.
As the nucleus of early punk band DOA and founder of Sudden Death Records, Shithead has been a punk rabble-rouser and activist since the 1980s. A two-time candidate for the Green Party in suburban Vancouver, Shithead recently released his autobiography, I, Shithead, and seems interested in challenging the narrow parameters of punk itself. The idea of Joey Shithead going solo might be cause for some eye-rolling: He's done it before, and DOA has had so many member changes that Shithead has often been the only original member. But since 2005, with the return of ex-DOAer Randy Rampage, the lineup is even enough to merit calling his new record, Joe Shithead Keithley and his Band of Rebels Take on the System! Exploring funk and ska sounds is a new turn for Shithead, and the effort gave him an excuse to put together a band of his favorite Vancouver punks doing rowdy, anti-authoritarian anthems.
The mini-tour that will see Shithead playing Windsor's Roxy will include another Canadian undergrounder, Nash the Slash, a Canadian prog-alt-classical singularity. Reputed to be the artistic alter ego of 59-year-old Jeff Plewman, the multi-instrumentalist has performed with a face covered in bandages since 1979. Though he's mostly known for aggressively sawing the violin with preprogrammed accompaniment, his most recent work has been creating soundtracks for silent films, most notably his score for F.W. Murnau's 1922 German expressionist classic, Nosferatu. Though Americans might think of him as the "Buckethead of violinists," our northerly neighbors like to think of him as Canada's answer to Gary Numan. The Roxy date will be a rare departure for an artist who usually performs in a theatrical or gallery setting, and it's his first time performing with an iconic punk act like DOA.
Promoter and Frumvinyl Productions co-founder William Carter says that the scruffy-voiced violinist is "excited about doing some rock stuff," and that the pairing is not as odd as it may seem. "Joey is Sudden Death Records, Nash the Slash is Cutthroat Records," Carter explains. "Both were indie labels, both artists made strides for the punk communities that, especially in the late '70s, had thriving labels. These guys play music that isn't exactly the same, but they're in the same direction and they see that."
At the Roxy Entertainment Complex, 671 Ouellette St., Windsor; 519-977-5532; $10; all-ages.
Michael Jackman is a Metro Times copy editor and writer. Send comments to [email protected].