Tonight at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego may be the final time Kut U Up play together. I remember the first time I saw them I was pretty young and pretty drunk and so were they. It was at an Elks Lodge somewhere in San Diego and featured old bartenders pouring the deepest whiskey and Cokes I’d ever experienced and probably ever will. It was all ages and I snuck drinks to my underage girlfriend at the time through a straw while my future (and current) girlfriend (who is related to a member of the band) was somewhere in attendance. The band wore “party helmets” made up of deer antlers strung with lights and various other accoutrements that showcased that they liked to party. Their music was a blend of thrash-punk chaos with a comedic undertone. But there was more.
Chris Coté was in the band. And I remember reading how Andy and Bruce Irons would both claim Kut U Up as their favorite band in interviews they did.
And then Andy picked their song “Make it Out Alive” for his part in Taylor Steele’s film Campaign — which is easily one of my favorite parts ever because of the song and the backhand smashes he does at Hideaways.
( Taylor Steele has so kindly granted us temporary permission to post via YouTube below).
And then there was my higher education provided by the unrelenting debauchery in the documentary Riding in Vans With Boys which documented the whole summer Kut U Up spent opening for Blink 182 and Green Day. I learned the art of “Gay Chicken” and how to drink your way across the country playing acid rock with your best friends and what happens to you in the process. At the time Chris was an editor at Transworld Surf and constantly showed up on surf trips while simultaneously touring with a band that fucking ruled. And while now you’ll find him hosting Vans shows and the occasional webcast, Kut U Up is still playing with the original lineup, minus Micah Mattson who went on the be a train conductor — which is probably the raddest job one could have after leaving Kut U Up.
And whether or not tonight really is their last show as Kut U Up, they’ve left a strange and lasting impression on a generation lodged somewhere between punk, garage and psych rock. And if their shows are anything like they used to be when they played at the Elks Lodge, consider this me calling in sick for tomorrow. —Travis
Get tickets to tonight’s show in San Diego at The Belly Up Tavern here.
Watch the documentary Riding in Vans with Boys below: