Tracker Pixel for Entry

Bouncing around with the Swingin’ Utters

by James Osborne | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | October 1st, 2018

Osborne-Swingin Utters-photograph by Alan Snodgrass

It wasn’t until about three questions into this interview that I realized I was talking to the wrong person. Swingin’ Utters singer Johnny “Peebucks” Bonnel was kindly answering a question about New Jersey or something when I realized he wasn’t one of the dudes from the Bouncing Souls. I quickly checked the email from the Fat Wreck Chords publicist and sure enough. I didn’t just misread the band’s name in the email, I’ve been conflating the Bouncing Souls and the Swingin’ Utters for 25 years. It’s not such a stretch. They were both popular with the Warped Tour circuit and the first half of both names end in a present participle.

Not only did Bouncing Soul and Swingin’ Utters never exist independently in my consciousness, I would have a hard time distinguishing 80% of the music Epitaph Records and Fat Wreck Chords released in the 90’s. It’s what we called “mall punk” back in the day. Yes, I admit to having judged bands based on where I think their fans shopped.

I later perused the Swingin Utters’ sizable catalog. I learned to appreciate them as much more than the ‘pop punk by numbers’ band I assumed them to be. Waltzy songs like “One in All” from “A Juvenile Product of the Working Class” and “Lampshade” from “Dead, Flowers, Bottles and Bluegrass and Bones,” the ‘Poguish’ romp “A Promise to Distinction” off of “Five Lessons Learned” andthe anthemic “Imitation of Silence” off their brand new “Peace and Love LP” prove them to be versatile songwriters.

“[Peace and Love] has got a lot of different sounding tunes” Bonnel said. “I wrote four of the songs myself. It’s a little bit on the bizarre side but it’s got some songs that sound like early Utters too” I’m assuming Peace and Love is an ironic title since it seems to be one of their heavier offerings musically and lyrically their angriest. Track 11 is titled “Yes I Hope He Dies”.

Swingin Utters guitar/vocalist Darius Koski said in a recent interview “This is, by far, our absolutely most political record we’ve ever done, we don’t generally write very pointedly political songs. We tend to be a little more vague and abstract. But this one is pretty pointedly disgusted and pissed off and really directly attacking these fuckin’ people in office.” Johnny added “I agree it is our most political record. When sexism, racism and nationalism is the agenda, it’s time to speak up.”

Johnny is now 51 with a straight job at a screen printing company and he’s married with two kids. This sedentation incubates normal songwriters into bland, passionless drips e.g. Billy Joel and Eric Clapton but the Swingin Utters may have just released their most inspired and thematically aggressive album in their 30 years of existence.

I asked Johnny Bonnel how the name “Peebucks” came to be. He says “When I was really young I got super drunk and urinated in my pants. I later went to Taco Bell and paid for my food with the soiled dollar bills. My friends just called me Peebucks after that”. And for this reason alone, I invited Johnny Peebucks of the Swingin’ Utters to play “Taco Bell: Real or No Real” to which he gladly accepted.

Kung Fu Jimmy: In this game all you have to do is decide if the menu item I give is currently or ever has been on Taco Bell menus somewhere in the world.

Johnny: Ok.

KFJ: Number one is a hard shell burrito, which is a taco burrito combo called The Burraco™.

Johnny: I’m gonna say it’s real

KFJ: No, I’m sorry, that is a fake Taco Bell menu item. Number two is a beef and Cheeto burrito called….the Cheeto® Burrito™. Real or no real.

Johnny: That sounds real

KFJ: That’s right. The Cheeto® Burrito™ is real. You got one for two so far. Number three is a Tostitos shell taco called the Tostitos® Tacos Locos™.

Johnny: That sounds real

KFJ: No, Tostitos are just corn chips..

Johnny: Wait, what?

KFJ: It would just be a taco.

Johnny: Ohhhh.

KFJ: So, one out of three so far. Number five: A 7-layer Doritos shell taco called the 7-Layer Doritos® Tacos Locos Burrito™.

Johnny: Uh, real?

KFJ: No. that one’s not real. It’d be hard to market.

Johnny: God Damnit.

KFJ: How about Doritos® topped with beef and sour cream called the Doritos® Nachos Locos™

Johnny: All of these sound real

KFJ: Yeah, that one’s real. You got two right, three wrong so far. Number six is a tostada served on a soft shell tortilla called the Soft Shell Totada™

Johnny: That one’s so simple it can’t be real

KFJ: Yeah, that would just be a soft taco. So you got 3 out of 6. Number seven: Kit Kat stuffed quesadilla called the Chocodilla™

Johnny: Holy crap! If that’s real that’s crazy. I’m gonna say that’s no real

KFJ: That is actually real.

Johnny: Oh my god.

KFJ: Ok, how about the chocolate filled tortilla wrapped around a banana called the Bananaritto

Johnny: Not Real

KFJ: That one is also real.

Johnny: What!

KFJ: Yeah, it’s popular in Taco Bells in the Dominican Republic. Ok, last question in Taco Bell Real or No Real. Miniature deep fried burritos called Burrquitos™

Johnny: Real

KFJ: No, those aren’t real.

Johnny: God, I’m horrible at this.

KFJ: No, Taco Bell’s real food seems too weird to be real..

Johnny: It’s crazy

KFJ: So you got 3 out of 9 which makes you a loser but sort of makes you a winner in a way. It was good talking to you, Johnny.

Johnny: Yeah, good to talk to you too. Thanks. 

Recently in:

FARGO – When apple supplies were low last year, Ethan Hennings called out for help. Hundreds, from Moorhead to Bismarck, answered. Sweet Honeycrisps and tart Northern Lights came in by the bushel. SnowSweets, Prairie Magics, and…

It was an, “aha,” moment, said Jeremy Jensen. A woman had her vehicle towed into the Fix It Forward Auto Care shop in Moorhead. Jensen and fellow Fix It Forward Auto Care co-founder Matt Carlson had the vehicle on a hoist…

Sunday, April 29, 9:30 p.m.-howlingThe Aquarium, 226 N Broadway, FargoEscape From The Zoo features Jesse from the band Days N Daze and Chad Hates George. Straight out of Houston, TX . Their sound could be described as, “raw…

In 2016, the Rand Corportation’s National Defense Research Institute published a year-long study looking at potential consequences for transgender members to serve within the U.S Military. This study looked at seven different…

Gadfly

Ask your Congress

by Ed Raymond

There is more work in Congress than just getting re-electedWhile doing our state and federal income taxes last week, I took a break to read the New York Times article, “Congress Doesn’t Seem To Care If Tax Season Is Miserable…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

By Megan Myrdalmeganmyrdal@gmail.comThroughout your life someone has likely told you to eat your vegetables, but has anyone ever told you to eat more plants? If not, you heard it here -- EAT MORE PLANTS. A diet rich in plant-based…

By Gary Usseryusseryg@gmail.comFYB. Three letters, three words, well known by the guys who make up Cascades, and anyone who is a fan of the five-man band. When asked what genre best describes their sound, I was bombarded with at…

Harmony Korine keeps a tight grip on his title as one of the most critic/critique-proof filmmakers of recent times with “The Beach Bum,” a sultry companion piece to 2012’s memorable “Spring Breakers.” Not without its own…

Arts

​Hold your head high

by Sabrina Hornung

“I started to look around at state arts council positions because I felt that even though I had never done that, I felt like it would be a really good blend of skills, so I started to look around in 2016. A few jobs came up but I…

Countless examples can be found throughout the history of great art that was only recognized as such after the life of the artist that created it. Such is true of Georges Bizet’s opera "Carmen."  While its reception during his…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

It seems like the threats to North Dakota’s Badlands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue, rich, rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Badlands, who’s built himself a private…