THE FIRST THING you see on the flyer for the Honky show at the Funhouse is what's in parentheses: "(J.D. Pinkus of Butthole Surfers)."
"If people come to see a psychedelic show, they're definitely going to leave having seen something different," says the parenthetical Pinkus of his new band. While "the Butts," as he calls them, incorporated a 17-year-old Pinkus in 1985 on their way to patenting their acid-dipped Southern art-punk freak-out, Honky is straightforward rock and roll.
"We're not trying to be groundbreaking; this is the most timeless music there is," says Pinkus in an Austin drawl, adding that the band's sound is "so basic it's hard to explain." But let's give it a shot: Put an old Molly Hatchet record on the spinner and put your Urban Cowboy tape in the VCR. Turn up the record player, turn down the TV, and hit yourself about the head—hard—with an iron skillet.
To hear Pinkus tell it, Honky makes the ladies shake their butts, which in turn makes the men buy more beer. "A winning combination," he calls it. "When we have 300 people at our shows, they tend to drink like they're 600."
Despite the acid-fried/Southern-fried distinction of the two very different bands, there are similarities, however thin. On songs like "Your Bottom's at the Top of My List," from House of Good Tires, Honky's third full-length (a fourth will be out on local label Dead Teenager this spring), Pinkus and crew closely approximate the way the Butts lulled you in with a whispered folk song, then dragged you out through a sludgy jam on the other side. Are the two bands different sides of the same coin? That's a bit of a stretch, but if it's me—or one of the many longhaired unkempt acid diehards—who's tossing, I'm going to bet on the Butts to land faceup.
"I have a band that's a little bit more like the Butthole Surfers, too. In fact, we're probably more like the old Butts than the Butts were," Pinkus says of Areola 51, in which he is joined by guitarist Brett Bradford from Scratch Acid and drummer Max Brody from Ministry. Dead Teenager's putting that one out, too. Me and the longhairs can't wait to hear it.
Honky play the Funhouse at 9:30 p.m. Wed., Feb. 18. $5.