Sioux City Pete prepare tribal, sexual Mill performance

BY DAN WATSON | MARCH 12, 2009 7:27 AM

Sioux City Pete and the Beggars’ performances follow the philosophy of the sexually driven rock and roll acts of the 1970s, often taking a tribal and primitive spin.

Pete Phillips, otherwise known as Sioux City Pete, and his bandmates bring a stage presence typically unheard of in today’s average rock-and-roll show. While the band doesn’t take the act as far as GG Allin — who was notorious for inflicting injuries on himself and defecating during live performance — “audience safe” antics are a major part of a Sioux City Pete show.

The band routinely lights frankincense and myrrh on stage, creating a signature aroma, and members are not afraid to let their inner rock ’n’ roll souls flood out during performances, creating a very “sexual show.”

Sioux City Pete and the Beggars will bring its act to the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., on Friday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5.

The band has three CDs, Pedophilia, Sycophanticide, and Necro Blues, with such songs as “Death Rattle” and “Voodoo Motherfucker” — hopefully, the band’s dark influences are now apparent.

“A night with us and you might want to bring your headphones,” Phillips said. “It is very ritualistic, it is like a big exorcism. I just want people to get down, shake around, and forget about the troubles of life … but now I’m sounding like a hippie, so I’ll shut up.”

Around a year and a half ago Phillips wrote on his website that his tour was “utterly hopeless.” The veteran rock musician told his fans no one was coming out to his shows, and he was feeling the effects of his band’s bleak outlook.

Now, after a move to Seattle, Phillips has re-formed his band and it is drawing attention after putting together some other talented western Iowa musicians.

“I went through about 20 musicians before this current lineup,” said Phillips, whose band, Chicken Hawks, prospered in the early ’90s. “Most of them were younger guys who didn’t realize how serious I was and how difficult it is being to be a musician on the road.”

Throughout Phillips’ nearly 20 years as a professional musician, he has maintained a certain ideology on what rock and roll should be.

“I’m very anti-indie,” he said. “Indie rock has dealt rock and roll an irreversible blow. Rock-and-roll musicians are not suppose to be your average Joe with a guitar, they need guts; our tours are a crusade against this.”

While Phillips is somewhat disgusted about the state of rock ’n’ roll, he may have found a savior in the genre of black metal. While Sioux City Pete and the Beggars is often referred to as a “black-metal band,” the group is more complex than that. Phillips said his band has a far more reaching influence — mainly classic rock and roll and Delta blues tilted toward a severedark side.

Sioux City Pete’s outlook on the rock scene stems from an early love of sexually driven 1970s musicians such as Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, and even Tina Turner. His attraction to extreme musicians and music made it easy for Phillips to like the 1980’s punk-rock scene, saying “punk was very violent and political; it was like you were from outer space — that is how rock and roll used to be.”

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