The Screaming Mimes. Recognize anybody?
Friday night marks not just the return of Gossip
, easily the most famous band to ever emerge from White County, but also of the Screaming Mimes
, surely the most popular White County band within White County (at least in the mid-to-late '90s). The Screaming Mimes are reuniting at Sticky Fingerz to open for Punkinhead, itself a revival of a band that owned stages in Little Rock and Fayetteville back in the day. When the Mimes weren't packing out the American Legion Hut or First Baptist Church in Searcy, they were in Little Rock worshipping at the altar of Punkinhead. There, they learned the importance of the wah-wah pedal. Please watch this video
Gossip emerged from a similarly enthusiastic scene several years later (or at least its future members did; the band didn't come together until they moved to Olympia), albeit one that was quite a bit smaller and inspired by a different aesthetic. The Legion Hut was home base. Beat up cardigans were cool. And noise was king. But as you'll see from the pictures below of Nathan and Beth's old bands, they looked just as geeky as the dudes up top.*
If you're at Vino's or Sticky Fingerz on Friday and dancing breaks out — and it will, both Gossip and the Screaming Mimes are dance-y as hell — the odds are high you'll be bumpin' into somebody from Searcy, or nearby. Yep, Searcy, the town that often gets credited as the inspiration for "Footloose" in articles about Gossip. Searcy, where the local university still discourages dancing
. Searcy, where we didn't get MTV until sometime around 2000.
*Thankfully, there are no pictures floating around of me on the periphery of both the white-boy funk and punk scenes in Searcy. Because, without a doubt, I looked geekiest.
That's Beth in the middle. Space Cadet in the Hastings parking lot. That's Nathan on the left. Nathan again on the right.