[24 August 2006]
Chunklet Magazine is the media equivalent of a “your favorite band sucks” T-shirt—amusingly witty and mildly confrontational. This is a magazine that has devoted two entire issues (and even a recent book) to “Most Overrated” bands and albums, deftly deflating all of us chin-stroking hipsters who have never quite absorbed all four discs of our re-mastered, expanded, and complete Bitches’ Brew sessions. Chunklet‘s approach to humor is simple and straightforward: take rock music and put it under the jesting microscope of music geeks.
Buckshot Boys is Chunklet’s second DVD, following 2004’s Civil War reenactment at SXSW. These 36 minutes follow two impassioned deer hunters from Alabama as they travel to Camber Sands, England, for an indie rock music festival; hence the subtitle Deer Hunting, British Culture, and Rock Music Collide at All Tomorrow’s Parties. Sporting camouflage, hunting orange, and exaggerated redneck accents, Chuck B. Weegan and DJ Jerry Clancy invite you, the viewer of their mock local access TV show, to “come along while we scour the English countryside for tail, white tail…” Deer, that is. The ensuing adventures include heckling, awkward silences, and strange looks—but sadly, not much actual music.
The DVD’s highlights are the moments of hilarious interaction with ATP’s attendees. In an early scene, Clancy wonders aloud in the lobby: “is this a segregated show? ‘cause it seems there are only white dudes in here wearin’ drab fuckin’ colors and horn-rimmed glasses.” He later probes some passers-by with penetrating questions such as “which band does your band rip off?” Woe to the attendee who ventures a reply, as Clancy retorts, “You know, man, there’s a fine line between obscure and unpopular…” Clancy also fully utilizes the enviable opportunity to point at numerous random fanboys and announce, “You definitely play in a shitty band.”
One expects a high indie-rock quotient here, as the cover advertises “interviews with Spoon, Ted Leo, Mogwai, Melvins…” But don’t expect in-depth discussions of these artists’ most recent albums, biggest influences, upcoming tours or, more generally, anything about their music whatsoever. The most frequent question that Clancy and Weegan—who are, in real life, indie graphic design artist Henry Owings and Brian Teasley of Polyphonic Spree and Man… Or Astroman?—pose is, “tell us about the first buck you dropped.” The responses range from awkward (Polar Goldie Cats, Bad Wizard) to strangely sublime.
Sean Garrison of Five Finger Discount goes into great detail about shooting his first buck in Kentucky, and then explains that he prefers shooting groundhogs because he can be drunk and seated. Spoon’s Britt Daniel looks a bit like a deer in headlights when confronted with the question: “Britt, give us a buck fantasy.” Comedian Neil Hamburger also responds awkwardly, and his over-long segment is miserably unfunny—even he admits that they’ve “put him on the spot” and “his mind doesn’t work like quicksilver.” Of course, the redneck duo has their sights set on Deerhoof—get it, Deerhoof?—who are asked: “is it OK if we hunt you guys?” Mogwai (or “Mohg-lee,” to the interviewers) receives a lesson in the greatness of The ‘Nudge (Ted Nudgent, “guitar hero/deer slayer”), as well as this course invitation: “Y’all wanna kill some shit with us?”
Overall, the hunting shtick grows tiring. The faux commercial segments provide an occasional reprieve, although the majority border on crude and inane. Advertisements for Flippy’s (“beer, food, and sewing”) and Hair Idea (whose voice track is read with a lisp) elicit a few chuckles, but are too dependent on worn-out stereotypes of homosexuals.
Buckshot Boys is entertaining viewing, but doesn’t necessarily warrant repeated screening. There are certainly hilarious moments, but the lack of music leaves the viewer unfulfilled—as unfulfilled as them Buckshot Boys must have felt, attendin’ that there festival lookin’ for bucks in jolly ol’ England and returnin’ to ‘Bama empty-handed.