I'm not even sure where to start when discussing the underground cultural hip-hop/cock rock/punk/techno phenomenon known as I Hate You When You're Pregnant. Comprised of only one member (6'5" Flagstaff, AZ resident Phil Buckman), IHYWYP was part performance art, part abstract pop-culture-referencing postmodern poetry, part G.G. Allin, part motivational speaker, part Rock God, and part rap messiah. I've had a slim cross-section of Buckman's music in my iTunes library for years (courtesy of former Flagstaff resident Erik Del Tigre), but I recently unearthed his entire discography and felt the need to share it immediately. Many of you will recognize the genius herein and become instantly addicted. Many of you will dismiss it as hipster garbage and fail altogether. Such is the polarizing nature of I Hate You When You're Pregnant.
Buckman began his journey in 2002, while roadie-ing for friends of the blog Stab City Slitwrists (above left). As the story goes, Stab City found themselves in need of an opening act one night in Portland, and coaxed Phil into going onstage and making an ass out of himself in a Speedo. The rest, as they say, is history.
Lyrically, I can't think of a single artist that could stand up to IHYWYP when it comes to pure abstract magic. According to Alex at Hotdogstorm.com (where I finally tracked down these 5 demos): "IHYWYP WAS A CULTURAL REVOLUTION. IN MY OPINION PHIL BUCKMAN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SINGER/SONG WRITER OF OUR GENERATION. SUCK AN EGG IF YOU FEEL DIFFERENTLY." I tend to agree, but it isn't just the words that set IHYWYP apart from the outsider/underground/weirdo art pack. Phil's screaming delivery, his physical intensity, and even his weird minimalist techno beats (composed entirely on a Zoom RhythmTrak 234, which was also his only stage accompaniment) push the entire package from "mere curiosity" into the realm of "pure brilliance", and while I can't guarantee universal appreciation of his aethetic (Huge Man In Tiny Underwear has yet to catch on with the metal crowd), I defy you to ignore the raw emotion present in songs like "Desiree", "The Furr's Is Gone", "Peter Frampton Must Die", or "There Is Stuff In This World".
But my words are superfluous. I recommend beginning with the second demo (my initial jumping off point with this "band") and moving outward from there, giving yourself time to absorb each release separately. Unfortunately, Phil "broke up with himself" and disbanded IHYWYP around 2005, but I've seen footage of him performaning from as recently as 2010, so not all hope is lost. This guy is an insane vortex of creativity, a gaping abyss brimming over with the exuberance of pure fucking ROCK. Cultural revolution indeed.
"... If 911 was 1-800/
and 1-800 was a one-armed man/
and if a one-armed man was Heinz 57/
THAT'S EMERGENCY KETCHUP!!!"
FIRST DEMO (circa 2002)
(couldn't find the actual cover art)
SECOND DEMO (circa 2002-'03)
(couldn't find the actual cover art for this one either)
THIRD DEMO (circa 2003-'04)
FOURTH DEMO (2004)
FIFTH DEMO (2005)
"Sleeveless" (second demo):
"Hackeysack!" (fifth demo, live 2005):
IHYWYP tribute page/Last.FM/Myspace/lyrics/etc...