Ohio's Swearing at Motorists play the Hi-Tone this Sunday night, bringing their brand of stripped-down indie rock back to Memphis. Critics have called Swearing at Motorists a "two man Who," and the band has been compared to the Replacements and early-era Elvis Costello. Dave Doughman (vocals and guitar) has been one half of Swearing at Motorists since the mid '90s, going through past members at a rate that would make Mark E. Smith of the Fall proud. Coming from the same Dayton, Ohio, music scene as indie giants like Guided by Voices and the Breeders, Swearing at Motorists has developed a dedicated following, even if they didn't ever hit the big time like some of their contemporaries.
While Swearing at Motorists are known for their energetic live show, Doughman's lyrics are what resonate the most with fans. To call his lyrical content charmingly mundane is an understatement. Doughman's a master of the obvious, crafting off-kilter indie rock songs about non-events that occur in everyday life. Basically, anything can and will be used as subject matter in a Swearing at Motorists song.
After releasing four LPs, two EPs, and a singles compilation with prominent indie record label Secretly Canadian, Doughman decided to leave the label when his son was born in 2007. Citing the need to be a full-time father instead of a full-time musician, Doughman took a break from Swearing at Motorists before releasing the crowdfunded While Laughing, The Joker Tells the Truth in 2011. Now that his son is a bit older, Doughman is back on the road and has toured heavily over the past couple of years in both America and Europe. Two decades after their debut cassette tape was released, Swearing at Motorists is still at it, touring under the slogan "20 years and Two Million Miles under the Radar."
Swearing at Motorists, Gopes Busters, and Tweens, Sunday, March 15th at 9 p.m. at the Hi-Tone Small Room. $5