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  • Cool Glass/Hot Wax: Mike O’Shaughnessy

Cool Glass/Hot Wax: Mike O’Shaughnessy

Instrument Drums, percussion, bass guitar, vocals

Band Roster Offsetters, The Scary Party, Mach Blue Jay, Textbook, Subtraction, Magnificent Tallboys, el Jesus de Magico, Ipps, Prison Mirror, Nick Tolford and Company, TSS

Photo by Chris Casella



Tell us about your favorite drinking cup. How long have you had it? Describe its appearance. Is there an interesting story about when or why you acquired it? Sentimental attachment?

I went to a local beer bar a couple of weeks ago and ordered a pretty normal-beer-style beer. They served it in the appropriate, although slightly esoteric, glassware. This made me very happy. So many cool vessels have passed through my life. From expensive crystal to cheap, built-in-straw plastic. The accidental breaking of glassware has become almost a ritual—my cupboards are one-in one-out anymore thanks to my girlfriend’s mitts. Most of them that are left are worthy, branded, sturdy beer glasses; one is a mug from the Ohio Funeral Directors Association 100 Year Convention in 1980. It was my Pops.’ Like him, it reminds me that there are many choices in life—remain flexible.

What’s your favorite poison to consume from this glass? How do you take it? Are you a plastic sword or paper umbrella kinda guy?

Like I said about loving proper glassware—this one’s for majorly quaffing beer. For me, an overhopped imperial red ale is the best chugged from a mug like this in the midst of song. There are so many good beers out right now. However, it would be disingenuous to say I don’t sometimes use the mug as a pitcher to dump a portion of herbal liqueur over an ice cube with a splash of some boozy spirit on top. I bloop some bitters in there, stir it, and strain it into a coupé that says “groom” on it to drink like an adult. 

Let’s say you’ve worked all day and you’ve got a gig tonight; your ass is dragging but you’ve got to keep going—what album do you throw on to keep that pep in your step? Is it a hand-clapper?

I’m so fickle about this. Before the last show I played, I had feelings. I’d heard Kim Gordon talking on national radio about succumbing to the superstar status quo. Behind her words they played this bit of “The Sprawl” from Daydream Nation where Steve Shelley’s drum kicks in on the down and she’s like, “To the extent that I wear skirts and cheap nylon slips, I’ve gone native, I wanted to know the exact dimensions of hell…” I ran inside and put the record on interplanetary-broadcast level just to hear the part where she’s like, “Does ‘f*ck you’ sound simple enough?” But, I dunno, maybe sometimes, like right now, I want to put that Ke$ha song on just loud enough that the neighbor thinks not even I can find a way to stop the storm. I love Sonic Youth. Whatever happened to my copy of Evol, anyway?

Asking about favorite music is always dicey. I’m fickle and my aural needs change by the moment. Right now I want to listen to everything Kim Gordon has to sing. My favorite bits come from “Daydream Nation.” It was the first tape of theirs I found on my own. As a teen, the tape appealed to my lust for Zeppelin-esque vapid folklore imagery and made real my fantasy, intellectual, woman/alien hero. Now, I have the actual record, and it just makes me want to dance. Good for the endocrine system to pump all that vitriol out.

What about when you’re not working? What’s your me-time, mellow-morning record? Something best enjoyed while wearing an old-man robe?

I can never predict where my headspace will take me when I want to listen to music alone at home. Side B of Faust IV? “Decautur Psalm” on OutKast’s ATLiens? Brian Eno and David Byrne’s single “Strange Overtones?” The whole Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 The Funeral Pudding album? Rush’s “Subdivisions” on Signals? Freestyle Fellowship’s “Shammy’s” from Innercity Griots? That YouTube of Rahsaan Roland Kirk on Quincy Jones’ show playing “Pedal Up”? Some weird ambient zanks and buofs Tony Allman shared with me on Dropbox? Again, it’s all about making choices. You only have so many—avoid the dull ones.