David Yow Credit: Courtesy the Artist

7/2/2019: This article has been changed to correctly reflect the events that leaf Flipper to break up.

We live in a time where the unhinged, nothing-to-lose noise-rock front man is a punk-rock celebrity. But without Will Shatter and Bruce Loose of Flipper, the world never would’ve experienced the antics of Pissed Jeans’ Matt Korvette, These Arms Are Snakes’ Steve Snere, or Metz’s Alex Edkins. Formed in San Francisco in 1979, Flipper were born of the same west-coast hardcore scene that produced Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, but rather than leaning into rage and aggression like many of their peers, they wrote weird, disturbing, slippery, sludgy noise punk. On their first two records, 1982’s Album: Generic Flipper and 1984’s Gone Fishin’, Shatter and Loose trade off wild vocal performances backed by the plodding grooves of drummer Steve DePace and pushed over the edge by the pure harsh-noise guitar squall of Ted Falconi. Bizarre tape effects and atonal saxophone squonk just add to the greasy, unsettling energy. Flipper called it a day in 1987, after vocalist and bassist Will Shatter died of a drug overdose, but they’ve reappeared a handful of times with some rather impressive fill-ins: in 2009 they recorded their fourth studio album, Love, with Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic on bass (they released the live album Fight with him that same year), and on this tour they’ll be fronted by the greatest out-of-his-mind noise-rock front man of all time, David Yow. His two most famous bands, the Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid, simply wouldn’t have existed the same way without Flipper’s influence.   v