It started with a thirst, and grew into an obsession…and ended as a mob!
One fine hot August morning in Beantown, an unassuming guitar player for The Lights Out realized two things: 1) he was thirsty, and 2) applying a derivative of the distributive law, he reasoned that if he was parched, so were a lot of other poor sweltering souls in this soup we call the dog days of summer in Boston. All right, perhaps “unassuming” isn’t the right word when you’re describing one Adam Ritchie, our incendiary lead guitarist. Just check out his Townsend-worthy rock pose in last month’s centerfold of The Noise if you don’t believe me. Apparently that level of commitment doesn’t end at the lip of the stage, because on this particular day, Adam decided that he was going to beat the heat the retro hipster way, with a icy beverage just enough out of fashion to be cool again, sweet enough to curdle the spit on your tongue, and artificially colored enough to turn said spit (and tongue) any of various colors not normally found in nature. That’s right, I’m talking about Slush Puppies! Perennially living in the shadow of the more succinctly titled Slurpee, the Slush Puppie nevertheless enjoys a better name and soon, a more rabid fan base, if we have anything to say about it. But of course, just getting one of these things for himself wasn’t going to cut it. You gotta think big in these situations! So was born in some pre-diabetic corner of his fevered brain (it was a hot day, remember) the first ever Slush Mob. To that end, a little Web 2.0 magic was conjured up. The word went out over Twitter and Facebook that The Lights Out were HOT in a literal way and would be at Kiki’s Kwik Mart in Brighton to indulge our craving for ice, high fructose corn syrup and FD&C Red no. 40 and everyone was invited to cool off with us. Man, did that ever work! Next thing you know, there’s a whole string of chatter on our #slushmob channel, with the heavy-Twitters around town chiming in. Then it started spreading virally, as things will in a hot moist environment, resulting in news articles in The Boston Phoenix, Boston Band Crush (one of the best places to hear about music around here) and lord knows where else. New fans started messaging us, saying our impulsive stunt had turned them on to our music and asking about our next in-town shows.
When our Slushmob rolled in, I don’t think Tyler, the ice jockey at Kiki’s had seen such a descent upon his establishment since the days of the soda fountain. They had to open another register just to keep up with the spike in demand for that hour. And all because Adam wanted to beat the heat. I shudder to think what would happen if he ever got a craving for head cheese!
Our Slush Puppie Flashmob was written up in American Songwriter, comparing our use of the medium with the likes of Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, Sigur Rós and Radiohead. (The article by Mike King also ran on TuneCore’s “TuneCorner” blog, music industry blog, Hypebot and Berklee School of Music’s Music Business blog.)