Muse's Muse
by JJ Biener from April 2010.

Listen to an interview and performance by Ted Washington and Molly Whittaker of Pruitt Igoe on The Local 94.9 with Tim Pyles!
local949.mp3 (20 MB, 30 minutes)


The Peninsula Beacon
"Winston’s to host experimental performers"
June 21, 2007
?What does a mix of heavy metal, mezzo-soprano opera, jazz and spoken-word poetry sound like? Like Pruitt Igoe, a San Diego-based band that has been combining all these elements in their performances for nearly three years, often with unexpected results.
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San Diego Reader
"Off the Deep End"
December 7, 2006
"I play classical piano, badly -- mostly just to learn my parts," says mezzo-soprano singer Molly Whittaker, who lives in La Mesa. Aside from the vocal gymnastics of classical and modern opera, Whittaker records and performs with experimental arthouse band Pruitt Igoe and has performed in four shows with the San Diego Opera Chorus.
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San Diego CityBEAT
"It's the renaissance, man" by Michael Klam

August 9, 2006
Ted Washington was once told by a shrink, "I'm a clinical therapist, and I don't think I'd let my patients read your book." Imagine what the shrink would say about Washington's music; essentially, it's his poetry books brought to life.

Washington is an author, performance poet, ink artist and frontman for Pruitt Igoe, an opera-meets-spoken-word-pandemonium-playhouse band. The dreadlocked, king-sized iconic doorman at Winstons and The Casbah says bands like Circus Contraption—which combines apocalyptic frolicking, circus acts, orchestra music and the operatic voices of a gypsy carnival—inspire and influence him. Washington's own approach to the stage favors primordial screaming and elevated weirdness, high-volume saturnalia and chaos humor. His is not the typical, sedate spoken-word performance. You know the kind: the traditional trip through the poet's ego of sit down, shut up and behold my sonnets. Washington's shows are loud and unfettered—they jump off the stage and into the audience..

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San Diego Reader
July 6, 2006
Our shows involve a lot of acting and improvisation, so we tend to roam through shows. We change what we're doing to suit our mood, the audience's mood, or whatever. It's not that we're random onstage, but when the fun gets going, you can throw the set list out and do what you feel in the moment.
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San Diego CityBEAT - EP Review by Troy Johnson
November 2005
Uh, well, holy shit. This isn’t "music" as much as it is spoken word quasi-opera art-rock in which vocalists Ted Washington ("the big black doorman at the Casbah," as he described to me recently) and mezzo-soprano Molly Whittaker hang like a scary-ass peanut gallery who comments on sex and war and art. "Yeahhhh… I want peace, and sometimes, a piece of ass. But just peace tonight would be good," says Washington over the programmed drum beats of Matthew Kerr in "Tips," a first-person piece about being a doorman at a crappy dive bar. A song later in "Sex," he and Whittaker are coming together for a heaving, huffing duet that viscerally goes through the play-by-play of the no-yes-no-yes! of "old-school fucking, like they did in the day." And in "Virgins," when Washington says, "all the young flowers," it almost sounds predatory. It’s not shock porno-theatre. But it doesn’t shy away from the beauty and beastiality of life, which is why they’re named after an infamous failed urban housing project in St. Louis. - Perfomance Art with Innocent War Protest by Michael Hemmingson
November 2005
Walking into the Casbah – the busy little club near the airport – during Pruitt Igoe’s performance was like entering a scene in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, where Julee Cruise is singing "Into the Night" at the One-Eyed Jack’s bar. Opera vocalist Molly Wilmont’s lasting vocal chords rattled the walls of the Casbah like they were coming up from Hell; people stood around in a trance and listened to her pleas for understanding. There was an eerie feel throughout the venue.

There were no bodies moshing or dancing on the floor. The music, the sounds, the words, were not a rock, punk, reggae or jazz. Poetry, slogans, prayers and screams, set to distorted guitar effects, sampled sounds, keyboards and a trumpet was the flavor of the night.

Call it performance art, and the genre is always hard to define. A mixture of popular music platforms, reverberation and resonances, go-go dancing and agit-prop sensibility is the show Pruitt Igoe offers, influenced by Lonnie Anderson, Bob Marley and Lenny Bruce
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Interview/Review by Joan Seifried of the San Diego Visual Arts Network
August 2005
San Diego is honored to have artists here who push the boundaries of respectability, taste, music, dance and the question of "what is art". Art, Pruitt Igoe, seems to say, is as it is made and found.
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Poetry and Performance News from San Diego, Edited by Michael Klam
September 2005
"The CD is full of sex and war, the quest for peace and a piece of ass. In a poem simply called "Sex," Washington and Whittaker combine voices. And you must listen. You must obey. You love sex, too. You’ll laugh. You’ll think. You’ll blow your mind."
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Music Review from Fan: "Odd time to be up I know. But I just finished listening to your EP again, twice in a row. It works very well overnight. I always hear new sounds I hadn't caught before on the third time around and so it was with your eponymous disc; I was especially enjoying the keyboards this go with Igoe."

San Diego Reader
June 24, 2004
I recently saw a show so weird it could compete with the opening night of the L.A. club Vibrator, at which an Amazon woman named the Queen of Raunch performed a topless-aerobics routine on roller skates.
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