Thirteen years ago, Seattle band The Presidents of the United States of America (PUSA)—known for the hits "Lump" and "Peaches"—was in Bend, and it wasn't alone. The band lit up the now-defunct Club 97 with a collaborative band featuring none other than rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot (best known for his 1992 hit, "Baby Got Back").
Apparently, it was a highlight for the band. "One time many years ago," PUSA's website explains, "the band we had with Sir Mix A Lot played in Bend, and it was one of the most out-of-control shows we've ever seen or heard of." They add, referring to the June 27 Century Center show, "Maybe this one will be just like that!"
In 1998, PUSA members Chris Ballew, Jason Finn and Andrew McKeag joined Sir Mix-A-Lot to form a spinoff band called Subset. It was an electrifying mash-up, PUSA's bumping bass licks paired with Sir Mix-A- Lot' s rapid-fire raps. But the band was shot-lived; it barely made it out of the Seattle area, primarily performing in the Emerald City and a handful of shows reaching Oregon and California, before the acts parted ways.
It is too bad that attempt to step out of PUSA's early 90s fame wasn't pursued. If that rap/rock hybrid band—with tracks like "Beach Rats" and "Farmer John"—had taken off, it could have catapulted not only PUSA but Sir Mix-A-Lot into a second coming of sorts, and bent genres. But sadly, Subset never set foot in a studio—and PUSA largely has been trading off the success of its 1993 self-titled debut album for the past two decades.
As it stands, it's been 20 years since that first PUSA album came out; 25 since Sir Mix-A-Lot's debut album, Swass, was released; and 13 since Subset last played together. PUSA is more about nostalgia concerts now. Yet even in their late 40'2, the band members have been hitting the road, playing 16 shows this spring. Maybe their actual comeback is ahead of them. Though, it would be a lot more electrifying if they'd just "Posse Up" with Sir Mix-A-Lot again.
Presidents of the United States
Thursday, June 27