"With some bugs in our hair and our big flat feets Me 'n Dish Machine pump da rockin' beatz
Flab's on the back porch suckin' on a 40 Call her anything- but don't call her shorty
Homies in the swamp come from miles around 'Cuz they c'aint get enough of that dishwasher sound
Gotta blunt in my mouth and a belly full of whiskey I need to piss in the out-house but the snakes make it risky!
We're potcrackin'... potcrackin'... ah crack-crack-potcrackin!'"
-from "Potcrackin' " by Grand Master Jet-Dry & The Dismal Dish Machine. One of the greatest and lesser-known musical legends of Virginia resides right here in The Great Dismal Swamp. Yessir, it's home for potcrackin' phenom Grand Master Jet-Dry and The Dismal Dish Machine. But just what is crackin'? What are it's roots? I'll let Jet-Dry explain:
"Ya see, it's like this- back in '49 Granny Flabs won a gas-powered washin' machine in the t'backer spittin' contest. Some city boys delivered it here in the swamp, but they didn't leave no 'structions. I figured it was useful for something, so I loaded it up with plates and dishes and things and fired it up. You never heard such a racket! Crashin' and smashin'! Flab's best china was breakin' to pieces! Hell, we didn't know no better, the damn thing was for washin' clothes, not dishes! Well, I've always been handy with a wrench so I rigged it up to the old Victrola so we could listen to our records without having to crank so much. The sound of the cracked pots and the music together was... why, it was just heavenly!
Jet-Dry and his prized gasoline-powered 1949 Potcracker- It turns out that Jet-Dry has been making music for years- he was once a member of the psychobilly "Booger and The Pickers" group, and he toured as lyricist for the tiki-themed and x-rated "Nicka-Knocka-Nookie and The Kumquats". There were some failures along the way- "Kingsford and The Briquettes" were a power trio that combined speed-metal with the resonant frequency of charcoal. In Jet's words: "We sucked, plain and simple." These days, He uses a modern Feebleman dishwasher to power his turntable as he rocks the mike. As Granny enjoys some fine malt beverages, the FeeblemanJet has the rest of the family in on the act too. Baby El-bow and adopted Five-bux round out the percussion section, and they each have their own dishwashers that add a thunderous rumble to the total Jet-Dry sound. "I just start the washers and turn the kids loose with hammers!" he says.
I ask about the name, "Dismal Dish Machine". Jet tells me that "Have you ever seen two water-headed infant babies try to wash a dish? It's pretty fuckin' DISMAL!" Potcrackin' has it's own legion of rabid fans and hangers-on. I met Dizzy and Spleen who explained the strange ritual of "slamming"; It's how they ready themselves for a Jet-Dry show.
"We lie on the floor in front of the dishwasher and beat ourselves senseless with the door" Dizzy says. "After nine or ten slams it turns into a real rush." Spleen tried to speak too but he sounded like a bobcat caught in a blender, the result of many, many "slamming" sessions.
It gets dark quickly out here deep in the sticks so I wrapped up the interview early in order to make it out of the swamp alive. I did however, have one more question for the king of dishwasher rap: "Jet, your adopted son's name is Five-Bux. Why Five-Bux?""Because that's what I paid for him, dang it! Now git yer ass outta here Dr. Whoopee before I crack your head like a pot!"