Big news from Electric Phantom, the record label home to Chimney Crow and Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin. It arrived on our Facebook page earlier this week in the form of a video press conference hosted by Electric Phantom spokeswoman Melody McGinn and attended by the dying remnants of the music press. Let’s watch, shall we?
Very melodramatic, no? Next time we have a big announcement, we’re totally hiring Melody and her gang of ghouls to make it for us.
So now that you know the big news (you did watch the video, right? if not: Spoiler alert!), head over to electric-phantom.com and check out all the new goodies. Happy shopping.
It’s been a year or three since we last heard from Malaikat dan Singa, the Tuvan throat-singing trance-punk project of Old Time Relijun lead singer Arrington de Dionyso. But just the other day, we got an email from Arrington himself, alerting us to the arrival of a brand-new Malaikat dan Singa album and music video. Thanks, Arrington! It’s because of proactive artists like you that we get to sit on our asses looking at Passed Out Juggalos all day instead of trawling the Interwebs for, y’know, music news and stuff.
Anyway, the album is called Open the Crown and it’s out now on the ever awesome K Records. Based on what we’ve heard of it, we’re happy to report that Arrington is full freakout mode, complete with throat singing, bass clarinet and ranting and raving in his preferred rock ‘n’ roll language, Indonesian—although he now mostly belts out in English. The other new wrinkle here, besides the semi-intelligible English lyrics, is a growing interest in the hip-skankin’ beats, loose-limbed basslines and tape echo of Jamaican dub and reggae—an interest that becomes a full-blown homage in the first Open the Crown song to be released in video form, “I Create in the Broken System.” You might think there’s no connection between throat singing and rude boy toasting, but there’s something in Arrington’s growling delivery that’s totally Tibet by way of Trench Town. Also, there are cheetahs and lions.
You can preview more tracks from Open the Crown and I dunno, maybe buy the damn thing for just $6.99 on the K Records website. Think of it as doing your small part to stick it to The Broken System.
Poll time again, kids. Ready to get all democratic up in this bitch? I know your voting button fingers are quivering in anticipation.
We’ve got five very different bands this month, so be sure to read more about them below before making your selection. Or fuck it, just vote for the name you like best. It’s not like we can stop you. (P.S. Not trying to bias our readers or anything, but if you don’t think Leprechaun Catering is the best name, there might be something wrong with you.)
Read on to learn more about this month’s bands:
Carl are a self-described avant-garde, improvisational trio from Austin, Texas. We particularly like this line from their Facebook “About” page: “We like to practice illusion and intimidation through our sound, and promote the exploration of all emotions embedded within the music, by obscuring reality and confusing the senses as well as bathing them in dense stimulation.” Consider us densely stimulated, fellas! You can check out their EP It’s Mom Upside Down via Bandcamp.
This Australian band’s lineup includes Mr. Bungle drummer Danny Heifetz, and they’ve also worked with members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and The Melvins, which might make them the ringers of this month’s poll. Some Taiwanese magazine described their sound as “a soundtrack to a Kaiju video game nightmare,” which sounds pretty awesome. You can check out their latest album, Death to the Babyboomers, on Bandcamp.
A reader named Freeman turned us on to this experimental Baltimore duo, so they’re being added to this poll without their knowledge and potentially against their will. So be nice to them, OK? Their label, Ehse Records, says they sound like this: “Imagine if H.R. Pufnstuf and Witchiepoo were at a rave and both fully disembodied in a bottomless k-hole, and were then told that they had to arrange a dance version of Jesus Christ Superstar to be performed by an orchestra consisting of Duane Eddy, Ikue Mori, John Entwistle, Tina Weymouth, Lux Interior, Henry Kissinger, Victor Hugo, Gene Krupa, Eraserhead, Gary Coleman, Stewart Copeland, Clarence Clemons, Jimmy Nolan, Tony Blair, John Belushi, Jimmy Guiffre, Keith Emerson, and Animal from The Muppet Show.” Now you really wanna be nice to them, don’t you? Go to the Ehse Records website and listen to the track called “poulet, poulet-poulet, poulet! 1″ for a taste.
A reader named Patrick is a huge fan of this moody, psychedelic French band, so we’re also adding them to this month’s poll against their will. We’re running amok, people! Pretty much everything about them is in French, but apparently they were just formed in 2012 and they’re influenced by acid rock and Krautrock and “le drone et le psychédélique.” Here’s their Soundcloud page and here’s a video that’s like Schoolhouse Rock on acid.
SpazmO! (yes, with an exclamation point and a capital “O”…just to annoy you) is the electro-noise-punk solo project of a dude from Milwaukee named Evan DeBauche, who also runs his own record label and has something like seven others bands. As you might expect from such a relentless multitasker, the music of SpazmO! sounds like it was recorded by someone who was simultaneously shotgunning Five Hour Energy, cleaning out the garage, doing step aerobics and playing Mortal Kombat with his dick. Here’s his Soundcloud.
So there you have it. We’ll close voting at 11:59 p.m. (give or take a minute) on Friday, May 24th. So cast your vote ASAFP and may the weirdest band win!
You know how the last Flaming Lips video, for “Ashes in the Air,” featured an alien with an eyeball for a head and lots of dead naked people? Well, their latest clip features no aliens or death, but it’s pretty much just one big ol’ nakedfest. It’s for “You Lust,” a 13-minute epic of their latest album, The Terror. Thankfully it’s been edited down to more like four minutes for the video, because four minutes is about as much flaccid penis close-ups as I can stand. Watch and you’ll see what I mean. (Heads-up: NSFW on account of it being a nakedfest and all.)
Classic Frank Zappa albums “Freak Out!” and “Over-Nite Sensation” getting the deluxe vinyl reissue treatment
Since regaining the rights to Frank Zappa‘s vast catalog, his heirs over at Zappa Records and Zappa Family Trust have wasted no time in finding new and creative ways to get his music out into the marketplace. Some moves, like selling CDs with a distribution license for $1,000 a pop, have struck us as a bit ill-conceived. But they’ve also put out some cool unreleased material and finally made his stuff available on iTunes, a long overdue boon to those of us who still quaintly insist of paying to download music instead of just listening to Pandora all day.
Even more quaintly, some of us still listen to music on big black pieces of vinyl—and now Zappa Records has those folks covered, too. Next month, they’ll be reissuing two classic Zappa albums on collector’s quality 180-gram vinyl: Freak Out!, the groundbreaking debut from Zappa’s band The Mothers of Invention, and another Mothers mind-bender, 1973′s Over-Nite Sensation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Damn, I feel old just typing that.
No word yet on the exact release date of these suckers, but keep an eye on the somewhat bewildering Zappa.com site for (hopefully) more info soon. Meantime, let’s play out this post with a golden Frank oldie from Freak Out!, shall we?
We love us some Fabulous Downey Brothers. They’re like DEVO for people with really short attention spans. Case in point: Their latest video (last we checked—I tweet slower than these guys make music videos) is just 42 seconds long. It’s for a song called “Do It Again” and it features some of the sickest dance moves we’ve seen in quite some time. And by “sickest” I mean “it really seems like this person might be about to collapse at any moment.”
In other Fabulous D Bros news, they’re playing a gig in Seattle tomorrow night (we can’t make it, but somebody go and yell “Freebird!” for us) and they have some new costumes that look both wildly impractical and totally fucking awesome. I give those outfits five shows before they’re completely trashed, tops. But what a five shows they’ll be.
I don’t know about you, but after all the shit that went down in April, I could use a little happy action in May. So let’s start the month off on a candy-colored electro-punk note, shall we? Meet Räuberhöhle, the happiest band ever to emerge from Berlin. (Sorry, Einstürzende Neubauten.)
Räuberhöhle, which is German for “Robber’s Cave,” is the brainchild of a tattooed, J-pop-obsessed Kirsten Dunst lookalike called Krawalla Chan. Since 1999, Krawalla has been turning out bleepy, hyper-caffeinated electro-pop over which she sing-shouts like a cross between Kathleen Hanna and an army of rioting Japanese schoolgirls. There are elements of punk, disco, electroclash, chiptune and Japanese synth-pop, none of which would be weird in and of itself, but all of which Krawalla combines in some highly quirky and occasionally brilliant ways. Add to that a live show that often features puppets and a guy in a bear suit (named Bärchin) and you got yourself one unique bundle of ausgezeichnet.
Given Krawalla’s candy-raver/My Little Pony cosplay aesthetic and the fact that many of her songs have titles like “Shake Yr Anus” and “My Heart Bleeps Noisy Beeps,” you’d be forgiven for assuming that Räuberhöhle is just a feelgood party band. But she’s also written an anti-Pope song and has another one titled “The Collective Face Of German Volkszorn” which we’re pretty sure is political even though we’re not actually sure what it’s about. It has lots of spoken-word samples of German people sounding angry, so it must be about something.
Mostly, though, Krawalla writes songs about having fun and feeling good about yourself—especially if you’re a girl or, as she charmingly puts it on her website in broken English, “Gays, women, handicapped. These whole fringe groups… I am down with them as long as the personal level is okay.” Take this awesome video for the song “I’m not part of the shit,” which is all about letting your freak flag fly and not being, well, part of the shit.
But perhaps no video better sums up the fearless wackadoodlery of Räuberhöhle than this clip for “Shake Yr Anus,” in which Krawalla and her furry friends torment mall security and (no, really) fart glitter. Many thanks to reader Irrealidad for sharing this with us a few weeks back. It’s the best thing to happen to anuses since…no, that’s a sentence better left unfinished.