Monthly Archives: July 2012
Anubis be praised! (No? Not an Egyptology crowd tonight? Fine…) Here Come the Mummies are bringing their reanimated funk back on the road…and this time, for the first time in like, forever (well, OK, for as long as we’ve known about them, which to be fair has only been about a year), they’re playing a show here in L.A.! Jake and I will be there with bandages and corpse paint on, baby, ready to let our freak flags fly.
But wait, the news gets cooler. HCTM are also pulling a Louis C.K. and selling tickets directly through their website, keeping convenience charges low and throwing in a few perks like a $5 gift certificate to the Mummies online store. Pretty savvy for a bunch of dudes who’ve been dead for 3,000 years.
Here are the full dates for what they’ve dubbed the “If the Clown Shoe Fits” tour. Clowns and mummies? It’s like the birthday party I was so cruelly denied as a six-year-old.
Sep 21 Toledo, OH Headliners
Sep 22 Urbana, IL Canopy Club
Oct 4 West Hollywood, CA House of Blues
Oct 5 Santa Ynez, CA Chumash Casino Resort
Oct 6 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Las Vegas
Oct 7 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
Oct 11 Nashville, TN Live On The Green
Oct 12 Bloomington, IN The Bluebird
Oct 13 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
Oct 14 Lincoln, NE Rococo Theatre
Oct 18 Lexington, KY Buster’s Billiards & Backroom
Oct 19 Ft. Wayne, IN Pierre’s
Oct 20 Mansfield, OH Renaissance Theatre
Oct 25 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
Oct 26 Onamia, MN Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Oct 27 Hinkley, MN Grand Casino Amphitheater
Nov 1 Joliet, IL MoJoes
Nov 2 Macomb, IL COFAC Recital Hall
Nov 3 Dubuque, IA Diamond Jo Casino
Nov 10 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
Nov 16 Indianapolis, IN Vogue Theater
Nov 17 South Bend, IN Club Fever
Insane Clown Posse premiered the first video from their new album The Mighty Death Pop today and it’s what my Uncle Floyd calls a Doozy McFloozy. The track is called “Chris Benoit,” after the pro wrestler who murdered his wife and kid and then hanged himself in 2007, and the video is…well, watch it below and see for yourself.
Among the many unanswered questions here: Is that a Burning Man theme camp, or a post-apocalyptic hellscape? What does that big white block stand for, and why does someone seemingly drop dead every time that masked executioner strikes it? What the fuck is that thing he’s striking it with? It’s like a cross between a pick-ax and a sledgehammer. Why is the child emperor Juggalo wearing a schoolboy uniform? Why does solving a levitating black-and-white Rubik’s Cube make the vaguely bishop-y looking guy drop dead? Why is there a fucking fire-spinner and an old black lady in a Newt Gingrich wig? Why does the fat guy have chess pieces in his bandolier? Is he packing some kind of chess-piece-firing weapon he never got a chance to deploy? What does the symbol on the hot chick’s flag mean? Are you sick of all these questions yet?
The video just came out today, so we’re sure some hyper-obsessive Juggalo will eventually explain the whole thing for us. In the meantime, the rest of us can just sit back and shake our heads at the craziest shit ICP has dropped since “Miracles.”
P.S. There’s also now an ICP app available for iPhone/iPad and Android, apparently, if you’re into that kind of thing. I was hoping it might include a Faygo retail locator, but apparently it’s just ICP news and exclusive content and whatnot.
The results of our latest Facebook poll are in and once again the ballot-stuffers…uh, I mean voters have spoken. By a wide margin, Baby Seal Club beat out Charles Manson and two bands you probably never heard of to become our latest Weird Band of the Week. Congrats on beating my namesake cult leader, guys. That’s no small feat in these parts, especially since this video surfaced.
We first heard about BSC when their singer-guitarist, Fudo, wrote to us and shared the band’s video for “Zeroes and Ones,” which you can see below. Fudo admitted he was “hard-pressed” to claim his band’s music was weirder than most of what we blog about around here. But any band that does a video about a marauding band of chickens trashing an Apple Store gets our attention.
Baby Seal Club hail from a podunk town in Northern California called Sebastopol (come for the wineries, stay because you’re too drunk to drive back to San Francisco). They dress in carnival/steam-punk/Burning Man chic and play a style of music I’m gonna call quirky outlaw power-pop. I’m not even sure what that means, but it sounds about right. You can check out samples of their 10-track debut album on their official website. I’m partial to “Mama Delphi,” which starts out with the line, “She didn’t know she was made of Play-Doh.” Man, if I had nickel for every time I’ve dated that chick.
Since writing to us, Fudo and his bandmates (Choklit Chanteuse, Wizzbang Mahnkae, Nashish, Nectar and occasionally a guy called Uncle Stabby, which is now officially my favorite band alias ever) have been on a roll. They’ve opened for The B-52’s (bet Fred Schneider loooooved them) and were voted Best Rock Band at the North Bay Music Awards. We like to think being named Weird Band of the Week is just as prestigious, but who are we kidding? They’ve probably forgotten about us little people already.
Fun bonus fact: Their fans are called “FlipperTrippers.” We’re sure that’s just because seals have flippers and is not in any way a drug reference.
Anyway, here’s “Zeroes and Ones.” Insert your favorite “cluck” joke here. Oh, and go vote in our next poll, OK? The fate of four more bands rests in your hands.
We’ve been big fans of French turntablists Birdy Nam Nam ever since we stumbled across this video of them working their wheels-of-steel magic back in 2006. We might even swallow our dislike of massive crowds and go see them when they roll through L.A. next month as part of the HARD Summer Festival. We can put up with a few thousand hipsters and dubstep-heads for the sake of seeing Birdy Nam Nam and Bootsy Collins. (Not at the same time, unfortunately—although someone should really make that collab happen.)
And speaking of dubstep: Birdy Nam Nam released a new EP last week on Skrillex’s OWSLA label, which I have to admit has me a little concerned. Are Crazy B, DJ Pone, Little Mike and DJ Need jumping on the dubstep bandwagon? Judging from the video below, the answer is a resounding “yes”…although another track, “Cadillac Dreams,” is more interesting, a sort of electro/glitch-hop take on Southern hip-hop and chopped ‘n’ screwed, complete with a sizzurp-sippin’, slowed-down vocal from French rapper Teki Latex. So they haven’t abandoned their weirdo roots entirely.
Anyway, the new EP is called Jaded Future and it’s available now on iTunes, Beatport and wherever fine French hip-hop platters are sold. Will it make these hommes the superstars they’ve longed deserved to be? But if so, at what cost? Don’t go turning into some weird dubstep/Euro-disco French House Mafia, guys, K? We already have the Swedish version of that and we don’t need another one.
Have you ever watched a Rasputina video and thought to yourself, “This is cool and all, but I’d be way more into it if Melora was playing cello in a full Barney the Purple Dinosaur costume”? Well, now’s your chance to ask her to do it.
Yep, starting this month, Melora Creager is offering to shoot personalized music videos for any Rasputina song. The price tag for each video is $350, which sounds steep until you consider that’s probably how much you paid for that abstract landscape painting you bought at Art Walk after drinking too much Two Buck Chuck. And while that crappy painting doesn’t take requests, Melora does: You can suggest costume elements, give her acting directions (the examples she gives are “extra-sad” and “nerdily seductive”) and even ask her to change the lyrics to better suit your boundless ego (“Andy of the Grotto” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?). “You cannot dictate what I make,” she explains on her website, “but any suggestion by you, the collector, will inspire me and lend direction to the piece.” Just don’t be the first douchebag to ask her to take her clothes off, OK? This is art, people.
Watch Melora’s infomercial below for more about her Personalized Music Videos© and visit Rasputina’s “Handicraft Shoppe” if you have the scratch to request one. And be sure to check out the sample personalized video she made for her boyfriend Gabe. As you can see, the production values ain’t exactly Bruckheimer, but it’s pretty entertaining nonetheless.
It’s been over a year since San Fran noise-rockers Deerhoof released their last album, the excellently titled Deerhoof vs. Evil. But apparently they’re more interested in playing gigs than returning to the studio, because they just announced a whole slew of North American live dates running all the way into November, with nary a new product to push in sight. Not that we’re complaining. Watching Greg Saunier beat his drum kit like it owes him money is way more fun than listening to a Deerhoof record, anyway. (Well, except maybe for Offend Maggie. That set was a hoot.) [Update: We blogged too soon. Deerhoof do have a new album called Breakup Song coming out Sept. 4 on Polyvinyl. We're sure it will be filled with much mayhem and mirth.]
Anyway, here are the dates, complete with opening acts. And speaking of opening acts: After the jump, enjoy a little live clip of Saunier beating the skins (no matter how many times I say that, it still sounds dirty) in a drum duet with Liam Finn, who’s clearly no slouch on the kit himself. Enjoy.
09-05 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat w/ Dope Body, America Hearts
09-06 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Festival @ Memorial Auditorium w/ Liars and Airstrip
09-17 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-18 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-19 – Montreal, QC – Pop Montreal @ Cabaret Du Mile End w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-21 – Lexington, KY – Boomslang Festival @ Cosmic Charlie’s w/ Buke And Gase
09-22 – Chicago, IL – Scuba’s Tavern (early all ages show) w/ Mirel Wagner
09-22 – Chicago, IL – Schuba’s Tavern (10PM door 21+ show) w/ Buke And Gase
09-23 – Minneapolis, MN – The Brick w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-24 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-25 – Denver, CO – The Hi Dive w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-27 – Garden City, ID – Visual Arts Collective w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief, Luke Wyland (of AU)
09-28 – Seattle, WA – The Vera Project w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-29 – Portland, OR – Branx w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-30 – Arcata, CA – The Depot @ Humboldt State University w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
10-01 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
10-02 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
11-03 – Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar w/ Formica Man, Skating Polly, Liam Finn
11-05 – Houston, TX – Walter’s w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-06 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon w/ Formica Man, Twin Killers, Liam Finn
11-07 – Mobile, AL – Alabama Music Box w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-08 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-09 – Orlando, FL – Accidental Music Festival @ The Plaza Live
11-10 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-12 – Richmond, VA – The National w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-13 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn, Dope Body
If we really wanted to, we could probably just change the name of this blog to Weirdest Bands of the ’80s and take a permanent wayback vacation to the era of skinny ties, suspenders and John Hughes movies. What was it about that decade that produced so much wackadoodle pop music?
Me, I was all into Def Leppard and chicks with mullets, so I missed the boat on most of it. Which probably explains why until a reader named Eustaquio (seriously, that’s his name) hipped us to a band called Cardiacs, I had never heard of them before. But consider me schooled, Eustaquio! Even for a time that gave the world Klaus Nomi and DEVO, Cardiacs were pretty out there.
Some history: Cardiacs were originally called Cardiac Arrest and were founded by a pair of brothers named Tim and Jim Smith in a place called Kingston Upon Thames, a suburb of London. Don’t you love how British people name their towns things like “Kingston Upon Thames”? It was probably exactly that kind of stiff-upper-lip prim-and-proper shit that the Smith Bros. were rebelling against.
Anyway, early Cardiac Arrest recordings were apparently pretty scruffy, lo-fi affairs, but by the time the band changed its name to Cardiacs, they were getting a little more polished and a whole lot wackier. Much of their spazzy new sound came from Tim’s herky-jerky vocals (compared to him, David Byrne is Frank fucking Sinatra) and the elaborate keyboard arrangements of a later addition to the band, William D. Drake. They also added a chick sax player, which was very ’80s of them, don’t you think? Her name was Sarah Cutts but she eventually married Tim and became Sarah Smith.
The combination of raw energy and spazzy, complex arrangements (and saxophones!) has led some to label the early Cardiacs sound “pronk,” which is apparently short for “prog + punk.” To his credit, Tim Smith rejected this completely retarded label and would usually just say Cardiacs was a psychedelic pop band. Works for us.
Because everyone in the ’80s was a bit of a weirdo, Cardiacs actually gained a decent cult following and even had a hit single in 1988 with a song called “Is This the Life?”—although by this time they were starting to get that bombastic ’80s guitar sound (thanks a lot, U2) and shooting boring music videos in wind tunnels. Within a few years, Sarah Smith and William D. Drake quit the band and their weirdest days were behind them…although they were active right up until 2008, when Tim Smith suffered a series of strokes that nearly killed him. He’s apparently doing a bit better now, but his days of making music are, sadly, probably behind him.
Anyway, here’s a flashback to Cardiacs’ ’80s heyday, when they dressed up in quasi-military uniforms and smeared greasepaint across their faces and performed as the demented puppets of their malevolent overlords, the Alphabet Business Concern. (He doesn’t show up in the clip below, but they were occasionally joined in videos and onstage by an ABC representative called The Consultant who would alternately stand around looking blandly handsome and/or hurling abuse at the band members, particularly Drake. If you were stoned and British in the ’80s, it was apparently hilarious stuff.)
P.S. We must also give a nod to reader Oded, who also recently suggested we add these guys to The Weird List. But sorry, Oded…Eustaquio beat you to it. By 10 days. Was there just like a Cardiacs documentary on the Bio Channel or something?
They’re aren’t many things crazier than dedicating 20 years of your life to an all-hockey-themed rock band, but swimming across Long Island Sound is probably one of them. So it seems fitting than the wacky fellows in The Zambonis are playing their next gig at a benefit concert for participants in the 25th annual SWIM Across the Sound Marathon, a 15.5 mile swim that raises money for cancer patients. This is usually the part where we insert some snide comment, but it’s fucking cancer, for fuck’s sake. So we’ll save the witticisms for some future post.
The concert happens a week from Saturday, July 21st, at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Tickets are only $10, so buy a bunch and bring a friend or 10. This is a worthy cause, dammit. Yes, even worthier than that DEVO documentary we told you about last week.
To learn more about SWIM Across the Sound, go here. To learn more about hockey, go to a Zambonis concert. Didn’t know we were an educational website, did you?
From the Jackson 5 to Black Tide to Smoosh, kids performing and recording pop and rock music is nothing new. But they seem to be getting younger all the time. And we’re not just saying that because we’re crusty old fogeys. Some of the kids in this latest wave of pre-teen rockers are so little, it looks like they can barely hold up their guitars, much less play them. And yet the best ones manage to rock out with more skill than your average happy hour cover band.
Case in point: The Mini Band, a pint-sized sextet from Berkshire, England who scored a YouTube hit late last year with a surprisingly credible rendition of “Enter Sandman.” Since then, they’ve started writing and recording original material, and they’ve even released their first music video, which you can see below. Both the song and the video ape mid-’90s alt-rock with uncanny accuracy, considering none of the band members were even born in the era of Soundgarden and Soul Asylum (the oldest of them, drummer Charlie, is 11; most of them are just 9). Either these kids are extraordinarily good for their ages, or mid-’90s-style alt-rock is so easy to churn out, even a bunch of 9-year-olds can do it. Probably a bit of both.
The Mini Band are hardly the only precocious-yet-retro rockers on the block. There’s also Haunted by Heroes (the self-proclaimed “World’s Youngest Rock Band,” a title they can no longer lay claim to since they’ve all turned 11), Crime Scene (who win the “most vaguely inappropriate name for a kids’ band” award), and this Japanese kids band that we really wish we knew the name of. We probably could have added any of them to The Weird List, but there’s something about The Mini Band, with the sharp contrast between their rosy-cheeked English adorableness and their fondness for Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers covers (they do a mean “Dani California“) that makes them stand out. Also, we kinda love the fact that they’re just called “The Mini Band.” Maybe “Ankle Biters” was already taken.
Anyway, here’s The Mini Band, standing in a pile of dead leaves trucked in from a Screaming Trees video, galloping through their original track, “Find the Time.” Somewhere, the father of a 3-year-old is watching this and saying to his wife, “See? I told you we shoulda started her on guitar lessons already.” (P.S. For the record, at least one Mini Band guitarist, Zoe Thomson, can seriously shred.)
Well, they still won’t be dragging their full 10-piece ensemble around the country, but Germany’s techno/classical crossover crew Brandt Brauer Ensemble will be playing a few more U.S. dates in addition to their previously announced gig at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series in New York City. These will feature only the BBF trio, so don’t expect any harps and tubas playing dance music. But if you like crisp German techno with touches of (pre-recorded) chamber music instrumentation, you’ll probably dig these shows anyway.
Here are the full dates:
7/31 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
8/02 – New York, NY – Lincoln Center: Only US Full Ensemble Date (w/ The Bad Plus)
8/03 – New York, NY – Santos Party House
8/04 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga
More West Coast dates soon, guys?