Monthly Archives: November 2012
Delhi 2 Dublin, our favorite Canadian Celtic dub bhangra band, is back with a new album, Turn Up the Stereo. It won’t get its official U.S. release until next February, but in the meantime, you can download the title track for free. Cuz Canadians are nice like that.
On “Turn Up the Stereo,” as usual, the Vancouver-based quintet sounds like a giant jam session between Michael Franti, Fatboy Slim, Asian Dub Foundation and the cast of Riverdance. We likee. Especially when their
awesome and now-blonde violinist Kytami new violinist Sara Fitzpatrick lets fly with the fiddlin’ about two and a half minutes in. It’s like the Devil took a wrong turn and went down to Goa instead of Georgia.
If you live in Canada, you can already score yourself a copy of Turn Up the Stereo on iTunes. If you don’t live in Canada, you’re hosed until Feb. 19, 2013.
So the winner of our latest Weird Band Facebook Poll™ seems to be a big fan of our site (she’s been sharing links on our Facebook page like crazy), but we still know almost nothing about her. Then again, maybe that’s OK. Certain acts work better if there’s an air of mystery. We probably don’t really need to know the full story behind Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin. Or maybe she’ll decide to share it with us someday and it’ll be just as weird as her music. Although that’s asking a lot, because her music is some of the trippiest shit we’ve heard in a long time.
MacPumpkin is (we think) the creation/alter-ego/bizarro version of a lady from Florida named Melody Felicia-Baril McGinn. We first heard about her from a new reader named TommyTopHat. Sup, Tommy? Thanks for the tip.
Melody apparently grew up a huge fan of The Residents (hence her fondness for top hats) and Renaldo & The Loaf (another band we really should add to The Weird List one of these days). [Update: We did.] She says she started making her heavily Residents/Renaldo-inspired MacPumpkin music back in the early ’90s and is only just now getting around to releasing it via Bandcamp.
Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin’s one and only album is called Fish Drive Edsels and it’s completely insane. Vocals and rhythms speed up and slow down like some kind of cracked funhouse carnival music. The lyrics, when you can make them out, are about cowboys bagging groceries, conversations with frozen fish, and something called the Bedazzler, which we thought was just some tool chicks use for putting sequins on shit but is apparently also, in Petunia’s world, a shapeshifting monster who “usually comes at night when there’s a storm.” When I was a little kid, I was afraid of a similar monster called the Beshatter who would come at night and take a dump on your head. But I digress.
Besides Fish Drive Edsels, MacPumpkin has also released a few new tunes on Soundcloud, including one that sets Edward Lear’s poem “The Jumblies” to music that sounds like acid rock for Oompa-Loompas, and another inspired by electro-soul weirdo Gary Wilson. Apparently she and Wilson have some kind of mutual admiration society going, because on her website, MacPumpkin has this quote from Wilson: “After a pleasant listening, Petunia inspired us to go out and have some fish and chips.” High praise indeed. Here’s the Wilson-inspired track, “He Cried.”
Melody Felicia-Baril McGinn may or may not also be the lunatic behind another musical persona called Rosewater Treacle Tart. Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin hasn’t made any YouTube videos…or actually, it looks like she once had YouTube videos and for some reason she’s taken them all down. But this Rosewater Treacle Tart video is amazing, so we’re including it here, even though we haven’t confirmed it’s the same chick. Us, fact-check? Fuck that. Even the New York Times barely does that shit these days.
So congrats on being our Weird Band of the Week, Petunia! And to all our readers: If you wanna see more quality artists like PL MacP make the grade around here, go vote in our latest poll.
Hey, Primus fans! Put down the Dorito Loco Taco and listen up. This is important. Primus is asking fans to shoot the video for their next single, the annoyingly all-caps “HOINFODAMAN.” Maker of the best video wins five thousand bones and a place in music video history alongside such classic clips as “My Name Is Mud” and “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.” Your video probably doesn’t have to be that good…so long as it’s better than “Tragedy’s A’Comin,” you probably have a shot.
“HOINFODAMAN” is three minutes of pure Primus weirdness, including references to foot-long sandwiches and juicy burgers…so if you wanna get all literal on us, you could just film your friends pigging out on fast food. (Are you reading this, Zayde Buti?) We suspect something a little more creative is in order, however.
Hit up Primus’ website for more details on the contest (including the all-important video specs) or keep it here to enjoy the stoner-funk strains of “HOINFODAMAN.” And to all you budding would-be Finchers and Scorseses: Best of luck. We really hope one of you is this guy.
I’d like to dedicate this week’s post to our good friend, Crabby (not his real name…or is it?), who introduced us to this week’s weird artiste. Martyn Bennett is pretty much Crabby’s hero, because he played bagpipes over electronic dance music. And Crabby is the only person we know who plays the bagpipes and has been to Burning Man. So you can see where there’s some kindred spirit action happening there.
Sadly, Crabby will never get to meet Bennett, who passed away in 2005 from Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 33. But he left behind a body of work that still has folks in Celtic and world music circles in a bit of a tizzy. Fusing traditional Celtic melodies and instrumentation to the looped beats of electronic music—especially the late ’90s hard stuff, like breakbeat, drum ‘n’ bass and Prodigy-style U.K. hardcore—Bennett created a sound that still tends to leave people either scratching their heads or doing a gleeful jig.
I have some turkey to consume shortly, so I’ll keep this post short and sweet and just leave you with a couple of clips that showcase Bennett in all his Celtic/breakbeat/fusion/mashup glory. Enjoy your Thanksgiving (if that’s your thing), and we’ll be posting more just as soon as we’ve emerged from our tryptophan-induced comas.
Not only does Otto Von Schirach sometimes dress like an old German naval commander—he even visits Germany in person occasionally. Even as I type this, our favorite Miami booty breakcore lunatic is no doubt tearing it up in Berlin at a label night for Monkeytown Records, home to his latest and funkiest LP, the unstoppable Supermeng. If you’re there, tell him “Wie geht’s?” for us. Also, why the fuck are you reading our blog at a label party? Go dance or something.
Here are Otto VS’s other remaining European tour dates—presented, in proper Euro fashion, with the date first, then the month. Mostly because we’re too lazy to change the formatting we just copied off Otto’s Facebook page.
16.11 berlin @ berghain / panorama bar (monkeytown label night)
17.11 chemnitz @ weltecho
18.11 hamburg @ golden pudel
19.11 vienna @ rhiz
21.11 linz @ quitch
22.11 graz @ forum stadtpark
23.11 maribor @ zavod udarnik
24.11 ljubljana @ ch0
25.11 vittorio veneto @ codalunga
28.11 rome @ dal verme
29.11 faenza @ clandestino
30.11 milano @ bitte club
01.12 brussels @ M4 / autumn falls festival (+alec empire)
03.12 lyon @ sonic
05.12 paris @ la mecanique ondulatoire
06.12 marseille @ l’embobineuse
07.12 lille @ tri postal
08.12 san gwann @ liquid club
14.12 den hague @ paard van troje / state-x new forms
15.12 liege @ inside out club
Someone suggested this week’s weird band to us over a year ago and I really have no good explanation for why we haven’t featured them sooner, other than the fact that for such a visually compelling band, there are amazingly few decent photos of them on the Interweb. Meet Hans Grüsel’s Kränkenkabinet, the greatest avant-garde German noise band ever to dress up like birdhouses.
Actually, that last sentence isn’t exactly true. HGK aren’t really from Germany, nor do they always dress up like birdhouses; sometimes, the lead singer (Hans Grüsel, I presume) dresses up like a tree trunk. Also, as you can see from the YouTube clip in that link—which kinda looks like it was shot in my middle school library—they’re not always that avant-garde. Sometimes they do Motörhead covers. They also do a mean version of “Tea for Two,” complete with tap-dancing. Hans Grüsel’s Kränkenkabinet is one of those bands that, just when you think they can’t possibly get any weirder…they get weirder. Even minus the goofy covers and eye-popping costumes, their music is a uniquely unsettling mix of hurdy-gurdy carnival music and migraine-inducing electro-noise assault. It kinda reminds me of the time I tried to watch Bugs Bunny cartoons with an ear infection and a vertiginous codeine high. Remember when they put codeine in cough syrup? Those were the days. But I digress….
The lunatic behind the Krankenkabinet is not, in fact, Hans Grüsel (at least not on his birth certificate), but a Bay Area composer named Thomas Day. Members of fellow Bay Area psychedelic noise wackos Caroliner are (or were) probably also involved in the project; certainly both groups share the same fingerpainting-on-acid design aesthetic. Another SF eccentric named Liz Allbee may or may not have been in on the action. But as far as I can tell, the exact identities of Day’s collaborators remain shrouded behind the myth that Hans Grüsel was a great but semi-forgotten enfant terrible from East Germany.
Day’s first Krankenkabinet release was 2001’s Das Boot, which purported to be a compilation of Grüsel’s “early works” and came wrapped in hand-painted cardboard, again a la Caroliner. One collector site describes the liner notes as looking “worm eaten,” but I’m not sure if that’s because someone stashed it in their basement too long or if the disc just came that way.
Over the next eight years or so, Hans and co. appear to have been semi-regular fixtures on the Bay Area underground art scene; they even toured occasionally. But from what I’ve been able to glean in my research, 2008’s Blaue Blooded Türen was the project’s last release. Since then, HansGrusel.com has been taken over by Asian cyber-squatters and those birdhouse and tree stump costumes have presumably been stuffed into a dark corner of Thomas Day’s closet—although they did make at least one return appearance in Seattle in 2011. The article about that show describes HGK as a “husband/wife duo” and says the dude in the tree-stump costume is a Seattle singer/guitarist named Sean Curley, who I suspect was recruited for just this one show. Whether the husband/wife thing is true or not, I have no idea.
It’s hard to sum up the weirdness that is Hans Grüsel’s Kränkenkabinet in just one video, but this clip capturing them in full electro-noise-freakout mode comes close. Is it just me, or does whoever’s playing ol’ tree-stump Grüsel (at the 1:30 mark) kinda look like Mr. Peanut’s angry, coke-addled brother?
Our favorite Brechtian punk cabaret trio The Tiger Lillies are currently on tour in some pretty far-flung places (they play Bucharest this week), but thanks to the miracle of the Internet, we can keep tabs on them just as easily as if they were playing down the street. On Halloween, for example, they played a gig at a recently opened venue in Moscow called Oldich Dress & Drink. Oldich is a vintage clothing shop by day and a bar with DJs and live music by night. Yes, this is in Moscow, not Brooklyn. Apparently there are Russian hipsters, too.
Some enterprising soul videotaped portions of Tiger Lillies’ Halloween set and among the things they captured was a performance of a brand-new song called “Sailor,” which the Lillies have confirmed (via Facebook) will appear on their next album, Either Or. No word yet on an Either Or release date. Early 2013, perhaps? We can only hope.
We’ve got the Tiger Lillies’ remaining far-flung tour dates (OK, Berlin isn’t that far-flung, but we’re ‘Mericans and don’t get out much) after the clip. This is a highly NSFW song, but then it’s the Tiger Lillies, so you already knew that, right?
12/11/2012 – Bar jeder Vernunft, Berlin, Germany
13/11/2012 – Bar jeder Vernunft, Berlin, Germany
15/11/2012 – Odeon Theatre , Bucharest , Romania (concert and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari production)
16/11/2012 – Kleinkunsttheater Crambolage , Bolzano, Italy
19/11/2012 – KOSMONAVT CLUB, St.Petersburg,, Russia
20/11/2012 – 16 Tons Club, Moscow, Russia
28/11/2012 – TREIBHAUS, Innsbruck, Austria
29/11/2012 – TREIBHAUS, Innsbruck, Austria
30/11/2012 – TREIBHAUS, Innsbruck, Austria
03/12/2012 – Rockhouse Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
05/12/2012 – CINEMA PARADISO, St. Pölten, Austria
06/12/2012 – CONGRESS CENTER – VILLACH, Villach, Austria
07/12/2012 – Szene Wien, Vienna, Austria
08/12/2012 – Röda, Steyr, Austria
09/12/2012 – Landestheater Linz, Linz, Austria
11/12/2012 – Tvornica Kulture, Zagreb, Croatia
12/12/2012 – Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, Ljubljana, Slovenia
13/12/2012 – Grabenhalle, St.Gallen, Switzerland
14/12/2012 – Moods, Zurich, Switzerland
15/12/2012 – Moods, Zurich, Switzerland
Insane Clown Posse’s last video “Chris Benoit” was thought-provoking and all, but you know what it was really missing? Zombies. Also, chainsaws. Both of those issues are solved in their latest clip, “Night of the Chainsaw,” which stars a sharp-toothed power tool named Chuck and a dude who swallows a golden pill that apparently makes you hallucinate the Zombie Apocalypse. What ever happened to good old-fashioned meth, am I right? (But seriously, kids…drugs are bad, stay in school, etc., etc.)
Most of the other news coming out of ICP Land these days is of the Man-Keepin-Us-Down variety: They had to move their annual Hallowicked show at the last minute after local police pressured the original venue into cancelling it, and Juggalos are still being targeted by cops and FBI as gang members. “Weekly meetings for the group are held at Zilker Park,” reports MyFOXAustin.com…cuz, y’know, if there’s one thing criminal street gangs love, it’s regularly scheduled meetups in public parks.
Anyhoo, here’s “Night of the Chainsaw.” The last time we saw that much green goo, it was shooting out of Oderus Urungus’ giant cock.
Hey, American weirdos: Didja vote this week? If you voted in Florida, I bet you’re pissed, huh? All that standing in line and your state didn’t even count. Ain’t democracy a bitch?
Here at Weird Band HQ, we did some vote tallying of our own this week, and in our latest Facebook poll, Your Fuzzy Friends played Obama to everyone else’s Romney (and at least one band’s Gary Johnson), kicking ass and taking names en route to a totally adorable victory. Why adorable? Because aside from one lone human member, Lee Grutman (plus behind-the-scenes synth dude Kelly Shane), Your Fuzzy Friends is a band comprised entirely of hand puppets. Fuzzy ones. Hence the name, we presume…although Grutman looks a little fuzzy himself.
YFF are from Charlotte, North Carolina, or thereabouts, and feature a mustachioed unicorn named Mono, a tuxedo cat named Thomas (pronounced Thomasse, according to the website) and a porcupine named Quill Prickley. I’m gonna call their music nerdtastic electro-pop. I guess Thomas would disagree since he’s a self-proclaimed hipster, but they just dressed up as DEVO for Halloween. So call me when you dress up as Grizzly Bear and I’ll reconsider the whole hipster/nerd thing, OK, Thomas?
Your Fuzzy Friends just released their very first music video, the first of an eight-week series of videos all shot for $5. Let’s have a look, shall we?
I know you were probably thinking, “Huh, I wonder where that $5 went.” Then, bam! Mustache Belly shows up. I’m guessing it was probably about two bucks for the fake ‘stache and about three bucks worth of Pabst to get Mustache Belly loosened up. Clearly it was money well spent.
(P.S. If you’re wondering where you can score yourself a $5 dollar ‘stache dance, hit up Fiverr.com. It’s like the ass end of Craig’s List up in there, and I mean that in the best possible way.)
(P.P.S. For some fucking reason, there appears to be not a single video of Your Fuzzy Friends in concert anywhere. Get on it, Internet!)
(P.P.P.S. Go vote in our latest Facebook poll, will ya? These bands don’t pick themselves.)
So congrats of making the Weird List, Fuzzies! And keep those $5 videos coming. I’m sure we’ll post a few more somewhere down the line.