Weird Band Night happened, and it was awesome


California Institute of Abnormalarts

Photo by Gruesome Gereg

Well, it only took us five years, but we finally hosted our first-ever Weird Band Night, and it was amazing. Why didn’t we do this sooner? Because we’re control freaks and booking live music is the art of wrangling chaos. So many things are so completely out of your control that all you can really do is line up the bands and the venue and tell everyone you’ve ever met that they need to be there and then sit back and hope for the best.

But despite a setback or two (we forgive you, Haunted Garage), Weird Band Night was a rousing success. OK, the venue could have been a little fuller, and the show could have run a little more on schedule. And Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra’s name could’ve been spelled correctly on the marquee. But no one died and the bands were on fire. Plus the California Institute of Abnormalarts (CIA) might literally be the Weirdest Venue in the World (complete with its own oddities museum containing no fewer than two actual mummies) so we couldn’t have asked for a better place to host it for us. We’re putting this one in the win column!

First up we had the Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra from San Diego, playing their first L.A. show. As with all opening bands, they had to contend with the lower energy of a small audience, but they powered through a hilarious set that answered such burning questions as “What’s the most expensive way to feed a zebra?” (answer: Pop Tarts) and “Which species of bird are potentially poisonous?” (answer: all of them).

SPO-CIA-sm

Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra

SPO-20, robot frontman of the Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra

For a one-man/one-robot act, SPO had quite the impressive setup, complete with their own lighting and an audiovisual presentation that included vintage educational videos and lyric subtitles, so you could decipher the Stephen Hawking-like vocals of the band’s frontrobot, SPO-20.

SPO at the CIA

Photo by Gruesome Gereg

Next up: The Rhythm Coffin, the ghoulish cavalry who swooped in and saved the day when Haunted Garage were forced to cancel on short notice. Their set was a big horror-punk/surf/rockabilly singalong with lots of great audience interaction, especially when they tossed what felt like about 300 styrofoam dummy heads into the crowd. This was ostensibly only for one song, “The Headless Head Bop,” but once the heads were unleashed, you pretty much had to keep your own head on a swivel for the rest of their set, lest you get beaned from behind by an overeager Coffin fan.

The Rhythm Coffin

Rhythm Coffin lead ghoul Gruesome Gereg (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

Eerie Emma

Rhythm Coffin “Ghoulie Girl” Eerie Emma (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

The Rhythm Coffin

Scary Carrie, Gruesome Gereg and GhoulHectic Clownie (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

Last but certainly not least: The Radioactive Chicken Heads. What can I say about these guys? Every single song was a show unto itself. They broke out so many props and costumes and extra performers that, had I not met lead singer Carrot Topp in street clothes before the show, I might have started wondering if Dave Brockie faked his death and was now playing in a chicken-themed punk band from Orange Country. Their show was GWAR-like in its mind-boggling parade of wacky characters and costumes.

Carrot Top, Radioactive Chicken Heads

Carrot Topp of Radioactive Chicken Heads (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

Radioactive Chicken Heads

Chicken Heads (left to right): El Pollo Diablo, Sgt. Psyclopps, Carrot Topp, Cheri Tomato, Bird Brain

I'm not really sure what this thing was. It almost ate Carrot Topp, but he managed to escape.

I’m not really sure what this thing was. It almost ate Carrot Topp, but he managed to escape.

Radioactive Chicken Heads

Double Carrot Topps! For the song “I Looked Into the Mirror.”

Radioactive Chicken Heads

Carrot Topp, Bird Brain and drummer Puke Boy

Carrot Topp and Badd Bunny

Carrot Topp does battle with the Badd Bunny, one of many adversaries who, for some reason, manage to get into every Radioactive Chicken Heads show

Radioactive Chicken Heads

This adorable little girl got onstage to help introduce the song “I Eat Kids.” Don’t worry, she’s fine. (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

Punky Rooster and El Pollo Diablo (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

Punky Rooster and El Pollo Diablo (Photo by Paul Koudounaris)

Thanks again to all the bands, Carl and everyone at the CIA, and most of all, all the friends and fans who came out to support the show. I hope you had half as much fun as we did.

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About weirdestband

Founder of Weirdest Band in the World. Enabler of Jake Manson's binge drinking.

Posted on July 12, 2014, in Live Reviews, Weird News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual
    effort to make a top notch article… but what can I say… I put things
    off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

  2. Hey Andy, congrats on the maiden voyage of Weird Band Night! Don’t know about you, but from where I was (shooting video at the left of the stage) the venue looked pretty packed to me… at least up by the stage, where it counts. If there had been too many more people there, the flying heads might have gotten out of hand! Overall I thought it was a great blend of high energy with well-maintained vibe to encourage a silverpunk like myself to participate regularly. The most comfortable element was the eclectic mix of the audience, which underscored the notion that if you’re down with weird, generation and genre become irrelevant. It was great to meet you, looking forward to the next WBN outing… may weirdness reign and prevail, to rationalize this otherwise dormant culture.

    • Thanks, Solo! Just started following your SoundCloud page so we’ll keep up on all your Schizobrainiac nuttiness. Thanks again so much for coming to the show and glad you had a good time!

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