Author Archives: jakemanson

The lesson of Chimney Crow’s new “Sarah Kristina” video is: Don’t accept a ride home from Chimney Crow

Chimney Crow, "Sarah Kristina"

Hey, Chimney Crow! How’s it hanging? Hey, listen, I love what you guys have been doing lately with the Muppets and Deee-Lite covers and all, but I gotta be honest: Your latest video is freaking me out a little. Are you OK, Chimney Crow? I mean, do we gotta send in an FBI unit to pull up your floorboards and shit? ‘Cause you’re sounding a little…well, just listen to yourself, man!

But hey, I’m sure you don’t really know anyone named Sarah Kristina, right? This is all just an artful meditation on the alienation of modern life or some shit, right? I really hope so, because I don’t want to have to hide all my drug paraphernalia when the detectives show up on my doorstep asking, “So, how did you know the suspect?”

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Weird of the Day: Thor, king of ’80s muscle rock

Thor

What happens when you cross a metal band with a bodybuilding competition? I’m so glad you asked. You get Thor, scourge of ’80s metal and bender of metal bars WITH HIS FUCKING TEETH. And OK, a towel, which kind of detracts from the drama, but still. I bet all the other ’80s metal were all like, “Well, shit, we can’t compete with that. Guess we’ll just have to settle for more Spandex and Aquanet.”

Public memorial for Dave Brockie set for Aug. 15th, one day before the GWAR-B-Q

This amazing Dave Brockie photo lifted from this even more amazing

This amazing Dave Brockie photo lifted from this even more amazing Metal Sucks article

GWAR fans still shattered over the death of their hero, Oderus Urungus, now have something to look forward to: On Friday, Aug. 15th in Richmond, Virginia, a public memorial service will be held honoring Oderus and the crazy, incredible dude behind him, Dave Brockie.

The memorial happens one day before the 5th annual GWAR-B-Q, which might be a slightly more solemn affair this year. Although let’s hope not, because I’m sure Oderus would’ve wanted his minions partying till they puke in his honor. Maybe they can puke first and then cry later. That seems like the way to go here, I think.

In a video statement, the surviving and unmasked members of GWAR also announced that they’re creating the Dave Brockie Foundation, a charity that “will be a resource for artists in the fields of music, film, literature and all visual arts who cannot find funding through mainstream channels.” So basically, every single band we’ve ever blogged about should apply.

You can read more about the Dave Brockie Foundation here and get updates on the GWAR-B-Q here. So far the only band that’s been announced is…GWAR! GWAR without Oderus? Can such a thing be possible? Maybe they can get Joan Jett to be like Oderus’ long-lost sister or something. She did a pretty good job subbing in for Cobain with Nirvana, I hear.

Here’s that video statement. Mark your calendars, GWARmy!

Dwarr speaks! Duane Warr sets the record straight on his “canceled” tour.

Dwarr

Turns out we really should read the comments on this thing more often. Ten friggin’ days ago, Duane Warr himself, the mysterious garage-metal hero behind Dwarr, posted a comment and we only just saw it this weekend. Sorry, Duane! Day jobs and shit. I’m sure you can relate.

Anyway, it turns out that Dwarr’s ill-fated 2012 comeback tour, which was described all over the interweb as having been totally canceled (including by us…oops), was only partially canceled. Duane did manage to squeeze out two shows in Texas before the whole thing went sideways. He even provided the video evidence to prove it. You can read his entire comment over on this page but allow us to provide the highlights:

The tour started in Austin, and it sounds like the first show went OK, even though Duane had literally only met his touring band the day before. “We had a really rough first practice. We practiced again Saturday around lunchtime. We went on last Saturday night. It was really bad, but everybody loved it.”

The first signs of trouble surfaced in Houston: “I was told I couldn’t use the Fender amp anymore because it was old and I might blow it up.” But the show went on anyway, and even sounded pretty good, despite early signs of road fatigue: “The music was a lot tighter in Houston but my 2 guys were tired. I think they stayed up late in Austin. At the bottom of my set list they wrote ‘BEDTIME.’ Pretty Hilarious.”

Duane drove by himself to the next gig in New Orleans, and showed up right on time for load-in, only to be greeted by the cook and the bartender. “Nobody else showed up for 2 hours,” he relates.

When they did arrive, I was told I had to shorten my set. I told them I only had 5 nights and really needed to play my whole set, I was trying to get a 2 disc live package with a CD and DVD. When I was told “This is Jennifer’s Tour and if she says you get 45 minutes, you get 45 minutes” that was it for me. Adios Amigos.

Jennifer, by the way, is Jennifer Herrema, formerly of Royal Trux and now gigging under the name Black Bananas. Black Bananas was the headliner, so I guess she pulled rank.

So there you have it…the true story of Dwarr’s only partially, not totally, canceled tour. I guess the two-disc live package will have to wait, but at least there are some sweet videos from the tour up on YouTube. Here’s our favorite, for a track called “Tears You Cry.” Yeah, it’s a little rough, but we owe Duane Warr a serious apology for bagging on his musical skills in an earlier post. Clearly the man can shred. And he rides that wah peal like it’s a stolen Ferrari.

Well Worn Boot

Well Worn Boot

I know a lot of you foreign types read this blog, so let me explain something. Here in America, we have this thing every year called “March Madness” where suddenly everyone is expected to care about college basketball. It’s a tournament and the team that wins gets to bone every chick at the losing team’s school…at least I assume that’s what happens, because there’s no other explanation for why everyone gets so fucking excited about it.

Anyway, around here we had our own little version of March Madness with our latest Weird Band Poll, and the band that gets to cut down the net (look it up) is a little combo from Upstate New York called Well Worn Boot. I am excited about this because I grew up in that part of the world and these guys represent my favorite part of Upstate, which is the white trash part. They’re from Buffalo but they may as well be from Pigfuck, Arkansas. Except they’re probably a little too weird for that.

Well Worn Boot’s lead singer is a flute-playing hillbilly named The Plainsman. Their guitarist is a horse called Horse. Their bass player is a big baby called Baby Buckingham. Their drummer is a dead guy named Billy Klubb who, for reasons no one can explain, wears a tiny cow-colored top hat. They play music that has been described as “Johnny Cash meets Captain Beefheart,” and yes, it is very nearly as awesome as that sounds. Especially when The Plainsman lets rip with a flute solo. Then they’re like a cowpunk Jethro Tull.

They release comic books with their EPs, which chronicle the adventures of Well Worn Boot like they’re a bunch of drunken Upstate superheroes. The first comic/EP was called Fully Torqued and you can preview it here. The next one comes out next month and will be called Boot in Space. I assume it’ll be set in space but from what I know so far about these guys, it might just be set in Billy Klubb’s basement and guest star a nitrous tank.

Oh and they also have their own festival. It’s called the Wild Wild Fest and it’s happening this year Aug. 29-30 at the Willow Creek Winery in Silver Creek, NY. I’m usually more of a beer and bourbon guy, but I’ll drink whatever that place is pouring.

We’ll leave you with the video from “Drunk on the Highway,” which is pretty typical of the WWB catalog in that it features aliens, drinking and sex. Not necessarily in that order.

Actually, hold up. That one didn’t have enough flute in it. So here’s another one.

Links:

Ten things I’ll miss the most about Oderus Urungus

Oderus

I’m not gonna get all misty-eyed about the death of GWAR main man Dave Brockie, who for 30 years strapped on the Space Barbarian suit known to fans the world over as Oderus Urungus. I never actually met Dave, unless you count the one time in ’91 or thereabouts when I yelled “Great show!” at him after a gig and he yelled back, “Thanks, human!”

But even though I didn’t know him, I’m guessing he wouldn’t have wanted people to get all sad and weepy at his passing. He might want us to break shit, but cry? Fuck no. There are many bodily fluids I associate with GWAR, but tears are not one of them.

So instead of some pussy-ass eulogy, here’s a list of just 10 of the many things I will miss about Oderus. And probably about GWAR in general. I mean, maybe the surviving members will morph into some kind of GWAR tribute band, the way the Murder Junkies still tour with GG Allin songs, but it’s not like you can replace Oderus. In fact, this list could probably also be called “Ten Reasons GWAR Should Just Break Up Now.” I know that sounds harsh, but fuck it. It’s been a harsh day.

1. His bloody stage antics.

Especially when he dismembered Hitler. A million times more cathartic than Inglorious Basterds.

2. His interviewing skills.

Comedians should study this guy.

3. His crushing vocals on GWAR’s “Carry On Wayward Son” cover.

So much better than the original, Kansas should pay him royalties.

4. His giant Scumdog dick, aka The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu.

Yes, I know saying I miss someone’s dick is totally gay. But I don’t care. I’m gay for GWAR.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. His appearances on Fox News.

I love how the Fox commentators keep trying to be in on the joke and failing miserably.

6. His love for the children.

7. The blood. Oh, the blood.

I suppose this may continue after Oderus is gone, but it won’t be the same. (Photo swiped from this excellent article.)

gwar-fans

8. The witty stage banter.

And the disembowelment of Justin Bieber is a nice bonus, too.

9. The music.

Yeah, fine, no one ever went to a GWAR show for the music. But you know what? Some of their earlier punk/metal stuff is pretty fucking catchy.

10. The man behind the mask.

Did I say wasn’t going to get all misty-eyed? Well, fuck it, I lied.

I’m going to miss the hell out of Dave Brockie: his music, his humor, his insane stage shows, and his all-around weirdness. We basically started this blog specifically for bands like GWAR…you know, the ones that come up with something completely original and fucking commit to it. Brockie did GWAR for 30…fucking…years. Most people can’t even stay married that long.

We call the bands on here “weird” because it’s funny and it gets a reaction and because we didn’t want to crawl up our own asses and talk about “the avant-garde” or “experimentalism” or some other bunch of pretentious horseshit. Calling the bands “weird” just made the whole thing sound like more fun.

But let’s not kid ourselves. The best bands on our Weird List…maybe not all of them, but the best ones…aren’t just weird. They’re fucking extraordinary. They do shit no one else would have the creativity or perseverance or sheer balls to do. Dave Brockie embodied all of that and them some. There will never be anyone else like him.

We read a lot of great things about Dave Brockie today, written by a lot of cool people. But you have Google so we won’t bore you by reprinting them all here. We’ll just print this one, from a 2010 article about GWAR in Decibel magazine, reprinted on Deadspin. It’s from Brad Roberts aka Jizmak Da Gusha, GWAR’s drummer and it sums up Dave pretty well, we think:

I’ve known Brockie since we were little kids going to hardcore shows in the early ’80s. He was always the guy with his shirt off; he always had pit grime all over him. Nobody would drink out of pitchers of beer after he’d been drinking out of them. He would slam dance the wrong way, and everyone fucking hated him. He was chaos incarnate—that was my first impression. But I remember thinking, “He’s nuts. I gotta get in a band with that guy.”

Rest in peace, Dave. And Oderus, safe travels back to your home planet.

We’ll leave you with video of GWAR’s first-ever performance, which we discovered thanks to Boing Boing. They were so freakin’ adorable, weren’t they?

FCKN BSTRDS

Photo by Marcel Van Schooten

Photo by Marcel Van Schooten

If this blog were a game of street hockey, FCKN BSTRDS would be the fat kid from the end of the block who showed up in full pads and started checking all the other kids into the pavement, screaming the whole time, “You want a piece of me? YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME???” They’re scary weird…intimidatingly weird. I’m not sure if people get physically hurt at a FCKN BSTRDS show, but I’m positive there’s some emotion scarring.

FCKN BSTRDS are from the Netherlands and have been around since at least the late ’90s. They’ve put out a bunch of singles, cassettes and DVDs over the years, but the best way to experience the BSTRDS is through their live shows, which are as close to total anarchy as anything we’ve seen this side of Caroliner or Crash Worship. Dressed up like giant trash monsters, they generate a wall of feedback, noise and primal screams, then run around like lunatics, dry-humping objects, audience members and each other, tossing trash everywhere, and basically reducing the performance space unlucky to have them to a rainbow-colored pig sty. It looks amazing.

The leader of these self-described “misfits from the margins of the Dutch music scene” is a guy named Peter Zincken, who’s been part of the Dutch noise scene since the ’80s. His other projects include Odal and Dr. Bibber, which you should not bother Googling because most Odal results will lead you to a German pagan black metal band (not him) and the Dutch version of the game Operation (still not him). Dude doesn’t have a big digital footprint, as the NSA spies like to say.

We did manage to find this four-minute documentary about Zincken. It’s all in Dutch, but it has some great clips of his old solo Dr. Bibber performances, which are basically the MTV Unplugged version of FCKN BSTRDS. Even minus the costumes and the feedback, he’s still more abrasive than a pair of steel wool boxer shorts.

It’s kind of pointless for me to even attempt further description of a FCKN BSTRDS show, so I’ll just let you view the carnage for yourself. Warning: May contain major dick-wagging.

You might think that such insanity would not work in the harsh light of day, but you’d be wrong. It is daylight that is no match for the awesome power of the FCKN BSTRDS. Behold:

P.S. Shout-out to readers to Blaffie and Steven for suggesting these guys.

Links:

Hear a new track from Mayhem: “Psywar”

Mayhem

Here’s a factoid that’s gonna make some of you feel really fucking old: It’s been 30 years since Norwegian black metal legends Mayhem slouched out of the frozen woods of Norway and into our cold, black hearts. 30 years! And they said it wouldn’t last. Especially after the lead singer committed suicide and the guitarist got murdered. But when you basically invented the entire black metal genre, murder and suicide kinda go with the scenery.

Anyway, to celebrate 30 years of making the world a darker, more depressing place, the remnants of Mayhem are releasing their first new music this year since 2007′s Ordo ad Chao. The new album’s gonna be called Esoteric Warfare and you can hear the first single, “Psywar,” in a YouTube video below. Fortunately, it’s a lyric video, because otherwise there would be no way to figure out what the hell Attila is saying.

Heavy as fuck, am I right? My altered persona definitely just got triggered. Now pardon me while I go break stuff.

OK, I’m back to let you know that “Psywar” will be released as a single on Season of Mist on April 25th (April 29th here in America, because we suck). It’ll be on limited-edition vinyl in different colors with different artwork, all of which you can pre-order here. Looks like the red and grey vinyl are already sold out but the black is still available, because even in black metal circles, colored vinyl is still cooler than black.

Esoteric Warfare drops May 23rd (May 27th in the U.S.). It’ll feature the surviving “classic” Mayhem lineup of Necrobutcher on bass, Hellhammer on drums and Attila Csihar on vocals, with the new addition of Teloch standing in for the late, great Euronymous on guitar. Will it live up to the legend? Probably not, but who cares? As long as it means they’re bringing their severed pig heads to a theater near us soon, we’ll take it.

March Weird Band Poll: Vote for The Hermits of Suburbia, Man With a Mission, RV Carcass, Toxic Chicken or Well Worn Boot

After the week I just had, I need a weekend of less thinkin’, more drinkin’. Which means it’s time to leave the thinkin’ part of this blog to you folks out there Readerland. Yep, it’s time for another Weird Band Poll™! Ready to crush the hopes and dreams of four out of five bands? I know you are.

We’ll have our usual insanely long voting period, because procrastinators need love, too. So voting ends at midnight on Sunday, March 23rd, and the winner will be crowned Weird Band of the Week on March 26th. Play fair and only vote once, K? If you really feel the need to cheat, do it on something that matters, like your taxes or Words With Friends.

[Sorry, this poll has closed. Check back here Wednesday, when the winner will be revealed. And bookmark this page to partake of future polls. We do a new one every month(ish).]

For more on this month’s bands, read on:

The Hermits of Suburbia

Hermits of Suburbia

These guys are from Atlanta…or the suburbs of Atlanta, I guess…and call themselves a “drinking band with a ska problem.” I hope you get your ska problem sorted out soon, guys, cuz that shit’ll kill you. Here’s a song of theirs called “We Races the Car (So You Don’t Have To) or Who Says a Ska Band Can’t Funk,” and here’s their Bandcamp page. Oh, and their ukulele player is an ordained Dudeist in the Church of the Big Lebowski. Also, they’re a ska band with a fucking ukulele player! Mind = blown.

Man With a Mission

Man With a Mission

Man With a Mission is Japan’s only wolf-headed alt-metal band named after a Don Henley song. Trust us, we checked. Their backstory is all about how they were created in a lab and then frozen in Antarctica for centuries or some shit but let’s not worry too much about that part. Here’s one of their videos and here’s their official website, which for a band that dresses up like wolf janitors does not have anywhere near enough videos on it.

RV Carcass

RV Carcass

RV Carcass are named after their recording studio…literally, these guys record all their music in a broken-down RV they’ve rigged up with all sorts of high-tear electronics and converted to run on corn whiskey. You had us at “runs on corn whiskey,” buds. They’re based in San Francisco now but they “escaped” from Morocco, although I’m not really sure what they were escaping from. Judging from this video, I bet drugs were involved. Here’s their website.

Toxic Chicken

Toxic Chicken

We don’t really know much about this dude, except that he’s a Dutch guy living in Bangkok. He makes lo-bit bedroom electronic music which this guy Graham puts out on Wrieuw Recordings. Apparently one of his records came out on a floppy disk wrapped in a diaper, so he’s got that going for him. Here’s his My Cat EP on Bandcamp and here’s a video for the song “biscuits with jesus,” which for some reason co-stars Hitler.

Well Worn Boot

Well Worn Boot

Well Worn Boot are from Buffalo (Upstate NY represent!) and are led by a singer/flute-blower called The Plainsman, so they’re sort of an American white-trash version of Jethro Tull. Their press kit calls them “American folklore inspired” but I’m pretty sure that’s the same thing as “American white-trash inspired.” I bet they and the Hermits of Suburbia could have an epic drinking contest. Speaking of drinking, here’s a live video of them doing a song called “Drunk on the Highway.” And here’s their website.

So there you have it. Remember to cast your vote before midnight Sunday, March 23rd, and may the weirdest band win.

Hey, remember that parrot who sang lead vocals for the death metal band Hatebeak? Now he’s a fucking music critic.

For Those About to Squawk

Listen, magazines. I know times are tough and no one subscribes to you anymore and all. But do you really need to start replacing your writers with fucking birds? It’s not like us freelance writers cost all that much to begin with. And most of us don’t shit all over your product on a regular basis. Most of us.

Anyway, it’s true: Whether to cut costs, as a desperate bid for attention, or because somebody lost a bet, Waldo the Grey African Parrot from Hatebeak is a music critic for Decibel magazine with a bi-weekly column called “For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week.” Actually, he’s been one of their critics since 2010, so we’re a little late in breaking this story. No wonder we’re being phased out by birds.

In case you’re not familiar with Waldo’s other gig: Hatebeak was a joke death metal formed back in 2004 with Waldo doing lead vocals. We’ve embedded their 2007 masterpiece “The Thing That Should Not Beak” below for your listening pleasure. I gotta give it to him: He’s a talented bird, that Waldo. He even writes pretty good. “This record has the teeth of an infant, and is about as warm as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s corpse,” is how he describes one particularly shitty album. Metaphorical and offensive…nice one, Waldo!

Hatebeak has been out of circulation for a pretty long time…so long that their main web presence is still their MySpace page. Between Waldo’s busy writing schedule and the success of Hatebeak drummer Blake Harrison’s other band, Pig Destroyer, I guess they just haven’t had a chance to get back in the studio. But in a 2012 radio interview, Harrison hinted at a full-length Hatebeak album dropping sometime “before I die,” so hopefully we haven’t heard Waldo’s last death squawk.

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