April Weird Band Poll: Vote for The Chewers, Clockwork Orchestra, Clowns and Fetuses, Scab Queen or Tupper Ware Remix Party
It’s that time of the month again, Weirdlings: the time when we stop doing our jobs and saddle you with the onerous task of choosing our next Weird Band of the Week. Don’t take this responsibility lightly, OK? Many a band has gained a whole new fan or three after winning one of these here poll puppies. So it’s kind of a big deal.
[Sorry, folks, the poll has now closed. Check back here Wednesday, when the winner will be revealed.]
Wanna know more about this month’s bands? Read on:
The Chewers are self-described “freaks from the woods of West Virginia making deliberately off-kilter music.” Here’s a link to their Soundcloud page; we recommend starting with “Funnel Head” or “Techno-Slaves.”
Clockwork Orchestra is the solo project of Dublin-based songwriter/producer/”control freak extraordinaire” Paul Mangan. “Some people seem to think it’s quite weird,” he says of his music, which he describes as a “bewildering menagerie of sound.” Here’s his Soundcloud. Recommended starting point: “Talking to the Flowers.”
Clowns and Fetuses
Drummer/singer/artist/Theremin-player Rich Polysorbate 60 posted this clip from his band Clowns and Fetuses on our Submit a Band page awhile back, and we’ve been disturbed by it ever since. They’re from right here in Southern California, from a crappy industrial town on the outskirts of downtown L.A. called Vernon, but further details regarding their history or current activities remains a bit sketchy. Rich describes their live shows like this: “One show will be contact mics on power tools; the next show, Casios and lap steel guitar.” Here’s a video from one of their recent shows/installations.
Scab Queen is Michael Lauden, a producer/noise artist from Athens, Georgia. His debut EP, Tiny Coffins, was recorded in “a server room, laundromat, punk-house combo” and is available on Bandcamp. Here’s a clip of his solo live show, which seems to consist mainly of live drums and improvised, laptop-generated noise.
Tupper Ware Remix Party
Tupper Ware Remix Party hail from Toronto, the same city that gave us last month’s Weird Band Poll winners, Barbara. Here’s how they describe themselves: “Daft Punk, Iron Maiden, Justice and Parliament all smashed into five spandex-clad, keytar wielding, pylon wearing, pelvic thrusting, wildly out of control individuals claiming to be from outerspace, except with way more lazers, confetti, projection screens, and sci-fi references.” Here’s their official website and here’s a link to their EP, The Device, available via Bandcamp.
So there you have it. We’ll close voting at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 21st, so help us get the word out…and may the weirdest band win!
Holy swampballs: Quintron and Miss Pussycat are gonna play the fucking Kennedy Center. Plus a few other places.
If you’re like me, you probably get sucked every year around Christmas into watching the Kennedy Center Honors, because your aging parents have pumped you so full of leftover turkey and Pinot Grigio that you can’t get off the couch and so you’re stuck watching that boring-ass parade of old actors and ballerinas and cellists and ohmygodisthatLedfuckingZeppelin? OK, so the Kennedy Center Honors aren’t all bad. Especially when you’re on your third bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Hosting the Zep was pretty cool…even though they got that talentless douchebag Kid Rock to massacre “Ramble On”…but the Kennedy Center is about to get even cooler. Because on April 13th, they will play host to none other than Quintron & Miss Pussycat. Yes, the New Orleans ambassadors of down ‘n’ dirty “swamp tech” are on the bill for something called the New Orleans Bingo! Show, which also features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a jazz cellist, and this guy. Your tax dollars at work, people!
We ran most of these Q & Miss P tour dates back in January, but we’ll run them again here because there have been a few updates…also because they made this awesome “tour commercial” video and we need an excuse to post it. Full dates after the clip.
Here are the dates. Oh and I should’ve mentioned: “The Mystery in Old Bathbath” is a new Miss Pussycat puppet movie. So bring your popcorn.
4-8 – Jacksonville, FL @ Sun Ray Cinema – live show and screening of THE MYSTERY IN OLD BATHBATH
4-9 – TALLAHASSEE, FL @ Downunder Club
4-10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
4-12 – Purchase, NY @ SUNNY Purchase Culture Shock festival
4-13 – Washington DC @ Kennedy Center (Yes the real Kennedy Center) – more info TBA
4-17 – NEW HAVEN, CT @ Cafe 9
4-18 – NY, NY @ Anthology Film Archive – NYC premier of THE MYSTERY IN OLD BATHBATH – Q and A to follow film
4-20 (dude) – BROOKLYN, NY @ Secret Project Robot with K-Holes, Black Dice – Spring Fever / smoke lots of weed festival
4-21 – Richmond, VA @ STrange Matter with Bermuda Triangles
4-25 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s downstairs
4-26 Dallas, TX @ Doublewide with Darktown Strutters!
4-27 Austin, TX @ Psych Fest – Q and P, King Kahn and Bar-B-Que, Acid Mothers Temple, more trippy bands than ever
4-28 Waxahachie, TX @ Webb Gallery
Good news from the Land of Skronk: jazz/noise quartet Little Women is releasing their first album of new material in three years this Tuesday, April 9th. It’s called Lung, which makes sense given that their previous album was called Throat and the one before that was Teeth. We can only assume they’re gearing up to release Bowel in 2016.
Lung features a single, 42-minute composition recorded by the band—saxophonists Travis Laplante and Darius Jones, guitarist Andrew Smiley and drummer Jason Nazary—in a single take. We’ll let them describe the rest:
The main themes/forms of Lung all have the shape of a downfall of something beautiful. We were working with a Shakespearian form from its conception. The main themes that developed organically throughout the process of creating Lung are: the life and death of humans, the inhale and the exhale, the death of earth (both seasonally and ultimately). These themes exist and are encompassed on both the microcosmic and macrocosmic level, meaning they exist simultaneously inside every sound, every phrase, every section, and the entire piece.
Got all that? Roughly translated, based on the sound clips we just listened to on their label’s website, this seems to mean something like: We’re going to use our saxophones to rip your face off and show it to you before you die.
Lung will be available via Little Women’s label, AUM Fidelity, on CD and as an MP3 download. They’re not releasing it on vinyl because, according to the AUM website, “this composition was created to be listened to in its entirety, and LPs require an interruption.” So there.
If you happen to live in the band’s hometown, New York City, you can let Little Women rip your face off in person at the 92YTribeca on April 20th. Tickets and more information here.
Even though it features an alien with a giant eyeball for a head, a baby with a man’s face, and lots of blood-soaked naked people huddled around mutilated corpses, the most perverse thing about the new Flaming Lips video might be that it’s for a song that isn’t even on their latest album, The Terror, which comes out this month. Instead, it’s a fan favorite from last year’s collaborative album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, featuring folkie falsetto hero Bon Iver on vocals. Has no one explained promotion to these people? (I’m kidding, of course: head Lip Wayne Coyne might be the shrewdest self-promoter of any artist we’ve ever covered.)
In another perverse move, the Lips’ label, Warner Bros., has decided to release The Terror in the U.K. on April 1st but delay its Stateside arrival until April 16th. Why, Warner Bros., why? It’s like you’re daring us to illegally download it. (I’m kidding, of course: We here at TWBITW do not condone online piracy or illegal sharing of copyrighted material in any form. Stay in school, kids!)
Anyway, here’s “Ashes in the Air” in all its bizarro glory. I’ll resist the urge to give away the surprise ending, but I will say this: If you’re easily grossed out, you should totally post a video of yourself watching it.
Despite our crusty, cynical exteriors, we’re really softies here at Weird Band HQ. So when a band loses one of our world-famous Weird Band Polls™ by just a few votes, it breaks our hearts. But not for very long, because we can just go ahead and add them to the Weird List anyway. You didn’t think that poll shit was binding, did you? This ain’t fuckin’ American Idol and I’m way better looking than that douchebag Ryan Seacrest.
So congratulations, H-Beam! You may have come in second to Barbara, but second place with over 500 freakin’ votes is still good enough in our book.
H-Beam are from Nashville, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they are not gunning for a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. They’re more Dr. Demento than Grand Ole Opry. The brains of the operation seems to be a singer/guitarist/banana aficionado named (duh) Banana Matt. When he’s reeling off guitar-god psych-rock solos, they kinda just sound like another Bonnaroo side stage jam band. But Matt likes to write songs about talking hot dogs and masturbating pandas, and he’s surrounded himself quite the band of misfits: a magician/saxophonist, a dude who gives rides on his giant moustache, a lawyer pig named Bert DerHam, and a manager/hype-man named Mitch Huffman who wears a thrift-store pimp hat and says “Who touched all my shit?” a lot for no apparent reason. Even the masturbating panda shows up occasionally.
Banana Matt and company just released their third album this week: Episode 1: Shorn to Secrecy, a follow-up to the excellently titled Useful Box of Hair. It’s full of wacky skits and Zappa-like jams and it will make you smile. You can download the whole thing name-your-own-price-styley from Noisetrade. There’s an entire song about bacon, so you know that shit’s worth at least a fiver.
Now I will admit: 500 votes aside, half the reason H-Beam is scoring Weird Band of the Week honors is because they got Bert DerHam to make this awesome video giving us a shoutout. But the other half…maybe even the other two-thirds…is the video for “Love Panda.” Enjoy.
Fuckin’ Pitchfork, man. First they scooped us like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with Matmos, now they’re the first kids on the block to stream the new Wolf Eyes album. Hey, Pitchfork guys: Weird bands are our thing! Isn’t there a new Fleet Foxes song you can go jizz yourselves over or something?
But hey, whatever, it’s cool. At least someone is giving us all a chance to purge our brains of all that Easter family time with some good, creepy, lo-fi Michigan basement avant-noise rawk. Compared to listening to my Aunt Phyllis complain about gay marriage, hearing Wolf Eyes’ dentist-drill racket is like a chorus of Marshmallow Peeps gently singing me to sleep.
Anyway, the new album is called No Answer: Lower Floors and you can stream the whole thing here. It comes out April 9th on De Stijl Records and I think it’s the first album since 2004′s Burned Mind to feature sorta-founding member Aaron Dilloway. But I don’t have the attention span to keep track of their whole catalog, so don’t quote me on that.
You want a track list? Boom. You got a track list. We may not stream whole albums yet, but we’re still goddamn informative.
1. Choking Files
2. Born Liar
3. No Answer
4. Chattering Lead
5. Confessions of the Informer
6. Warning Sign
“Confessions of the Informer” is the best of the bunch, despite being 12 fucking minutes long. You listening, Army of Gay Unicorns?
Let me just begin this post by saying: You people are awesome. And by “you people,” I mean not only our regular readers but fans of all the bands in our most recent Weird Band Poll. The response to this latest poll was unprecedented and finally led to a little band from Toronto called Barbara being crowned the winner, narrowly edging out the equally weird H-Beam from Nashville. So congrats, Barbara! And to H-Beam and all their fans: Don’t you worry. We’ve got a consolation prize in store for you guys. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but we can tell you it’ s not a pony.
So who are these Barbara guys, you ask? They’re a brother duo named Tyler and Raynor Semrick-Palmateer and their music could perhaps best be described as pop music for schizophrenics. There are lots of distorted, layered yet occasionally soulful vocals, head-nodding beats and melodies that might have once been downright catchy before they got stretched like Silly Putty. It’s sort of The Residents meets “Bohemian Rhapsody” meets five episodes of Intervention all playing at the same time. They also appear to be partial to creepy-looking masks, which adds to the air of
Barbara haven’t released a ton of music yet; their one and only EP, Stuck to the Ground, is just three songs plus a handful of kooky little interstitial tracks in which a lady friend of theirs (Barbara herself, perhaps?) asks pertinent questions on behalf of the audience, like “Does anyone know who these people are?” and “Do you have any more songs?” The answer to that last one: Yes, actually. They have a non-EP dance mix of a song called “Fidelio” that, Tyler tell us, is comprised entirely of quotes from Eyes Wide Shut. And they perform a dance-off to it at the end of their sets. Here, watch.
Is it just me, or is the most unsettling thing about that whole performance the fact that one of them is carrying a briefcase?
Quick, what do Primus and The Hobbit have in common? If you answered, “they can both test audiences’ patience”…well, technically, you’re right, but that’s not the answer we were going for. No, they’re both in 3D, dude! Apparently last fall’s “Primus in 3D” tour was so successful, they’re bringing it back. Turns out Primus fans really love watching hallucinatory visuals that seem to distort space and time itself. Who’da thunk?
Anyway, here’s where Primus will be laying down the 3D jams this year. Except in places marked by an asterisk. You’ll have to settle for the low-tech, 2D version.
5/9 – Bottle Rock Festival – Napa, CA *
5/10 – Eureka Municipal Auditorium – Eureka, CA
5/12 – Revolution Center – Boise, ID
5/13 – Wilma Theater – Missoula, MT
5/14 – Shrine Auditorium – Billings, MT
5/16 – City Auditorium – Colorado Springs, CO
5/17 – Santa Fe Community Convention – Santa Fe, NM
5/18 – Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
5/19 – Fox Theater – Pomona, CA
5/21 – Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
5/22 – Fox Theater – Bakersfield, CA
5/24 – Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR
5/25 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – Portland, OR
5/26 – Sasquatch Music Festival – Quincy, WA
5/28 – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – Edmonton, AB
5/29 – McEwan Hall – Calgary, AB
5/31 – Burton Cummings Theatre – Winnipeg, MB
6/1 – Myth – Maplewood, MN
6/2 – Riviera Theater – Chicago, IL
6/6 – Mountain Jam Festival – Hunter, NY *
6/7-8 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
6/9 – Niagara River Rocks – North Tonawanda, NY *
* – Not 3D show
In other Primus news: Remember that $5,000 video contest we told you about? Well, either you all suck and no one won, or the band is really taking their sweet time picking a winner. The contest supposedly ended Dec. 15 but as far as we can tell, there have been zero updates since. Could no one contain the awesomeness of “HOINFODAMAN” in a single, low-budget video? Where are Your Fuzzy Friends when you need them?