Blog Archives

Weird of the Day: Nudist Priest

Nudist Priest

Photo by Toni Wells

We really need to get out more. Apparently one of the most awesome cover bands of all time was based right here in Los Angeles up until 2007 and we missed them. I’m talking about Nudist fucking Priest.

So OK, this is one of your basic one-joke cover bands, but you gotta admit, it’s a pretty balls-out joke. Literally.

Here’s video from their farewell show. All I can say is, I really hope the drummer brought his own stool.

I’m not ashamed to admit that credit for introducing us to this band must go to the Comedy Central show @Midnight, which did a whole segment on weird cover bands a few nights back. They even included our pint-sized pals in The Mini Band, who we kinda hope never see this post. At least whoever shot that video of Nudist Priest’s farewell show was thoughtful enough to scramble the naughty bits.

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Weird of the Day: Anton Maiden, “Can I Play With Madness”

Anton Maiden

Gnome-hating Finns and Weird Band Poll runners-up Tonttu wrote to us this morning and shared a link to an amazing, computerized cover of Iron Maiden’s “Can I Play With Madness,” created back in 1999 by a Swedish teenager named Anton Gustafsson, who called himself Anton Maiden.

Sadly, for Anton, the answer to the question “Can I Play With Madness” was apparently “Yes”: He committed suicide at the age of 23. But he left behind a huge and awesome collection of MIDI/chiptune Iron Maiden covers that continue to piss off purists and inspire nerdy headbangers to this day. If programmed synths can shred, then Anton Maiden’s are the shredmasters against which all others must be judged.

You can check out more of Anton’s stuff on his website (which is in Swedish, but you’ll figure it out).

Hide your daughters: Metalachi is going on tour

Metalachi

Actually, by the time you read this, Metalachi have probably already impregnated your daughters. Consensually, of course. Emphasis on “sensual.” Yeah, they’re that good.

Yep, L.A.’s favorite mariachi metal band is hitting the road this December, and if you live in Sacramento, Boise or Spokane, you are about to have your minds blown by how great the lead of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” sounds on a violin. You folks in Seattle and Portland, it probably takes a bit more to blow your minds, but you’ll still dig them, anyway.

Also next month, Metalachi continue their Monday night residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is Las freakin’ Vegas. They’re even playing the night before New Year’s Eve…or “New Year’s Eve pre-game,” as it’s known to us professional alcoholics. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Metalachi tour dates:

Nov 25 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas NV
Dec 5 The Catalyst Club Santa Cruz CA
Dec 6 The Blank Club San Jose CA
Dec 7 The Uptown Nightclub Oakland CA
Dec 8 Assembly Sacramento CA
Dec 9 Vinyl Las Vegas NV
Dec 9 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas CA
Dec 11 Neurolux Boise ID
Dec 12 Knitting Factory Spokane WA
Dec 13 El Corazon Seattle WA
Dec 14 Doug Fir Lounge Portland OR
Dec 16 Knitting Factory Reno NV
Dec 17 The Brewhouse Modesto CA
Dec 18  SLO Brewing Company San Luis Obispo CA
Dec 19 Strummer’s Fresno CA
Dec 20 McNears’s Mystic Theatre Petaluma CA
Dec 30 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas NV

Listen to Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang shred the shit out of “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver”

Duo de Twang

Even if you’re not a fan of the mumble-mouthed funk-rock Les Claypool turns out with Primus, you gotta admit the man has chops. Few humans have ever slapped a bass guitar with more frenetic precision. So what happens when you take away Claypool’s electric bass guitar and replace it with an acoustic resonator bass guitar? Well, basically you get an acoustic version of Primus—but hey, if you are a fan, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Claypool’s latest project is the self-explanatorily named Duo de Twang—there’s two of them, and they are indeed twangy. The other half of the Duo is Bryan Kehoe, whom Primus fans may recognize as the guitarist from Claypool’s 2008 mockumentary Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, bass and some stomped percussion, Kehoe and Claypool manage to whip up a pretty good racket, as evidenced by this stripped-down version of “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.” (If you can’t see the SoundCloud player below, click here.)

Duo de Twang’s debut album, Four Foot Shack, is due out Feb. 4th, 2014 on ATO Records. It’ll be a mix of traditional bluegrass tunes, some Primus and Claypool covers and…wait, “Stayin’ Alive”? Seriously? Looks like the ball’s in your court, Tragedy. Peep the full tracklist after this little video trailer.

“Four Foot Shack” (Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang)
“Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” (Primus)
“Amos Moses” (Jerry Reed)
“Red State Girl” (Les Claypool)
“The Bridge Came Tumblin’ Down” (Stompin’ Tom Connors)
“Boonville Stomp” (Les Claypool)
“Stayin’ Alive” (Bee Gees)
“Rumble of the Diesel” (Les Claypool)
“Pipe Line” (The Chantays)
“Buzzards of Greenhill” (Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade)
“Hendershot” (Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade)
“Man in the Box” (Alice in Chains)
“D’s Diner” (Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade)
“Battle of New Orleans” (Johnny Horton)
“Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” (Primus)

Beatallica are back with more Beatles/Metallica mashups on “Abbey Load”

beatallica2013

Way, way back, when we were just an adorable little rugrat of a blog, we wrote about this crazy cover band from Milwaukee called Beatallica, who combine Beatles and Metallica songs into epic hesher anthems like “All You Need Is Blood” and “The Thing That Should Not Let It Be.” At the time, they had just released their second album, Masterful Mystery Tour, and seemed destined to become the Greatest Cover Band of All Time. Metallica + Beatles? What’s not to love?

Well, four years have passed and, sadly, Beatallica have not replaced this horseshit on the international cover band circuit. And Justice For All, my ass.

However, Beatallica are back with a brand-new album, the awesomely titled Abbey Load. Unlike previous Beatallica albums, which mashed up Beatles and Metallica tunes into original(ish) headbangers, Abbey Load is comprised entirely of Beatles covers done in the style of Metallica, including “Come Together,” “Help!” and the entire side two Abbey Road medley. They do manage to sneak a few Hetfield and co. riffs in there, but compared to previous Beatallica outings, they play this one fairly straight.

If you have a Spotify account, you can stream the whole album below. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you’re shit out of luck. Or you can just go to Amazon and buy the damn thing. Trust us, “Polythene Pam” totally works as a punk/metal rave-up.

Metalachi is messin’ with Texas

Metalachi-Texasletter

I like to make fun of Texas as the land of Dubya and belt buckles the size of license plates, and I don’t intend to give those things up anytime soon. But it’s also the land of Christeene and these guys, so I guess they aren’t all bad.

More proof that Texas isn’t just for gun nuts and cousin-marriers: they seem to have a big ol’ ten-gallon hard-on for Metalachi, the awesome metal mariachi cover band whose praises we have been singing between long swigs of Tecate for some time now. And now Metalachi is gearing up to return the love with a nine-show swing through the Lone Star State. Hide your cheerleaders, Cowboys.

Here are the full dates. By the way, I had no idea you folks out in Lubbock had named a bar in my honor. I hope y’all have plenty of Shiner Bock on hand at all times, cuz you never know when I might drop by for a visit.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 3 – Antone’s, Austin TX
THURSDAY APRIL 4 – Backstage LIVE, San Antonio TX
FRIDAY APRIL 5 – Scoutbar, Houston TX
SATURDAY APRIL 6 – Brewster Street Icehouse, Corpus Christi TX
SUNDAY APRIL 7 – Trees, Dallas TX
WEDNESDAY APRIL 10 – Tricky Falls, El Paso TX
FRIDAY APRIL 12 – Jake’s Backroom, Lubbock TX
SATURDAY APRIL 13 – Clicks, Tyler TX
SUNDAY APRIL 14 – The Lucky Mule, Abilene TX

For those of y’all back here in L.A.: Metalachi will be hosting the third annual Drinko de Mayo party at the Roxy on Friday, May 3rd. Stay tuned for more details on that mess.

Let’s play this out with “Sweet Chayo o’ Mine,” as filmed by yours truly with an iPhone in one hand and a margarita in the other. Watch close and you can spot the moment when I switched hands cuz my arm got tired.

Weird Live Review: Metalachi

Metalachi

Ever since we first heard about them two years ago, we’ve been meaning to get our asses to a Metalachi concert. Not like we haven’t had plenty of chances; they’re a local band and they play L.A. all the fucking time. But somehow, we just never quite made it happen.

Well last night, we finally got our Metalachi cherry popped at El Cid, a combination nightclub/Mexican restaurant that, if they had any sense at all, would make these guys their house band. Because sweet Jesus (pronounced “Hey-Seuss”) does Metalachi put on a show, even to a half-empty room on a Wednesday night. By the time they finished up with an encore of “Ace of Spades,” I did not see one person who wasn’t horns-up and yelling along.

Metalachi3

Even if this is the first you’ve ever heard of Metalachi, you can probably guess from the name what they’re about: They’re a mariachi band that plays hard rock and metal covers. No electric guitars, no drums (except one time when Dave Lombardo of Slayer sat in with them), just violin, trumpet, acoustic guitars and vocals.

You might think “Ace of Spades” with no drums and no Marshall stacks would sound pretty weak, but most of Metalachi’s set works surprisingly well because a.) these are great fucking songs and b.) behind the gimmick and corny stage banter (“Come closer! We won’t bite unless you’re a fucking taco!”), these guys are actually kick-ass musicians. The violinist, in particular, one Maximilian “Dirty” Sanchez, can fucking wail.

Metalachi5

And yeah, the whole metal-mariachi-band gimmick is pretty great, too. Especially as embodied by the trumpet player, El Cucy, who looks like a refugee from GWARdalajara. Get it? Cuz he’s in a mariachi band and…oh fuck it. Just look at the pictures, for fuck’s sake.

Metalachi2

Also: Yes, those are demon skull shinguards. Available at fine metal accessory shops everywhere.

Metalachi4

Besides “Ace of Spades,” Metalachi also gave the Tijuana treatment to “Rainbow in the Dark,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Black Dog,” “Here I Go Again,” “Bark at the Moon,” “Master of Puppets” and “Enter Sandman,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and, of course, the Greatest Hard Rock Song of All Time. Which is the subject of our first-ever Weird Band YouTube Video. Apologies for the shaky camera-work, we’re still new at this shit.

So thanks for an excellent night out, Metalachi! We just have one humble suggestion: Add some Van Halen to your set. “Panama,” maybe? “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”? You’re the experts, we’re sure you can find something in the Roth-era catalog that lends itself to a little mariachi magic.

Metallagher

metallagher-crop

Some of the bands we blog about require a lot of explanation. We have to give you their whole history, explain how they pioneered some obscure subgenre no one’s ever heard of, tell you that all their instruments are woven from human hair or that they write all their lyrics by putting refrigerator magnet poetry on a Ouija Board or some shit. Some of the bands we blog about are fucking complicated.

And then there’s Metallagher.

Metallagher is a Metallica cover band in which the lead singer is a Gallagher impersonator. Between songs he tells bad jokes and during songs he sings and smashes watermelons. And that’s pretty much all you need to know.

If you really need more backstory, read this interview. You will not be at all surprised to learn that they thought of the name first and the band came later. Or that they’re from Minneapolis. Because really, what else is there to do in Minneapolis except get drunk and think up band names like Metallagher?

Like most cover bands, Metallagher are reportedly best appreciated live. Our friends Jay and Adam were the first ones to tell us about them, and they said the live show was a fruit-splattering spectacle worthy of GWAR. Except instead of going home covered in fake blood and alien jizz, fans go home covered in actual watermelon juice.

They really need more videos that skip that bad-joke-telling part of their act and get right to the fruit-smashing part. But this “promo video” gives a decent idea of what they’re about. Hope they come back to L.A. soon. Maybe for a double bill with Metalachi?

Links:

New Laibach covers compilation coming this November

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If you still haven’t submitted yourself to the awesome power of the totalitarian pop/industrial band Laibach, this might finally be your chance. Laibach’s U.K. label, Mute Records, is releasing a compilation of some of Laibach’s most distinctive cover songs, in a collection called An Introduction To… Laibach/Reproduction Prohibited. It’s available now in Europe and the U.K. and arrives here Nov. 6th.

Laibach have become justly famous for their many covers, which are by turns haunting and hilarious, thanks to their Wagnerian arrangements and frontman Milan Fras’s sepulchral growl of a voice. An Introduction to… omits many of Laibach’s most notorious covers, like “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in favor of more mind-blowing oddities like “Bruderschaft,” an original Laibach tune done in the style of Kraftwerk, and “Geburt Einer Nation,” their nationalist spin on Queen’s “One Vision.” Also included: Laibachanized versions of two Beatles songs, Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man,” and their definitive, epic version of Europe’s “Final Countdown,” which they transform into the mock-operatic techno jam it was always meant to be.

You can watch the trailer for An Introduction to… here, but we’ll leave you with this video to “Final Countdown,” which invites you to become a citizen of NSK, Laibach’s art collective/micronation and self-proclaimed “first global state of the universe.” You used to be able to get an NSK passport online, but they had to stop issuing them because some scam artists in Nigeria were selling them to unsuspecting African nationals looking for ways to emigrate to Europe. And no, even though NSK passports do look convincingly like official travel documents, you can’t actually use them to cross international borders. The awesome power of Laibach is not quite that awesome.

Pink Project

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This week’s band comes to us from a reader named Alex Thermostellar Duddy (Thermduddy, to his bros) and from the dark, twisted heart of the early ’80s. Back then, much of Italy was getting its hairy-chested groove on to the synth-heavy sounds of Italo-disco, a whole weird genre unto itself that might have been the missing link between Kraftwerk and Detroit techno. Or it might just have been what happens when a bunch of Italian dudes with cheap synthesizers and a Giorgio Moroder jones try to make dance music after an all-night cocaine and Chianti bender. And I know it doesn’t sound like I mean that as a compliment, but I do. Italo-disco rules. It just rules in a trashy, gold-chain, uniquely Italian way.

One of the Italo-disco scene’s less heralded producers, a guy named Stefano Pulga, originally conceived Pink Project as a one-off—a slightly tongue-in-cheek disco rework of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” and Alan Parsons Project’s “Mammagamma.” It was a mashup decades before that term even existed—except that, given the more primitive quality of samplers back in the day (and the looser laws governing cover songs, as opposed to wholesale sampling), it was easier for Pulga to just get together with some of his Italo-disco buddies and a hired children’s choir and record the whole thing themselves. Released under the title “Disco Project,” it was probably never meant to be more than a curiosity piece, while Pulga turned his attention back to his solo stuff and his other, semi-successful group, Kano, who were churning out fairly awful Italo-disco hits like this.

But then something unexpected happened: “Disco Project,” at least in Italy, became a hit. The track’s popularity in 1982 reached such heights that Pink Project began getting invitations to appear on American Bandstand-style Italian TV shows—which was sort of a problem, because as a band, Pink Project didn’t really exist. Pulga solved this rather ingeniously by hiring some performers (one of whom may or may not have been Pulga himself) to show up disguised in black hooded monk’s robes and mime playing the song. Combined in this clip with a fresh-faced children’s choir, the effect is both disturbing and totally ridiculous.

Flush with the success of  “Disco Project,” Pulga decided to put out a sequel of sorts: another mashup, this time of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and The Greg Kihn Band’s “Jeopardy,” released under the title “B-Project.” As far as we’ve been able to find out, it was never a hit, but it’s even more fantastic than the Floyd/Parsons medley. And when Pink Project got invited to appear on another TV show, Pulga one-upped himself by…well, just watch and you’ll see.

Pink Project’s recorded output also consisted several other mashups, including a Police/Vangelis hybrid we quite like, a collision of Trio’s “Da Da Da” and Falco’s “Der Kommissar” called (obviously) “Der Da Da Da,” and a “Rockit”/”Superstition” mash that, sadly, is nowhere as awesome as that combo sounds. They also released a few original tracks, although the less said about them, the better.

All of Pink Project’s singles and their two albums, Domino and Split, are out of print, and there’s not much more info about the project on the web, at least in English. Even Stefano Pulga’s official website only mentions the group in passing (and in Italian, so we’re not sure what he says about it, except that it was “un prodotto nuovo”). But all of their stuff is widely available on YouTube and collector’s websites like Discogs, as well as a few of those naughty Torrent sites, if that’s your thing.

So what do you think? Italo-disco ’80s mashups—superior to hipster ’00s mashups? We say yes. Especially when delivered by guys dressed up like a low-budget cross between Xanadu and Lord of the Rings.

Links:

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