Let’s face it: Most love songs suck. If you’re like me, you can’t fire up the Whitney Houston come Valentine’s Day for fear of your lady love punching you in the face (and rightly so, I might add). So what’s a misfit in love to do? Don’t worry, TWBITW is here to help.
These 19 unconventional love songs will help you get your freak on with that special someone—of, if you don’t have a special someone, they’ll make you feel great about being single. Yes, they can do both. They’re just that fucking good.
So fire up your Spotify player, or use the nifty embedded player below, and let’s start the seduction.
Some notes on your listening experience:
1. Leslie Hall, “Power Cuddle.” Our current Weirdo of the Week starts us off with a little heavy petting. Spoiler alert: “Take me to Miami, we can hold handies” is the best lyric in this entire playlist. It’s all downhill from here.
2. Dirty Sanchez, “Give Head & Be Beautiful.” Now that we’ve got the cuddling out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
3. Gonken, “Robot Lovin’.” OK, slow jam time. This one goes out to everyone whose significant other is one screw short.
4. Goldie Lookin’ Chain, “You Knows I Loves You.” Wales’ greatest (only?) hip-hop crew puts on the moves. Eat your heart out, R. Kelly.
5. Die Antwoord, “U Make a Ninja Wanna Fuck.” Believe it or not, this is actually the South African rap-ravers’ romantic side. They even quote Tiffany!
6. Here Come the Mummies, “Bed, Bath & Behind.” In which a bunch of funky mummies do the nasty all over your nice furniture. Don’t think about the cleaning bills, just go with it.
7. Baby Seal Club, “Silly Human Sentiment.” If you’re incapable of expressing love without feeling like an idiot, this is the song for you. Also, you might need therapy. Just sayin’.
8. DEVO, “The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprise.” We’re not really sure what’s wrong with Mark Mothersbaugh’s baby, but it doesn’t sound good. But his devotion sounds undying, which makes this about as close to a pure boy/girl love song as DEVO’s ever likely to write.
9. Barnes and Barnes, “Girl of My Dreams.” The “worried young man” of this song might a stalker, but at least he’s a romantic stalker.
10. The Emotron, “Love Song.” Boy meets cigarettes. Boy loses cigarettes. Boy loses his shit. It’s a love story for the ages.
11. Sparks, “Perfume.” If your girlfriend asks why you didn’t get her any perfume for Valentine’s Day, just play her this song instead. Unless you don’t want to spend your life with her. Then things might get awkward.
12. Nous Non Plus, “Acte Manqué/Freudian Slip.” We have no idea what this song is about, but a boy and a girl singing to each other in French always sounds romantic.
13. The Wet Spots, “Labia Limbo.” We got away from songs about sex for awhile there, didn’t we? Unless that French song is all about fucking like bunnies. Anyway, Canada’s favorite kinky lounge act leaves no doubt what we’re talking about.
14. GWAR, “Sexecutioner.” You know what else this playlist needs? Some whip-crack and barnyard animal sound effects. Also, some metal. And genital wart and golden shower references in a ridiculously bad fake European accent. Now we’re ready for sexytime.
15. Anti-Nowhere League, “Woman.” Our old pal Army of Gay Unicorns recommended this track to us, and it is indeed the most romantic hardcore ’80s punk song we’ve ever heard, not to mention a harrowingly accurate depiction of marriage. (Love you, honey!) Also, the lead singer impersonates Animal from the Muppets, which is always a bonus.
16. The Residents, “Perfect Love.” Wise words from the patron saints of Weirdest Band in the World. Remember this song when you’re home alone crying this Thursday.
17. The Tiger Lillies, “My Funny Valentine.” When performed by our favorite Goth-punk cabaret trio with a full orchestra, the inherent twistedness of this old show tune really comes through. Did he really just call his lady love “unphotographable”? That’s some cold shit right there, Rodgers & Hart.
18. Klaus Nomi, “Valentine’s Day.” Shout-out to reader Adela for reminding us about this thematically appropriate (albeit indecipherable) song from the late, great synth-pop counter-tenor’s unfinished masterpiece, Za Bakdaz.
19. Ween, “Sweetheart.” After you’ve finished ravishing your lover and/or lotion collection with the sensual sounds of this playlist, you’ll probably want to lie back in post-coital bliss and crank some smooth, sweet yacht-rock, courtesy of the only band we’ve ever blogged about that’s done anything even remotely resembling a Boz Scaggs record. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!
So you know that new Die Antwoord video we told you about a couple weeks back? Well, it’s out, and it’s even more batshit crazy than usual. Among other things, “Fatty Boom Boom” features a Lady Gaga impersonator giving birth to a cockroach and the disturbing spectacle of little blonde Yo-landi Vi$$er prancing around in head-to-toe black body paint. Lady Gaga is not amused, and neither are the good folks over at Slate, The Guardian and TheGrio.com, who are calling Yo-landi’s paint job blackface.
So…is “Fatty Boom Boom” racist? Or are Die Antwoord just having fun with African stereotypes? Watch the clip and judge for yourself.
Even though Die Antwoord have always traded in the bizarre and unexpected, they’ve also never been above a good dick joke. So it’s not that surprising that the teaser for their next video, “Fatty Boom Boom,” is basically just an extended (ExtenZed?) riff on “male enhancement” products. Yes, Die Antwoord are hawking penis enlargement cream! Or rather, some dude named Dr. Lediga is on their behalf.
Honestly, the joke seems a bit hackneyed and obvious. But is this Die Antwoord’s jump-the-shark moment? Or will “Fatty Boom Boom” turn out to be just as deliciously twisted as “Enter the Ninja” and “I Fink U Freeky”? Check back here next week and we’ll have The Answer. (Which is what “Die Antwoord” means in Afrikaans. See how we did that?)
Update: You can now watch the full “Fatty Boom Boom” video here. Turns out the penis cream was a bit of a red herring. Then again, we hear a little herring cream on your johnson will keep you laying pipe all night long.
Venus passed in front of the sun this past Tuesday, but the real show was back here on Earth, as zef party rappers and celestial South Afrikaners Die Antwoord released their latest video. It’s called “Baby’s on Fire” and it’s pretty tame by DA standards—no one eats bugs or calls anyone “faggot” or has any obvious physical abnormalities—but it’s damn entertaining nonetheless. Yo-Landi Vi$$er seems to be taking an ever-more prominent role in the group and we’re digging it. Especially when she breaks out the smiley-face bra.
Yo-Landi and Ninja also recently announced still more tour dates, extending their quest for global domination well into October. Full dates—including two shows with Jane’s Addiction, no less—after the jump.
Die Antwoord 2012 Tour Dates:
06/14-17 – Barcelona, ES @ Sonar Festival
06/19 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain
06/20 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain
06/21 – Cologne, DE @ Essigfabrik
06/25 – Zurich, CH @ Komplex
06/28-07/01 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter
06/29 – Milan, IT @ Circolo Magnolia
06/29-07/01 – Belfort, FR @ Les Euroceenes de Belfot
07/03 – Dublin, UK @ Academy
07/05 – London, UK @ HMV Forum
07/06 – Paris, FR @ Le Bataclan
07/06-07 – Amsterdam, NL @ PITCH Festival
08/03 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/04 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
08/06 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
08/09 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater
08/11 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands
08/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Penn’s Landing #
08/17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Park #
10/14 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/15 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
10/17 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall
10/18 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
10/19 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
10/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
10/22 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ The Culture Room
10/23 – Tampa, FL @ The RITZ Ybor
10/24 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater
# = w/ Jane’s Addiction
I once wrote in these virtual pages that there was “a severe shortage of truly weird hip-hop acts out there.” I’d like to now officially apologize for making such an ignorant and obviously untrue statement. I was listening to way too much formulaic Top 40 rap back then. I’ve broadened my horizons since then.
To illustrate, this week’s Weirdify playlist is all about the beats, rhymes and turntable wizardry. Shout out to Ian Frost and Army of Gay Unicorns for some helpful suggestions to round out the playlist. So fire up the ol’ Spotify and for God’s sake, make sure you’ve got a sound system with some decent bass. Even weird hip-hop needs to bump.
1. Die Antwoord, “Fok Julle Naaiers.” South Africa’s twisted “zef rap-rave” crew strikes again. Apparently the title is Afrikaans for “Fuck All Y’All.” I figured we oughta get the playlist off to a warm, fuzzy start.
2. TTC, “(pas la peine d’appeler je ne réponds pas au) TELEPHONE.” From South African rave-rappers to French rave-rappers. TTC are sort of France’s answer to the Beastie Boys, a bunch of smart-alecky white dudes who rap over everything from candy-colored electro (as on this track) to cheesy old-school disco. Je ne parle pas Français, but I hear the lyrics are hilarious.
3. Das Racist, “Happy Rappy.” Das Racist is a bunch of smart-alecky brown dudes (MC Heems and hype man Dapwell are of Indian decent, Kool A.D. is Afro-Cuban and Italian) from Brooklyn. Their big claim to fame is a novelty blog hit called “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” but they’re smarter than that. Mostly.
4. Birdy Nam Nam, “Engineer Fear.” Back to France again, this time to hear the crazy-quilt cut-and-paste sounds of a four-member DJ collective who can sample just about anything and make it sound funky, creepy and awesome.
5. Amon Tobin feat. MC Decimal R., “Verbal.” Tobin is another sample-based producer whose music is often only tangentially related to hip-hop. I just love the way he’s able to chop up this MC’s verses in a way that renders them completely unintelligible, but keeps their rhythm and attitude fully intact.
6. Goldie Lookin Chain, “Half Man Half Machine.” Imagine a bunch of Welsh lager louts putting their own sophomoric spin on the comedy rap of Flight of the Conchords and Lonely Island, and you’ve got Goldie Lookin Chain. It probably wouldn’t be half as funny if it weren’t for the drawling, gap-toothed accents. Apparently Wales is Great Britain’s answer to Mississippi.
7. Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, “Thou Shalt Always Kill.” More British hip-hop, this time from a producer/rapper duo who sound like characters from a Charles Dickens novel, except for the state-of-the-art, blippy production and the sardonic torrent of hipster one-liners. Say it with us now: “Thou shalt not shake it like a Polaroid picture.”
8. Mission Man, “These Are the Moments.” Gary “Mission Man” Milholland is the only artist featured in each of our last two playlists (this one and Weirdify 6: When You’re Strange, our tribute to outsider music). Yes, he’s that amazing. That free-form guitar solo at the end of this track? Genius.
9. Buck 65, “Spread ‘Em.” Richard “Buck 65″ Terfry is, to the best of my knowledge, the only successful hip-hop artist ever to come out of rural Nova Scotia. Apart from that, he’s not actually that weird—although the Deliverance-like pervy cop he channels on this track is pretty incredible.
10. MC Frontalot, “Charisma Potion.” The first and still-greatest nerdcore rapper, MC Frontalot fills his tracks with references to role-playing games, tech blogs and other über-nerd touchstones. And he still manages to sound cool doing it. Also, he debates the correct pronunciation and usage of “attribute.” As a writer, I cannot tell you how deeply I appreciate this.
11. Yea Big & Kid Static, “We’ve Built a Time Machine That Runs on Beats. We Shall Only Use It for Good.” More geeky sci-fi rap, this time courtesy of a cult duo from Chicago. Turns out there’s a lot of this stuff out there; we could have also included tracks from Dr. Octagon or MC Hawking, but we decided, in the interest of equal time, to include an Insane Clown Posse track instead.
12. Busdriver, “Unemployed Black Astronaut.” Yeah, Busta Rhymes is pretty great, but this L.A. rapper is the underground’s undisputed master of tongue-twisting, warp-speed wordplay. He’s got weirder tracks than this one, but none cooler.
13. Sage Francis, “Zero.” Francis is chubby, bald, white and from Providence, Rhode Island. And he can rhyme circles around just about any mainstream rapper in the biz. This is from his most recent album, Li(f)e, which featured collaborations with members of Death Cab for Cutie, Grandaddy, Calexico and the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse.
14. Techno Animal, “Cruise Mode 101.” No weird hip-hop mix would be complete without a little industrial hip-hop. This angry little number comes courtesy of British producers Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick’s Techno Animal project and features raps by a Chicago crew called Rubberoom. Angsty!
15. Insane Clown Posse, “Chicken Huntin’.” A funky little ditty about killing and eating hillbillies. Who’s hungry?
16. Brokencyde, “Goose Googlez.” I’m really sorry about including this one. I couldn’t resist. #Douchecore
17. The Notorious MSG, “Egg Rollin’.” Chinese comedy rap. It’s not racist if it’s being made by actual Asian guys, right? Actually, no, it’s still pretty racist.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s mix.
When we first wrote about the Die Antwoord precursor, Max Normal (aka MaxNormal.TV), they remained something of a mystery, a group that had once performed “high energy hip-hop power point presentations” in business suits but had since erased nearly all of their online presence. But with the growing interest in Die Antwoord and their uniquely South African spin on foul-mouthed party rap, we’re happy to report that several enterprising souls have restored significant chunks of the Max Normal catalog to YouTube.
A quick YouTube search now reveals about 20 Max Normal tracks, including such hints at future Die Antwoord brilliance as “Punch My Teeth Out” and “Angel Claw,” as well as a 2007 interview with Waddy Jones (the future Ninja) and Yo-Landi Visser (the future Yo-Landi Vi$$er) that seems disarmingly frank and honest. At the time, Jones was 33 (which would make him 37 or 38 now) and Visser was a vegetarian (and maybe still is). Who knew?
Of all the Max Normal tracks and videos that have resurfaced of late, this montage from one of their live shows is probably our favorite. It gives you an idea of, on the one hand, how incredibly talented Jones and his crew were even back in the day and, on the other, how hopelessly dorky the whole Max Normal concept was. Then again, if the Jones hadn’t spent all those years doing his rapper-as-motivational-speaker shtick, he probably never would have had the wherewithal to transform himself into Ninja. Like Max Normal says in the intro, “If you conceive it and you believe it, you can achieve it!”
Sometimes here at TWBITW, we like to get on down with our bad selves. And by “bad,” we mean, “in no fit state to be getting on down with anything, unless it’s a couch or a mattress with good lumbar support.” Still, we do try to give the old carcasses a little wiggle every once in awhile. And there’s nothing more fun to wiggle to (or easier, especially for us white folks) than a some good old-fashioned boot-in-a-dryer music. We’re talking techno*, people!
This time around, I’ve decided to annotate the playlist a bit. So read on to learn more about the 14 artists and tracks represented in this mix—and while you’re reading, fire up the ol’ Spotify and see if you’re capable of dancing and reading at the same time. I bet you can do it.
*And related genres of EDM. Don’t get all purist on us, k?
1. The Soft Pink Truth, “Soft Pink Missy.” SPT is Drew Daniel, one-half of the experimental electronic duo Matmos. His stuff is often filed under “microhouse,” all of which sounds pretty weird—but Daniel is especially adept at constructing dance tracks built out of tiny edits from all sorts of sampled material. I figured this was a nice, gentle way to ease y’all into some of the harder stuff coming.
2. The Vegetable Orchestra, “Pumpkin Jam” (Märtini Brös remix). A not-so-weird track, until you realize that most of it was created using instruments made out of vegetables. Märtini Brös, the German duo who did the remix, have created some pretty weird dance tracks of their own, including this one.
3. Greenskeepers, “Man in the House” (GK 911 remix). This Chicago house/electro-pop group makes many songs with a twisted sense of humor, most famously “Lotion,” a bouncy New Wave jam narrated by Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. This one isn’t quite that weird, but it’s got a fun beat.
4. Justin Martin and Sammy D, “The Southern Draw.” This one takes awhile to get going, but stay with it, and it gets wacky, trust me. It’s from the Dirtybird label, which releases a lot of terrific, offbeat techno—but nothing more offbeat than this.
5. Oli Chang, “Chicken Techno.” I’m pretty sure this one needs no explanation.
7. Von Südenfed, “Flooded.” A collaboration between the German experimental electronic duo Mouse on Mars and Mark E. Smith from The Fall—who turns out to be a surprisingly excellent dance music vocalist, at least in small doses. No, this isn’t strictly speaking techno, but it fucking rocks. And no, it’s not dubstep, either. Can we all please agree that not everything with a dark, twisted bassline is dubstep? Thank you.
8. Anklepants, “Deadline 4734 vs. Inside Your Face” (Imposex mix). We just featured this guy as our Weird Band of the Week. At first I was mostly just fascinated with his creepily lifelike monster mask, but the more I listen to his music, the more I’m digging it. He’s not really techno either, and I’m not even sure you can dance to this stuff, but it’s amazing.
9. Laibach, “Wirtschaft” (Richie Hawtin Hardcore Noise Mix). One of the greatest techno producers of all time, Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman), turns one of the weirdest industrial bands of all time into a jam for the ladies. That is, if those ladies like slam-dancing in steel-toed boots.
10. Underworld, “Moaner.” Underworld are one of those bands that became so popular, it’s easy now to forget how totally fucking wackadoodle even many of their best-known tracks are. This isn’t even their wackiest, but I think it’s one of their most underrated, with an insanely building synth line and Karl Hyde declaiming his surrealist raver poetry like a man possessed. God, they were so good back in the day.
11. Matthew Herbert, “February.” A British producer known for building his tracks out of field recordings of everything from bodily functions to household objects, Herbert released his weirdest and most controversial work last year: One Pig, an album of abstract musique concrete built from the sounds of the life cycle of a commercially raised pig, from birth to slaughter to dining table. On this track, from late in the album, you can hear butcher’s saws and the sounds of percussion instruments made out of the pig’s bones. It’s sort of the opposite of Vegetable Orchestra—and while I admit it’s pretty disturbing stuff, it kinda makes you crave bacon, doesn’t it?
12. Gangpol & Mit, “Balatchi Basketcha.” This track is about as close as the French kitschtronica duo G&M ever come to techno—and still, it’s less clubby, more Saturday-morning-cartoony, if Shag ever did Saturday morning cartoons. How awesome would that be?
13. Twink, “Slush Bunny.” Toy piano techno. You’re welcome, humanity!
14. Sir Ivan, “San Francisco” (John Kano radio mix). Yes, is the second playlist we’ve ended with Sir Ivan, but you know what? Fuck it. There’s something about his cheesy house/techno remakes of classic hippie songs that just seems like a fitting grand finale to an hour’s worth of weirdness. Such a strange vibration!
Hope you enjoy the playlist. If you do, tell a friend.
Now here’s a sentence you probably never thought you’d read: Die Antwoord will be joining Giants quarterback Eli Manning as the guests tonight (Monday, Feb. 6th) on The Late Show with David Letterman. Set your TiVos, you fokken chommies.
In other zef rap-rave news: Ten$ion, the second album from Ninja, Yo-Landi and DJ Hi-Tek, arrives this week in all fine record shops and e-tailers. You can stream the whole thing here, but play nice and buy that shit, because Die Antwoord turned down a million bucks from Interscope Records so they could go indie and release the weird-ass record we were all hoping for.
They’ve also got some U.S. tour dates. We’ll see you out at that LA show gettin freeky.
02.09.12 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theatre
02.10.12 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
02.11.12 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
02.12.12 – Washington D.C. – 930 Club
02.14.12 – Toronto, ON – The Phoenix Concert Theatre
02.15.12 – Chicago, IL – Metro
02.18.12 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
02.19.12 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
02.22.12 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
02.20.12 – Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market
02.22.12 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
02.24.12 – Los Angeles, CA – Club Nokia
02.25.12 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
*We’ve since learned that Die Antwoord apparently plan to release Ten$ion only digitally and on Flash drives because, in their words, “CDs are like motherfucking VHS.” Truth! Lies! You can buy the motherfucking CD version here.
Update: The video from their epic, unsettling performance is now live. “There’s your Super Bowl halftime show!”
Those hipster bastards at Pitchfork scooped us again. Today, they premiered “I Fink U Freeky,” a new track off the latest album from our favorite South African zef-rap-rave crew, Die Antwoord. “Freeky” is basically Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er’s version of a soccer techno anthem, with lots of Godzilla-sized synths and builds and breakdowns and whatnot. It’s what the Brits (and the South Africans, too?) call a huge choon, I believe. Or a right fokkin teef-grinder, innit?
Die Antwoord’s new album, TEN$ION, drops Feb. 7. Head on over to Pitchfork to hear “Freeky” and watch this space for more Die Antwoord news you can use.