You Europeans love to look down on us Americans, don’t you? With our guns and TMZ and politicians dumber than a sack of hammers. Well, we’re about to give you a new reason to feel superior to us. For a whole month, we’re sending you our skankiest drag queen, Christeene, to serenade you with songs about weeping pussies, anal sex and tropical abortions. La Cage aux Folles she ain’t, folks.
Cristeene’s first-ever tour east of the Atlantic includes stops at the SONAR Festival and muthafuckin’ Glastonbury. Not even the Rolling Stones are cool enough to play both SONAR and Glasto. Christeene is killin’ it, y’all.
She’s also playing a date in New York, which isn’t part of Europe but may as well be.
June 7 – NYC – Webster Hall Studio
June 12 – LISBON – Musicbox
June 14 – BARCELONA – SONAR Festival
June 21 – MANCHESTER – Islington Mill
June 22 – LONDON – Duckie
June 23 – LONDON – Lecture/Soho Theater
June 24 – LONDON – Vogue Fabrics
June 25 – LONDON – Vogue Fabrics
June 28 – SOMERSET – Glastonbury Festival
June 29 – BERLIN – Haus der Berliner Festspiele
So Europe: Now that we’re giving you Christeene, you can give us Winny Puhh, right? I mean, fair is fair.
When we got a message a few days ago from our favorite Texas shemale, Christeene, telling us she had a new video on the way, we had to strap on the Depends so we wouldn’t shit ourselves. Christeene’s videos are pretty much always trashy, tasteless and awesome. And this one is for the track “Big Shot,” which is definitely one of our faves off her bananas album, Waste Up Kneez Down. How can you not love a track with lines like, “Needle riding to the red on the jizz tank”?
Well, Christeene and her pals at Three Dollar Cinema clearly went all-out for “Big Shot.” Production-wise, this thing is like a fucking Lady Gaga video. It’s also pretty darned disturbing, even by Christeene standards. Are those two creepy dudes raping her? Why do all her stuffed animals come to life and start attacking her? Who strapped her to the ceiling? What’s with all the fucking rabbits?
We recommend watching the video in its original high-rez form over on Vimeo, but if you’re too lazy to click a link, we embedded it below, too. Sweet dreams, y’all.
So it turns out we kinda had a ringer in our last Weird Band of the Week Facebook Poll. At the time we added Ghostigital to the poll, we literally knew almost nothing about them, except that they were from Iceland and had an awesome video called “Hovering Hoover Skates” that appeared to feature an Icelandic ladies roller derby team. Well, it’s since come to our attention that the dude behind Ghostigital is none other than Einar Örn, the even-weirder-than-Björk co-lead singer of that most legendary of Iceland bands, the Sugarcubes. So don’t feel bad for losing our poll, other bands! You were up against weird band royalty.
Einar started Ghostigital as a solo project about a decade ago, although his producer Curver has since become the band’s full-time second member. Their music is heavily electronic and generally features Einar delivering rambling, semi-coherent monologues over pulsing synths and a mishmash of techno, dub and hip-hop beats. “Masses of dark!” goes one typical Ghostigital lyric. “I could slice it up and eat it like a cake.” At least I think it’s a lyric. We pulled that from a live Ghostigital performance for KEXP, and honestly, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether Einar is delivering lyrics or just spewing improvised rants off the top of his head. And yes, I mean that as a compliment.
Not surprisingly, Ghostigital was briefly hooked up with Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings, which released their second album, In Cod We Trust, in 2006. Einar then apparently took a break from music to start dabbling in politics; he even got himself elected to Reykjavík City Council in 2010, an office he still occupies. He’s a member of the Best Party, which sounds almost as wacky as Ghostigital’s music. Among the planks in their campaign platform: free towels at all public swimming pools and a polar bear at the Reykjavik Zoo. And, y’know, ending political corruption and improving living conditions for the poor and lots of other important stuff less “wacky” political parties all over the world seem only too happy to ignore. But…a polar bear! Even the New York Times couldn’t get over that part.
Last November, Ghostigital finally returned with a third album, Division of Culture & Tourism, releasted on Einar’s own Bad Taste label. You can hear the whole thing on Soundcloud. It’s pretty dope. It’s got cameos from David Byrne and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and there’s a Dougie reference in the very first song, which is called “Don’t Push Me,” on which Einar hoots and hollers and makes it abundantly clear that it would be a really, really bad idea to push him. He’s like Mark E. Smith, Andy Kaufman and Eminem all rolled into one cantankerous former punk rocker who’s been deprived of sunlight for the past six months.
We can’t decide which of these two Ghostigital videos is weirder, so we’ll include both of them. First up, from In Cod We Trust, we give you “Northern Lights.”
Next up: “Hovering Hoover Skates.” You didn’t think we’d tell you about a video full of roller derby girls and not show it to you, did you? We wouldn’t play you like that.
So congrats on winning our latest Facebook poll, Ghostigital! Although we’re pretty sure that in your list of lifetime accomplishments, this probably doesn’t even break the top 10,000.
We got introduced to this week’s weird band by Ms. Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin. Like Petunia herself, they remain something of a mystery. They’re called Chimney Crow. They’re from Michigan. Their leader calls himself Paulisgone. They wear fox-as-done-by-a-third-grader masks. They have a song about DMT. There might be three of them, or it might all be the work of Paulisgone and some carefully posed mannequins. And one former member might have killed himself in some kind of weird sex ritual. And that’s about all we know.
Well, that’s not quite true. We also know that their music is dark, electronic and generally quite groovy. They’ve recorded some stuff with a lady vocalist named Sarah Kristina, who also appears all over their Facebook photos, draped over various Chimney Crow members and sashaying around a basement in a little red dress. The other members of Chimney Crow are Ben Daschle and Buck Anders. Buck replaced the dead guy, Alan Bain. Here’s a song the band was in the midst of recording when they found out Ben had offed himself. Naturally, they finished the song. You know, out of respect for the dead and all.
Chimney Crow have uploaded all kinds of wacky videos to their YouTube page and a shit-ton of songs to Soundcloud. Here’s one called “Aliens are just gnomes for our paradigm part 14 (section 8)” that we’ve been jamming to (if you can’t see the Soundcloud player, click here):
They also recorded a very timely song called “The Flu.” I feel sicker just listening to it.
But my favorite thing they’ve done so far has to be this video for the track “17 Guns,” which features someone even more batshit than Petunia and Chimney Crow: an artist from Arizona named Diana Campanella who has uploaded approximately five zillion YouTube videos of herself “freestyle dancing” in her gallery. Usually she dances to stuff like Michael Jackson and Taylor Dane, but somehow she hooked up with Chimney Crow and did a little interpretive boogie to a song of theirs called “17 Guns.” Ain’t the Internet grand?
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.
It’s another first here at Weird Band HQ: our first-ever album review. We’ve got Christeene’s Waste Up Kneez Down cued up and ready to go under the knife of our razor-sharp critical acumen. You ready, Christeene? More importantly, are we?
Remember about 10 years ago when “electroclash” was all the rage? We’re gonna describe Christeene’s sound as “electrotrash.” Her mix of filthy lyrics and throbbing dance grooves definitely owes a debt to electroclash’s more provocative artists, like Peaches and Princess Superstar, but she’s bringing her own Southern swag to the party. Also, she’s actually a dude in slutwave drag, which adds a layer of kink and gender confusion to her music that electroclash’s nasty girls couldn’t pull off so handily. (“Pull off so handily,” by the way, will only sound like a possible sexual double entendre to you if you haven’t heard this record. After you’ve heard it, it sounds like a line from Sesame Street.)
The album starts strong with a trio of down ‘n’ dirty dance tracks, of which “Fix My Dick” is the clear highlight—in part because it is, lyrically, the lowlight. “I’ll let you chew on my crabcakes, the hell with the first date, just slide me the beefsteak” is actually one of the least gross lines in the song. But “I need a woman gonna eat my dirty shame” might be the most telling. Christeene is an equal-opportunity hoe-bag who will tangle men and women alike in her cum-caked fishnets. But it’s the women who make her feel filthier.
We’re not big fans of the album’s next track, a lilting ballad called “Workin’ on Grandma,” in part because we still have no idea what the fuck it’s about. Is it literally about Christeene’s grandma? And why is she so desperate to convince grandma to stay? Is the rent tight? Is “workin’ on grandma” some kind of gay sex thing we’re unfamiliar with? Maybe Christeene will enlighten us one day.
“39 34 39,” an ode to Christeene’s (wo)manly curves, sounds like a cross between Prince’s “Dirty Mind” and DeBarge. No, seriously. Just imagine El DeBarge crooning “My pussy ain’t poppin’ for free” and you’ll see what we mean.
“Big Shot,” by contrast, comes on as cyber-sleek as Depeche Mode, until Christeene staggers into frame and starts wet-humping the Korg synthesizers. Violator? I hardly know her! (Yeah, we just made a Depeche Mode joke. How ya like us now?)
“Tropical Abortion” might be the most tasteless song on the album, which is saying a lot. That’s probably why Christeene and her main producers, JJ Booya and Powerhammer, dressed it up in a faux-Caribbean New Wave romp worthy of…well, maybe not Gloria Estefan. Billy Ocean?
After the throwaway “Oprah Angelz” comes “Bustin’ Brown,” a slow-grind Southern rap ode to “breakin’ laws in your behind.” Yes, it’s a sodomy jam for the ladies, complete with a critique of all us “straight motherfuckers” who don’t know how to do it right. (No comment, Christeene.) This is the part where she rhymes “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?” with “You fuckin’ like you tryin’ to kill us.” Which might be our favorite part of the whole album. Until….
Sigh. How do we explain the awesomeness that is “Tears From My Pussy”? We can’t, so we’ll just let you hear it for yourself. This is right up there with Beck’s “Debra” in the annals of R&B parody songs that are better than 99% of actual R&B songs. It has a fucking children’s choir, for fuck’s sake! Singing about pussies! (Relax, they probably thought they were singing about cats. Also, our carefully trained critics’ ears tell us it may not be a real children’s choir.)
Musically, “African Mayonnaise” isn’t the strongest song on the album, but lyrically, it’s the closest the man behind Christeene, Paul Soileau, comes to spelling out Christeene’s agenda. “I am your new celebrity,” goes the song’s refrain, “I am your new America/I am the piece of filthy meat y’all take home and treat to yourself.” And later: “Come take a piece of me and burn it in your back room.” It’s his/her sneaky way of reminding us that, as foul as Christeene’s sleazeball anthems can get, all she’s really doing is reflecting our increasingly depraved, hypocrisy-ridden culture back at us. Or maybe we’re reading too much into it and she’s just channeling America’s endless parade of talentless fame whores.
Waste Up Kneez Down ends with a surprisingly solemn (by Christeene’s standards, anyway) piano ballad, then a live version of “Tears From My Pussy” featuring what sounds like the world’s most under-rehearsed chamber orchestra. At first, it sounds like a full-blown train wreck, but stay with it until about the 4:30 mark, when a few violins finally find the right key and the whole thing slowly, miraculously, transforms into something kinda beautiful. Sorta like Christeene herself. (See how we did that?)
So, to sum up: If you like your electro-party jams with a queer eye for the pig sty, buy this fucking album. And no, we have no idea what the last sentence means, either, but buy it anyway! Your friends will be amazed, appalled and ultimately delighted when you throw this shit on at your next wine and cheese night.
Good news from deep in the…uh, well probably not the heart of Texas. The colon? Wherever it’s being spawned from, Christeene’s debut album has a release date!
For those of y’all not familiar: Christeene is the self-styled “drag terrorist” we first blogged about back in March, when s/he was just days away from wrapping up a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of her first full-length LP. She hit her Kickstarter goal of $10,000 just 24 hours after we made her our Weird Band of the Week, which was probably just a coincidence, but which Jake and I chose to believe meant that a.) this blog is more influential than we realized and b.) we really should come up with a Kickstarter campaign of our own at some point, because apparently you people are soft touches.
Anyway, the fruits of that ten grand are finally due to arrive at the end of May, in the form of an album called Waste Up Kneez Down. And there’s gonna be a release party in Austin that you freaky Texans (not an oxymoron, I’m told) will not want to miss. I’ll let Christeene explain:
It’s been some hard hittin and heavy winnin here in Austin, and we are stanked as all hell to announce that the Official Album Release for WASTE UP KNEEZ DOWN is going to be on Saturday May 26th, Memorial Day Weekend here in Austin Texas at Elysium Nightclub! Haaaaaay!!!
Elysium is a dank and stank club where we released our EP three years ago, and we wanted to return to the scene of the crime with the album release.
The new songs produced by JJ Booya (Brett Hornsby) are fugggggin phenomenal, yallz. We can’t wait for you to fill your ears with this stank.
The album has 12 tracks plus a bonus track that’ll make ur nay nay cry.
Jake and I have been to Elysium and we can confirm that it is, indeed, dank and stank.
Here’s the promo video for Waste Up Kneez Down, which will forever change the way you view gay porn, ’80s aerobics videos and The Brady Bunch.
Here at TWBITW, we’re always up for supporting a good cause. So when we learned that self-described drag terrorist and “sexually infused sewer of vile shamelessness” Christeene had only three days left on her Kickstarter campaign and was still more than $2,000 short of her goal, we just knew we had to leap into the breach. Even though we were a little afraid of using the word “breach” in a sentence about Christeene.
For those of y’all not familiar: Christeene Vail is the creation of singer/rapper/filmmaker/drag artist Paul Soileau, born at a queer open-mic in Austin about three years ago (Christeene, not Paul—Paul looks to have been born sometime in the late ’70s, though only his makeup technician knows for sure). Paul had performed for years as a more conventional drag queen named Rebecca Havemeyer, but he concocted Christeene because he wanted a persona that was more, in the words of one writer, “quick, destructive and fun—something to leave his audience speechless in less than five minutes.” Mission accomplished!
Christeene is a foul-mouthed, dirty-minded, trailer-trash naif who makes improbably catchy electro-pop with touches of R&B, hip-hop, dubstep and booty bass. She’s sort of what might have happened if Crazy Britney had spent less energy on shaving her head and attacking cars with umbrellas and more on actually making music as provocative as her pantyless bouts with the paparazzi.
Christeene’s performances and amazing, totally NSFW videos (made with filmmaker PJ Ravel under the name Three Dollar Cinema and mostly available on Funny or Die) are aural and visual assaults of gold teeth, smeared lipstick, flashed privates, ass-cheek-spreading backup dancers, and gender-bending songs and raps about ass play (“Bustin’ Brown”), sad hookers (“Tears From My Pussy”) and what we can only assume is old-people sex (“Workin’ on Grandma”). It’s not for the faint-hearted, even though Christeene herself maintains an endearingly childlike, Adam Sandler-ish quality throughout.
Arguably the weirdest—inarguably the most downright nasty—thing Christeene’s ever produced is “Bustin’ Brown,” a song about anal sex (“breakin’ laws in your bee-hind”), with a video that mostly takes place inside a giant colon. But for sheer NSFW hilarity, we have to agree with reader Hirsh, who first brought Christeene to our attention on our Submit a Band page by posting the “Fix My Dick” video along with the that-about-sums-it-up comment, “Mmmm yes.” (Did I mention this video is NSFW? I really, really can’t stress that enough.)
If you enjoyed that, please for the love of Jesus proceed immediately to Christeene’s Kickstarter page and give generously so that her debut album, Waste Up, Kneez Down, may see the light of day. Jake just stole one of my credit cards and gave five bucks, and if that raging homophobe can support this hot mess with someone’s else money, you sure as shit can, too. (I kid. Jake’s not a homophobe. He just gets squeamish about hairy guys in thongs.)
[Update: Well, shit. Christeene just hit her $10,000 Kickstarter goal with 46 hours to go—and barely 24 hours after we first wrote this post. Y'all just got the Weird Band Bump, Christeene! Congrats.]
Now here’s a sentence you probably never thought you’d read: Die Antwoord will be joining Giants quarterback Eli Manning as the guests tonight (Monday, Feb. 6th) on The Late Show with David Letterman. Set your TiVos, you fokken chommies.
In other zef rap-rave news: Ten$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.