This week’s weird band hails from Brazil, which has been quite the breeding ground for strange new genres of music over the years: tropicália, baile funk, forró, whatever the hell Os Mutantes does. Add to that list something called “tecno brega,” a Brazilian-style spin on “cheesy techno” that takes corny pop melodies—many of them familiar—gives them a glossy electro finish, and sets them to syncopated cumbia, reggaeton and baile funk beats. The combination of influences can get pretty out there, especially when rendered by the campy, day-glo trio called Banda UÓ.
Banda UÓ started in 2010 as a one-off joke to promote a party. Buddies Davi Savvig (the Daryl Hall of the group) and Mateus Carrilho (the John Oates of the group) got together with a singer friend of theirs named Flora Maria to make a quick video of them singing a tecno brega version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” The video was a surprise YouTube hit and when Flora Maria was replaced by Candy Mel (the transsexual Shakira of the group), Banda UÓ was born.
Banda UÓ are probably best-known in Brazil for “Shake De Amor,” an electro-brega remake of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” with a video that got them on Brazilian MTV (which is clearly way cooler than American MTV) despite the fact that it’s mostly just the three of them dancing like idiots. Actually, pretty much all of Banda UÓ’s videos are just the three of them dancing like idiots, but they do it so well, there’s not much point in upping the production values or the plotlines. “Shake De Amor” seems to have something to do with killing someone in the desert, but who cares? Look at the way Candy Mel swivels those hips!
For their debut album, 2012′s Motel, Banda UÓ worked with fellow funky Brazilians Bonde do Rolê, who helped them produce the set and start delving into original songwriting. The results were a bit more polished but no less weird—and the videos, thank Christ the Redeemer, were still mostly just an excuse to film Davi, Mateus and Candy busting out their unique wardrobes and dance moves (this time in a boxing gym, no less).
This year, they released their most seizure-inducing video yet. The track, “Gringo,” was produced by the über-trendy Diplo, but don’t hold that against it—it really is an amazing mix of tecno brega, baile funk and full-on glitchcore freakout.
So are Banda UÓ the weirdest band we’ve ever added to the Weird List? Not really. But they are definitely among the funnest.
- Banda UÓ Tumblr (full site coming soon, but apparently not yet fully functional)
- Banda UÓ on Facebook
- Banda UÓ’s SoundCloud
- Mateus Carrilho’s YouTube channel
- “Brazil’s Banda UO Proves Electrobrega is the New Black” (one of the few other English-language articles on them, from MTV Iggy)
I honestly can’t remember how we first heard about this week’s weird band. Somebody posted one of their videos on our Submit a Band page, I think, but I’m too lazy to go back and find it. Anyway, we had sort of forgotten all about them, because we have the attention span of ADHD cats, but just yesterday they emailed us and were all like, “Hey, I think we were featured on your website before.” And we were all like, “Not really, somebody just put one of your videos in the comments, but you know what? You should be featured. Let’s do this!” And here we are, introducing you to the ridiculousness that is pee pee po.
Pee Pee Po (or P.P.Po, or peepeepo…dudes like to mix it up) is a couple of guys from Murfreesboro, Tennessee named Cooper and Josh, who have been making a racket together since 2006. As Cooper explained to us, they originally set out to be a “serious” band, but all they had was a microphone and a Casio MIDI keyboard and because they didn’t really know how to use the keyboard at first, all they could really do was make really fucked-up drums and strings sounds with it.
“It was so funny that we just decided to make weird shit like this all the time,” Cooper explains. And that became pee pee po. It’s an inspirational story of triumph in the face of adversity.
Pee Pee Po still get a lot of mileage out of that Casio keyboard, although they eventually started mixing in some guitar and stuff. Their signature trick, probably going back to their early Casio days, is to constantly change tempos, sometimes speeding things up so fast that the song just becomes a zillion-BPM smear of noise, like a skipping CD player. The songs occasionally have lyrics, but more often the “vocals” are just randomly shouted words, unintelligible gibberish, and rude bodily noises. Lots of rude bodily noises.
There’s a shit-ton of music on their SoundCloud and even more on their YouTube channel, which is called Omahamaho and also features random silliness like fake newscasts and Michael Jackson parodies. But their crowning achievement is without a doubt the song and video “Going Weest.” It’s like New Age guitar music for crackheads. Done by a bunch of dudes who wear their sunglasses upside down, which is a pretty good look if you’re a no-budget weird band making New Age guitar music for crackheads.
We’ll throw in one bonus video from Omahamaho’s vast YouTube catalog. This is called “Slovakian Death Concert 1989″ and while I guess it’s not technically a pee pee po video (though they do make an appearance), it makes me wanna smoke out and watch an Adult Swim marathon.
P.S. Turns out we were able to find the reader who turned us on to pee pee po after all. So many thanks to FastestPossum! I’m wearing my sunglasses upside down in your honor.
One of our favorite new readers, Josh Gold, introduced us to this week’s band with the immortal words, “I think you’d enjoy them though I don’t get too much enjoyment from them.” You know us so well, Josh. What to others is aural diarrhea, to us is a melodious eargasm. Well, in the case of Baboon Torture Division, “eargasm” might be overstating it a bit. “Long, satisfying sound dump” is probably more accurate.
BTD is a duo from Vancouver made up of one guitar/singer/synth player/Ronald McDonald commemorative plate collector named Steve Biloba and one bass-playing, gas-mask-wearing humanoid called Pocketron XP. They’re also occasionally joined onstage and in videos by Ronald McDonald himself (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), Ronald Reagan (sometimes even two Ronald Reagans) and a guy in a cartoon bear suit who looks like he wandered in from a really creepy children’s party.
They’ve released 10 albums, although many of their “albums” are really just long-form jokes: a 44- minute send-up of ’80s hip-hop and electro called The Breakdance Sesh, an album of cheesy dance pop called Background Music for a Party, and not one, but two pseudo-8-bit albums called Digital Masturbation and Digital Masturbation 2. (Sample track titles: “Fuck Pizza Hut,” “Bowser Is Too Easy to Kill,” and perhaps their greatest achievement, a tender one-minute glitch ballad called “The Last Thing You’d Want to Hear If You Were Jacking Off Your Father While He Watched the Sylvester Stallone Wrist Wrestling Movie.” OK, maybe just the title is their greatest achievement.)
BTD’s twisted sense of humor is perhaps best captured in their two finest video offerings. First up, “Ice Cream Truck Music,” which is literally just five solid minutes wind-up monkeys dancing in front of my college acid dealer’s screen saver. Don’t worry, the music changes more often than the visuals. Way more often, actually.
Next: The kind of amazing “Sexy Times,” a disco/industrial jam that’s actually got a great groove, along with some of the cheesiest office romance lyrics of all time and backup dancers that look like they escaped from Mummenschanz. “I was prepping demos for the 12 o’clock meeting/You were wearing slacks and your nails were green”—finally, a love song us cubicle dwellers can relate to.
So thanks, reader Josh! And yeah, you’re right, we should totally add Sun Ra to the Weird List. One of these days.
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.