Christmas came early here at Weird Band HQ this weekend, in the form of a brand new video from Chimney Crow, the mysterious electro-pop ensemble with the creepy basement. Previously, the only visual accompaniment for the über-funky “Run for My Life” was some found and highly distorted video of a bunch of B-boys, but now Chimney Crow have created an original stop-motion clip for the track, which features cartoon versions of the Crow crew busting some moves of their own.
By the way, in case you’re not familiar the song’s subject matter: DMT is a very powerful psychedelic substance that we don’t recommend ingesting while watching this video. Or at all, really, unless you’re accompanied by an experienced shaman and maybe an EMT or two.
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything from Twink, our favorite toy-based band. So we were delighted to learn a few days ago that, to celebrate the launch of his revamped website, Twink mastermind Mike Langlie is giving away a free, nine-track LP of new music. The collection is called Miniatures Volume 1 and it has the distinction of being the first album ever created entirely with the Yellofier iPhone/iPad app. Yellofier, for those of y’all not familiar, is a music-making sampler/sequencer app created by Boris Blank, one-half of the Swiss electronic duo Yello. Never heard of them? Oh yeah you have. Get it? Cuz the song is called “Oh Yeah”? Oh, we crack ourselves up.
Anyhoo, to download your copy of Miniatures Volume 1, scurry on over to Twink.net. You can also name your price if you feel like throwing Mike a little extra coin.
The Yellofier app is not free, but at $2.99, it’s still a steal. You can read more about it and watch a demo video here.
If you’re a try-before-you-buy type, feel free to preview the album below. It’s a veritable symphony of plinks, plunks and plastic beats.
Back while we were still on hiatus, we got an email from the enigmatic U.K. producer known only as Hanetration, informing us s/he had just released a new EP called Timelapse. Quoth the Hanetraitor: “It’s less ‘produced’ than my previous stuff; sparse mechanical experiments.” Perhaps to signal that it’s a bit of a departure, this is the first Hanetration EP whose title isn’t an anagram of Tenth Oar, the name of his/her debut EP. That spooky, droning set was followed by the equally spooky Torn Heat and Nae Troth. Maybe s/he will follow up Timelapse with Smile Peat?
Anyway, you can hear all of Timelapse on Hanetration’s Bandcamp page. Where Tenth Oar sounded like a walk on the moors, Timelapse is definitely a trip through urban wastelands, with lots of ominous industrial clangs, buzzes, creaks and metal-on-metal squeals. Even “Opal,” with its Indian overtones, sounds less like a trip down the Ganges than a 3 a.m. cab ride through the slums of Mumbai. It’s evocative stuff.
Sometimes it’s the simple videos that are ultimately the most effective. This one, posted today by our buddies Chimney Crow, is called “Bucks Bike Ride Bride” and it’s about, well, a bike ride. And a bride. Pop a Dramamine and enjoy.
When The Onion A.V. Club asked avant-electronic duo Matmos to cover “I Want Candy,” the classic ’60s stomper made even stompier in the ’80s by Bow Wow Wow, you just knew they were going to twist and tweak it some unexpected ways. But turning it into a homoerotic paean to NSA leaker Edward Snowden? Gentlemen, you’ve outdone yourselves!
WordPress and the A.V. Club’s video player don’t get along, so you’ll have to go over to their site to watch all the fun. Suffice it to say there are shakers, squiggly keyboards and distorted vocals involved. And of course, that sweet, sweet Bo Diddley beat, which for the most part Matmos chose not to fuck with. Some things just can’t be improved upon.
ESP-loving electronic duo Matmos are still out promoting their latest album, The Marriage of True Minds, which they created with the help of volunteers in a psychic powers experiment. We’ve covered this one quite a bit, so we’re all out of psychic jokes, but we can tell you they’ll be performing in Chicago this coming Thursday as part of the Loops and Variations concert series, and later this summer they’ll be at the Hopscotch Festival in North Carolina. We don’t know these things because we’re psychic or anything; we just got the press release. (See? Told you we were fresh out of psychic jokes.)
To keep the True Minds train a-rollin’, Matmos have just released another video from the trippy set. Directed by Matmos’ own M.C. Schmidt, the “Aetheric Vehicle” video is a tangerine dream of spacey synths, ancient Egyptians, and retinal damage from staring at the sun too long.
P.S. If you purchase The Marriage of True Minds via Amazon, you can support both Matmos and TWBITW in one go, thanks to the magic of our Amazon Associates program. For more on how Amazon Associates works, visit our FAQs.
Something old and something new from our penis-nosed friend Dr. Reecard Farché, aka Anklepants: He’s just released a 12″ single on off-white vinyl featured a massively extended club-anthem rework of “[speak you little facehead],” the track that (along with its hallucinatory video) first introduced us to pleasures of this Aussie breakcore/tech-glitch weirdo over a year ago. Called “SPEEK YOU LITTLE RE-ƒacéé,” the new version clocks in at nearly 12 minutes and features a long four-on-the-floor outro that sounds like 4 a.m. in a Berlin S&M club. You can stream the whole glorious thing below via Soundcloud.
“SPEEK YOU LITTLE RE-ƒacéé” is out now on Love Love Records and available for purchase here. DJs who still spin vinyl, do your record crates a favor and score a copy. It’s worth it for the baboon cover art alone.
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?
This week’s weird band was suggested to us by a Facebook fan named João Nox, who we assume is from Portugal, because his name is João and this band Blasted Mechanism seems to be virtually unknown outside of Portugal. Which is a shame, because these guys fly a freak flag that should really be traveling in international waters. I’m not even sure what that means, but I haven’t had much sleep.
Blasted Mechanism have been around since 1996 and have played a lot of major European festivals alongside more famous band they charmingly misspell on their Facebook page: Pearl Jem, Linking Park. They’re a six-piece sorta electro-jam band with lots of dub/reggae and world music influences; one of the dudes plays djembe and didgeridoo, another plays a double-neck combination guitar/cavaquinho, which is a Portuguese cross between a ukulele and a mandolin. Except I think maybe they call it a Bambuleco or a Kalachakra or who fucking knows—a lot of their instruments are custom made so they can call them whatever they feel like.
Although their music sounds like a lot of fun live, what’s really more interesting about Blasted Mechanism are their costumes, which they’ve changed up many times over the years in an apparent attempt to discover the perfect combination of B-movie space alien, Aztec warrior, Mighty Morphin Power Ranger and Burning Man refugee. Here they are having fun with electroluminescent wire:
And here they are in perhaps their crowning achievement, an insane mix of gypsy-punk and peyote-fueled tribal freakout called “Battle of Tribes.”
Good shit, no? So thanks for introducing us to the weirdness of Portugal, João. Now what’s it gonna take for us to convince these guys to do a U.S. tour?
More news recently arrived from Electric Phantom Productions, the home of two of our favorite weirdos, Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin and Chimney Crow. Seems Chimney Crow has just released the first video from their debut album, Chimney Crow Is a Band. And while I’m not gonna go so far as to accuse Chimney Crow mastermind Paul Isgone of being a serial killer, I am gonna say that there is no way I’m ever gonna follow this dude into his basement.
Let’s have a look, shall we?
So: Are you capable of understanding? And if so…can you explain it to us?
We’ll share more details on Chimney Crow Is a Band as soon as we get them. So far, to the best of our knowledge, the album is not yet available. But we’re sure it’ll be seeping up from the depths of Paul Isgone’s basement any day now.