Well, kids, we really missed the boat on this one. A whole bunch of you out there in Weirdo Land have been suggesting almost since we started this blog that we write about Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and we were always like, “Yeah, yeah, we’ll get around to it.” And we blew it off, and blew it off, and now Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is no more. Last week we got an email announcing SGM’s final L.A. show this past Friday, and final San Francisco shows yesterday. “As it turns out,” read the email, “we are being replaced.”
For those of y’all not familiar: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is basically what happens when a bunch of SF art freaks get together and decide to make Dadaist-inspired prog-metal on a combination of traditional and homemade instruments. They were started in 1999 by Dan Rathbun and Nils Frykdahl, who used to be in a band called Idiot Flesh, and also featured members of Tin Hat Trio, Skeleton Key and a dance company called InkBoat. To give you an idea of how friggin weird these guys were, here are the names of some of their other projects: Vacuum Tree Head, Immersion Composition Society, Thinking Plague and Moe!kestra. Wonder which one is “replacing” them?
Supposedly the band was named after an actual museum that burned down in 1916, one founded by a futurist and a “black mathematician” and one that did not allow human visitors. Among the many odd instruments featured in their shows were something called a sledgehammer dulcimer and something else called a “popping turtle.” One of their songs, “Helpless Corpses Enactment,” features lyrics based on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake; another, “FC: The Freedom Club,” uses texts from the Unabomber. It’s all very intellectual stuff, even if it’s being delivered by guys in topknots and what kinda look like neo-pagan prom dresses.
Although SGM have sadly played their last gig, we supposedly haven’t heard the last from them. The same email that announced the last shows also promised some new studio material, a short film and a live DVD compiled of performances from the past six years. So maybe they haven’t been totally replaced after all.
Anyway, here’s their totally bitchin’ and (we think) mostly tongue-in-cheek ode to Satan (or Lucifer, if you wanna get all techincal), “A Hymn to the Morning Star.” Never has pure evil looked so silly.
- Sleepytime Gorilla Museum official site
- Sleepytime Gorilla Museum on MySpace
- Charming Hostess official site (band featuring Dan Rathbun and Nils Frykdahl)
- Faun Fables (band featuring Nils Frykdahl)
- Polymorph Recording Studios (Rathbun’s audio house)