Fuck Yeah Lightning Bolt: Noise duo announces fall tour, FYF Fest date

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Godammit. I may have to go party a bunch of fucking hipsters this September. Punk as fuck duo Lightning Bolt are playing the FYF Fest (formerly called the Fuck Yeah Festival, back when it was still cool) here in L.A. on Sept. 1st. Joining them on the bill will be Beirut, Yeasayer, Sleigh Bells and a bunch of other bands that will bring the skinny jeans crowd out in force. I hope they’re ready for Lightning Bolt drummer Brian Chippendale to melt those stupid white plastic sunglasses off their faces. (To be fair, FYF this year also features many badass bands like Refused, Hot Snakes, HEALTH and Fucked Up. But Beirut? Please beat me senseless with an accordion if I get within 100 yards of that shit.)

Everyone else in America will have the pleasure of seeing Lightning Bolt minus the $50 T-shirts and 90 degree heat of L.A. in September. (Seriously, it’s like our hottest month for some reason. While everyone else’s trees are turning ruddy colors, ours are literally bursting into flames.) Chippendale and extra-strength bassist Brian Gibson are touring their balls off for about a month. Here are the dates:

08/21 Washington DC Rock ‘n Roll Hotel
08/22 Richmond, VA Gallery 5
08/23 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade
08/24 Atlanta, GA The Goat Farm
08/25 Birmingham, AL Bottletree
08/26 New Orleans, LA Big Top Three Ring Circus
08/27 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
08/28 Dallas, TX Sons of Hermann Hall
08/29 Austin, TX Emo’s East
08/30 Santa Fe, NM Sol Santa Fe *
08/31 Phoenix, AZ Trunk Space
09/01 Los Angeles, CA FYF Fest
09/03 Oakland, CA The New Parish
09/04 San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop
09/06 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater / MFNW #
09/07 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
09/08 Seattle, WA Showbox at the Market %
09/10 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
09/12 Denver, CO Rhinoceropolis
09/13 Omaha, NE Waiting Room
09/14 Grinnell, IA Grinnell College
09/15 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
09/16 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
09/17 Pittsburgh, PA Lawrenceville Moose
09/18 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
09/19 Baltimore, MD Floristree
09/20 Brooklyn, NY 285 Kent
09/23 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club

* = w/ Purity Ring
# = w/ Quasi, White Fang
% = w/ Fucked Up, Ceremony

Apparently they’ll also some new and old music coming soon, too: an EP of previously unreleased shit and a new digital-only album called Oblivion Hunter. Sweet title, right? I am so going to spend this weekend introducing myself at parties as, “Jake Manson, Oblivion Hunter.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you when I pass out later in your bathtub.

Let’s play this out with some live LB, shall we? I really wish I coulda been front row at one of these shows in, say, 1997. Now I’m old and fat and would probably get my ass kicked.


Dread Zeppelin

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It’s been too damn long since we made a cover band Weird Band of the Week, don’t you think? Let’s end the drought with a little “When the Levee Breaks,” as played by a reggae band led by a fat Elvis impersonator. Yes, people, we are finally paying tribute to the mighty Dread Zeppelin.

In case this ship sailed without you: Dread Zeppelin is a Led Zeppelin cover band that started right here in L.A. way back in 1990 or so…a time when Elvis impersonators were even more popular than they are now, if you can believe it. L.A. also gave birth around the same time to the so-called “Mexican Elvis,” El Vez; Nicolas Cage skydived into Vegas with the Flying Elvises’; and the band Living Colour felt compelled to remind everyone that “Elvis Is Dead.” Someone smarter than us has probably already explained this spike in Elvis mania, but let’s Google that shit later and get back to Dread Zeppelin, shall we?

Around this time, a semi-successful ’80s rock band called The Prime Movers was in the process of getting dropped by their label. (The Prime Movers’ biggest claim to fame, incidentally, was a song on the soundtrack to the 1986 film Manhunter. Their second biggest claim to fame was some seriously awesome ’80s hair in the accompanying music video)  Unable to release any of their own music, they decided as a goof to remake Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”/”Hey Hey What Can I Do” single, but in a reggae style. And just to make the whole thing extra-ridiculous, they recruited an Elvis impersonator called Tortelvis (Greg Tortell) to sing lead vocals.

The single was a hit, as was the band’s live show, which mixed up Zeppelin, Elvis, Bob Marley and other random bits of popular music like Edwin Starr’s “War” (“what is it good for? absolutely nuthin’!”) and the Yardbirds’ “Train Kept A-Rollin.'” Dread Zeppelin was unleashed upon the masses.

And 22 years and about a zillion lineup changes later, they’re still unleashing it. They’re latest album, SoSo, just came out last year. If you got the Zeppelin in-joke in SoSo before you even saw the cover art, congratulations. You can probably also recite entire chapters of Hammer of the Gods, which we’re sure makes you a hit with the ladies.

Fun Dread Zep side notes: Robert Plant is a fan. Tortelvis performs with a personal assistant, Charlie Haj, whose entire job is to bring him water and towels. They have an album called No Quarter Pounder. And judging from their Facebook page, they really love donuts. Hey, Tortelvis didn’t get that fat on banana-and-peanut-butter sandwiches alone.

It may seem to the casual fan like Dread Zeppelin have run their shtick into the ground at this point…and, well, they kinda have. But they have actually tried to mix it up occasionally. They released an album of disco covers in 1992. The Fun Sessions includes covers of non-Zep classic rock staples like “Smoke on the Water” and “Freebird.” (So yes, you can yell “Freebird!” at a Dread Zeppelin show and not be a total asshole. OK, you might still be an asshole.)

But let’s face it: Anyone who’s ever gone to a Dread Zeppelin concert has been there to hear Elvis/reggae versions of “Black Dog” and “Whole Lotta Love.” Or Zep/Elvis mashups like the one in this video, which might feature our favorite self-indulgent guitar solo of all time. Mercy.

We usually only include one video per post, but fuck it. These guys deserve an encore. Besides, as excellent as the above clip is, it doesn’t fully showcase the band’s reggae chops. This one does:


Weird Live Review: Quintron and Miss Pussycat

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Some venues live up to their name, and The Smell is definitely one of them. An all-ages, alcohol-free punk-rock club tucked away down an alley in downtown Los Angeles, it’s the kind of place where, every time a band finishes their set, everyone stampedes for the exit to suck down fresh air (and cigarettes, which compared to The Smell are like little tobacco-scented air fresheners) like carp bobbing to the surface of a dirty koi pond. You see, besides being alcohol-free, The Smell is also air-conditioning-and-ventilation-free. Midway through Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s set, I had to stop taking pictures because my iPhone screen was filming up with the salty condensation of 300 kids’ sweat. Ew.

That being said, it was kind of the perfect place to see Quintron and Miss Pussycat do their swampy, low-tech organ rock. After opening with one of Miss P’s totally adorable puppet shows (see the video clip below for an excerpt), Quintron fired up his Drum Buddy and was off to the races, laying down thick slabs of Hammond organ over programmed beats that had the sweaty punk-rock kids moving and grooving. It was a lively 90-minute set, especially given how oppressively hot the room was, although it probably peaked too soon with a slow-burn version of “Swamp Buggy Bad Ass” that found a shirtless, sweat-slick Quintron prowling through the crowd like a wild animal, before jumping back onstage to unleash an onslaught of distorted organ and Drum Buddy glitchitude that had the place going nuts. My favorite Hawaiian shirt may never smell the same again, but it was all worth it for that one song.

Other set highlights included the Miss Pussycat vocal showcases “Banana Beat” and “Fly Like a Rat,” the super-catchy “Waterfall,” and “Ring the Alarm,” one of the best songs from the duo’s most recent album, Sucre du Savage. And regardless of what song they were playing, it was fun to watch Quintron put the Drum Buddy, an analog synth built around a light bulb and a rotating tin can, through its paces—and to watch the audience wince every time he fired up the high-beams on the Oldsmobile grille attached to the front of his organ.

Side note: Although I don’t think they were really interesting enough to merit a Weird Band of the Week pick anytime soon, opening act XBXRX do get bonus points for taking the stage dressed in what appeared to be multi-colored, half-diaper/half-toga ensembles, and playing such a ridiculously loud set that at one point, Quintron walked past me with his fingers jammed into his ears. (If my wife is reading this: Yes, honey, I wore earplugs.) Sadly, I got no pictures of XBXRX and their ridiculous ensembles, because in addition to being one of the most aromatic venues I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, The Smell was also one of the darkest. Most of the light in the second and third pictures below came from Quintron’s Drum Buddy.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s tour continues all through July. More dates here. I highly recommend checking ’em out.

Oh, and did I mention there was a puppet show?

Flaming Lips play eight shows in 24 hours, try to break Guinness World Record

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Photo by J. Michelle Martin Coyne

If we wrote a new post every time The Flaming Lips pulled a new publicity stunt, we’d have to quit our day jobs. Twenty-four hour songs, Record Store Day releases embedded with actual blood of famous people, unauthorized NBA basketball theme music, semi-naked videos with Erykah Badu—these guys have been churning out Pitchfork link bait like the world’s about to end. And hey, maybe it is, right? So The Lips might be on to something. At the very least, it might help them sell a few more records, since the NPR crowd basically stopped paying attention to them after Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

For their latest headline-grabbing ploy, Wayne Coyne and co. will attempt to break the Guinness World Record® for most concerts in different cities in a 24-hour period. It turns out they only need to play eight shows to break the record, which makes the whole thing seem slightly less impressive—but hey, a record is a record, right? Still, if any bands reading this want to try for nine concerts in 24 hours, let us know. It can’t be that hard, can it?

Here are the eight record-breaking shows, along with opening acts. Bonus points to The Lips for managing to book both Neon Trees and Neon Indian for this stunt.

June 27   Memphis, TN    Handy Park (Doors 3:30pm)
New Fumes & The Flaming Lips

June 27   Clarksdale, MS    Ground Zero Blues Club (Doors at 6:30pm)
Gary Clark Jr & The Flaming Lips

June 27   Oxford, MS   The Lyric (Doors 8:30pm)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals & The Flaming Lips

June 28   Jackson, MS   Duling Hall (1:00am)
Neon Indian & The Flaming Lips

June 28  Hattiesburg, MS   Benny’s Boom Boom Room (6:30am)
Hunter Hayes & The Flaming Lips

June 28   Biloxi, MS   Hard Rock Casino (9:45am)  
Neon Trees & The Flaming Lips

June 28   Baton Rouge, LA   Varsity (12:30pm)
GIVERS & The Flaming Lips

June 28   New Orleans, LA   House Of Blues (4:00pm)
Grimes & The Flaming Lips

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Hattiesburg is getting the short end of this whole thing. Lips fans there gotta show up at 6:30 and sit through an opening set by this guy? There ain’t enough trucker speed in Mississippi to get us out of bed for that shit.

In other Lips news, their Record Store Day “exclusive,” The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, is coming out next week on CD and digital formats. In honor of that momentous occasion, which won’t break any Guinness World Records that we’re aware of (unless there’s a category called Most Head-Scratching Collaborations on a Single Album), we’ll play this post out with the apocalyptic (hey, the world’s ending soon, right?) animated video for the Heady Fwends track, “The Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee.” Enjoy.

Skull and Bones

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So the winner of our latest Facebook poll was a Hungarian band called Toth Kina Hegyfalu, but their website is some kind of spamware sinkhole that crashed both our computers when we were trying to research them. So fuck those guys. We’re giving this week’s poll to Skull and Bones, with thanks to our old pal Army of Gay Unicorns for turning us on to this bizarro band from Brazil. We love you, Army of Gay Unicorns! In a totally platonic, non-gay way. Don’t get any ideas, bro.

Skull and Bones is one of those “bands” that’s basically just the work of one guy, a Brazilian nut job named Carlos Spartacus. Spartacus’s two great loves in life are heavy metal and conspiracy theories…hence he writes metal songs about things like UFOs, fake moon landings and secret Nazi bases on Antarctica. If this dude hasn’t seen Iron Sky yet, he really should. It’s about a secret Nazi base on the moon! It’s fiction, but we’re sure there’s a conspiracy theory floating around somewhere that claims It’s All True.

As hilarious as Skull and Bones’s videos are, with their clunky animation and shots of Spartacus playing his axe with the grim determination of a third grader doing long division, the man behind them is dead serious about this stuff. His blog is actually more about conspiracy theories and “alternative history” than it is about the band, and he also claims to be a Freemason and a “Magus,” which is a pretentious way of saying he’s into casting spells and shit. Hope he doesn’t read this and put a hex on us for calling his videos “hilarious.” Although this Swedish metal website called Global Domination totally trashed one of his albums and he gave them an interview anyway. So he seems to take the kidding in stride.

Who knows? Maybe Spartacus realizes that he’s just so far ahead of the rest of us that he’ll probably die a misunderstood artist and his music won’t be appreciated until future generations can fully grasp the genius behind songs like “Admiral Byrd’s Expedition, ” which has a little bit of everything, at least in video form: Nazis! Explosions! UFOs! Drummers engulfed in flames! Pinched falsetto vocals! A seriously bored bass player! Actually, this might be the greatest thing coming out of Brazil right now, metal-wise. Compared to this, Sepultura videos suck balls.

P.S. Wanna help choose one of July’s Weird Bands of the Week? Go vote in our latest Facebook poll. Help us spread democracy to the fascist regime that is Facebook!


Dolchnakov Brigade returns to public access on “The Chris Gethard Show”

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Public access cable television is probably even more socialist than PBS, so it makes sense that the most Soviet-themed band on The Weird List, Dolchnakov Brigade, has found a pretty steady gig there. This week, they’ll be making their third appearance in less than a year on The Chris Gethard Show, a public-access comedy show that broadcasts Wednesday nights at 11 p.m. in Manhattan on…well, we can’t seem to find the name of the channel on the TCGS website, but you New Yorkers are a resourceful bunch. We’re sure you can figure it out.

Apparently host Mr. Gethard—and disappointingly, that name is pronounced more like “Geth-Heard”—discovered Dolchnakov Brigade when he Googled the phrase “weirdest band in the world.” Clearly, the man has excellent taste in Google search terms.

Anyway, this week marks The Chris Gethard Show‘s one-year anniversary, so congrats to him and all his minions (the Getharders?) for weathering the dog-eat-dog world of public access TV and pushing out 50 episodes in the process. I don’t think we even managed 50 blog posts in our first year, so that Gethard guy must sleep, like, never.

Oh and if you don’t live in New York and/or don’t watch cable: The Chris Gethard Show is also archived online. Look for Episode 50 to see Dolchnakov in all their “Palevish” glory. And no, we still don’t know what “Palevish” means.

More Quintron & Miss Pussycat tour dates (including, finally, an L.A. stop)

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Quintron and Miss Pussycat have been touring like crazy in 2012, so it’s about frickin’ time they included a swing through the West Coast in their travels. They’re playing here June 23rd at a place called (for reasons we’ll leave to your imagination) The Smell, and Jake and I plan to be on hand to catch all the swamp-tech and puppet-show madness. We’ll post a full report in these virtual pages once we’ve slept it off.

They kicked off their latest tour last night in Lafayette, Louisiana and it continues today in Austin. Here’s the full itinerary:

6-16 Austin, TX – Red 7 $$!
6-17 San Antonio, TX – Korova $$
6-20 Tucson, AZ – Solar Culture $$
6-21 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom $$
6-22 San Diego, CA – Casbah $$
6-23 Los Angeles, CA – The Smell $$#
6-24 Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar $$
6-27 San Jose, CA – Blank Club $$
6-28 Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place $$
6-29 Oakland, CA – New Parish Music Hall $$
6-30 San Francisco, CA – Elbo Room $$%
7-2 Arcata, CA – The Jambalaya $$
7-3 Olympia, WA – Northern $$
7-5 Vancouver, BC – Waldorf Hotel $$
7-6 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey $$
7-7 Portland, OR – East End Block Party $$
7-9 Boise, ID – Neurolux
7-10 Salt Lake City, UT- Urban Lounge
7-12 Denver, CO- Hi Dive
7-13 Kansas City, MO- Record Bar
7-14 Norman, OK- Opolis
7-15 Dallas, TX- Doublewide
7-18 Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall
7-19 Iowa City, IA – The Mill
7-20 Chicago, IL – Printer’s Ball
7-27 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
7-28 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks

$$ w/ Dent May
$$! w/ Dent May, Golden Boys
$$# w/ Dent May, XBXRX
$$% w/ Dent May, Shannon and the Clams

We cannot wait to see the awesome power of a fully operational Drum Buddy unleashed upon the City of Angels. Bring it, Q & Miss P!