Here Come the Mummies announce “If the Clown Shoe Fits” tour

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Anubis be praised! (No? Not an Egyptology crowd tonight? Fine…) Here Come the Mummies are bringing their reanimated funk back on the road…and this time, for the first time in like, forever (well, OK, for as long as we’ve known about them, which to be fair has only been about a year), they’re playing a show here in L.A.! Jake and I will be there with bandages and corpse paint on, baby, ready to let our freak flags fly.

But wait, the news gets cooler. HCTM are also pulling a Louis C.K. and selling tickets directly through their website, keeping convenience charges low and throwing in a few perks like a $5 gift certificate to the Mummies online store. Pretty savvy for a bunch of dudes who’ve been dead for 3,000 years.

Here are the full dates for what they’ve dubbed the “If the Clown Shoe Fits” tour. Clowns and mummies? It’s like the birthday party I was so cruelly denied as a six-year-old.

Sep 21     Toledo, OH     Headliners
Sep 22     Urbana, IL     Canopy Club
Oct 4     West Hollywood, CA     House of Blues
Oct 5     Santa Ynez, CA     Chumash Casino Resort
Oct 6     Las Vegas, NV     Hard Rock Las Vegas
Oct 7     Tucson, AZ     Rialto Theatre
Oct 11     Nashville, TN     Live On The Green
Oct 12     Bloomington, IN     The Bluebird
Oct 13     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
Oct 14     Lincoln, NE     Rococo Theatre
Oct 18     Lexington, KY     Buster’s Billiards & Backroom
Oct 19     Ft. Wayne, IN     Pierre’s
Oct 20     Mansfield, OH     Renaissance Theatre
Oct 25     Madison, WI     Majestic Theatre
Oct 26     Onamia, MN     Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Oct 27     Hinkley, MN     Grand Casino Amphitheater
Nov 1     Joliet, IL     MoJoes
Nov 2     Macomb, IL     COFAC Recital Hall
Nov 3     Dubuque, IA     Diamond Jo Casino
Nov 10     Cincinnati, OH     Taft Theatre
Nov 16     Indianapolis, IN     Vogue Theater
Nov 17     South Bend, IN     Club Fever

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What the fuck is going on in the new Insane Clown Posse video?

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Insane Clown Posse premiered the first video from their new album The Mighty Death Pop today and it’s what my Uncle Floyd calls a Doozy McFloozy. The track is called “Chris Benoit,” after the pro wrestler who murdered his wife and kid and then hanged himself in 2007, and the video is…well, watch it below and see for yourself.

Among the many unanswered questions here: Is that a Burning Man theme camp, or a post-apocalyptic hellscape? What does that big white block stand for, and why does someone seemingly drop dead every time that masked executioner strikes it? What the fuck is that thing he’s striking it with? It’s like a cross between a pick-ax and a sledgehammer. Why is the child emperor Juggalo wearing a schoolboy uniform? Why does solving a levitating black-and-white Rubik’s Cube make the vaguely bishop-y looking guy drop dead? Why is there a fucking fire-spinner and an old black lady in a Newt Gingrich wig? Why does the fat guy have chess pieces in his bandolier? Is he packing some kind of chess-piece-firing weapon he never got a chance to deploy? What does the symbol on the hot chick’s flag mean? Are you sick of all these questions yet?

The video just came out today, so we’re sure some hyper-obsessive Juggalo will eventually explain the whole thing for us. In the meantime, the rest of us can just sit back and shake our heads at the craziest shit ICP has dropped since “Miracles.”

P.S. There’s also now an ICP app available for iPhone/iPad and Android, apparently, if you’re into that kind of thing. I was hoping it might include a Faygo retail locator, but apparently it’s just ICP news and exclusive content and whatnot.

Baby Seal Club

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The results of our latest Facebook poll are in and once again the ballot-stuffers…uh, I mean voters have spoken. By a wide margin, Baby Seal Club beat out Charles Manson and two bands you probably never heard of to become our latest Weird Band of the Week. Congrats on beating my namesake cult leader, guys. That’s no small feat in these parts, especially since this video surfaced.

We first heard about BSC when their singer-guitarist, Fudo, wrote to us and shared the band’s video for “Zeroes and Ones,” which you can see below. Fudo admitted he was “hard-pressed” to claim his band’s music was weirder than most of what we blog about around here. But any band that does a video about a marauding band of chickens trashing an Apple Store gets our attention.

Baby Seal Club hail from a podunk town in Northern California called Sebastopol (come for the wineries, stay because you’re too drunk to drive back to San Francisco). They dress in carnival/steam-punk/Burning Man chic and play a style of music I’m gonna call quirky outlaw power-pop. I’m not even sure what that means, but it sounds about right. You can check out samples of their 10-track debut album on their official website. I’m partial to “Mama Delphi,” which starts out with the line, “She didn’t know she was made of Play-Doh.” Man, if I had nickel for every time I’ve dated that chick.

Since writing to us, Fudo and his bandmates (Choklit Chanteuse, Wizzbang Mahnkae, Nashish, Nectar and occasionally a guy called Uncle Stabby, which is now officially my favorite band alias ever) have been on a roll. They’ve opened for The B-52’s (bet Fred Schneider loooooved them) and were voted Best Rock Band at the North Bay Music Awards. We like to think being named Weird Band of the Week is just as prestigious, but who are we kidding? They’ve probably forgotten about us little people already.

Fun bonus fact: Their fans are called “FlipperTrippers.” We’re sure that’s just because seals have flippers and is not in any way a drug reference.

Anyway, here’s “Zeroes and Ones.” Insert your favorite “cluck” joke here. Oh, and go vote in our next poll, OK? The fate of four more bands rests in your hands.

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French turntable wizards Birdy Nam Nam release a new EP with the help of (no, really) Skrillex

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We’ve been big fans of French turntablists Birdy Nam Nam ever since we stumbled across this video of them working their wheels-of-steel magic back in 2006. We might even swallow our dislike of massive crowds and go see them when they roll through L.A. next month as part of the HARD Summer Festival. We can put up with a few thousand hipsters and dubstep-heads for the sake of seeing Birdy Nam Nam and Bootsy Collins. (Not at the same time, unfortunately—although someone should really make that collab happen.)

And speaking of dubstep: Birdy Nam Nam released a new EP last week on Skrillex’s OWSLA label, which I have to admit has me a little concerned. Are Crazy B, DJ Pone, Little Mike and DJ Need jumping on the dubstep bandwagon? Judging from the video below, the answer is a resounding “yes”…although another track, “Cadillac Dreams,” is more interesting, a sort of electro/glitch-hop take on Southern hip-hop and chopped ‘n’ screwed, complete with a sizzurp-sippin’, slowed-down vocal from French rapper Teki Latex. So they haven’t abandoned their weirdo roots entirely.

Anyway, the new EP is called Jaded Future and it’s available now on iTunes, Beatport and wherever fine French hip-hop platters are sold. Will it make these hommes the superstars they’ve longed deserved to be? But if so, at what cost? Don’t go turning into some weird dubstep/Euro-disco French House Mafia, guys, K? We already have the Swedish version of that and we don’t need another one.

Get yourself a personalized music video from Rasputina’s Melora Creager

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Have you ever watched a Rasputina video and thought to yourself, “This is cool and all, but I’d be way more into it if Melora was playing cello in a full Barney the Purple Dinosaur costume”? Well, now’s your chance to ask her to do it.

Yep, starting this month, Melora Creager is offering to shoot personalized music videos for any Rasputina song. The price tag for each video is $350, which sounds steep until you consider that’s probably how much you paid for that abstract landscape painting you bought at Art Walk after drinking too much Two Buck Chuck. And while that crappy painting doesn’t take requests, Melora does: You can suggest costume elements, give her acting directions (the examples she gives are “extra-sad” and “nerdily seductive”) and even ask her to change the lyrics to better suit your boundless ego (“Andy of the Grotto” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?). “You cannot dictate what I make,” she explains on her website, “but any suggestion by you, the collector, will inspire me and lend direction to the piece.” Just don’t be the first douchebag to ask her to take her clothes off, OK? This is art, people.

Watch Melora’s infomercial below for more about her Personalized Music Videos© and visit Rasputina’s “Handicraft Shoppe” if you have the scratch to request one. And be sure to check out the sample personalized video she made for her boyfriend Gabe. As you can see, the production values ain’t exactly Bruckheimer, but it’s pretty entertaining nonetheless.

Deerhoof tour dates! (and drums!)

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It’s been over a year since San Fran noise-rockers Deerhoof released their last album, the excellently titled Deerhoof vs. Evil. But apparently they’re more interested in playing gigs than returning to the studio, because they just announced a whole slew of North American live dates running all the way into November, with nary a new product to push in sight. Not that we’re complaining. Watching Greg Saunier beat his drum kit like it owes him money is way more fun than listening to a Deerhoof record, anyway. (Well, except maybe for Offend Maggie. That set was a hoot.) [Update: We blogged too soon. Deerhoof do have a new album called Breakup Song coming out Sept. 4 on Polyvinyl. We’re sure it will be filled with much mayhem and mirth.]

Anyway, here are the dates, complete with opening acts. And speaking of opening acts: After the jump, enjoy a little live clip of Saunier beating the skins (no matter how many times I say that, it still sounds dirty) in a drum duet with Liam Finn, who’s clearly no slouch on the kit himself. Enjoy.

09-05 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat w/ Dope Body, America Hearts
09-06 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Festival @ Memorial Auditorium w/ Liars and Airstrip
09-17 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-18 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-19 – Montreal, QC – Pop Montreal @ Cabaret Du Mile End w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-21 – Lexington, KY – Boomslang Festival @ Cosmic Charlie’s w/ Buke And Gase
09-22 – Chicago, IL – Scuba’s Tavern (early all ages show) w/ Mirel Wagner
09-22 – Chicago, IL – Schuba’s Tavern (10PM door 21+ show) w/ Buke And Gase
09-23 – Minneapolis, MN – The Brick w/ Buke And Gase, Mirel Wagner
09-24 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-25 – Denver, CO – The Hi Dive w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-27 – Garden City, ID – Visual Arts Collective w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief, Luke Wyland (of AU)
09-28 – Seattle, WA – The Vera Project w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-29 – Portland, OR – Branx w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
09-30 – Arcata, CA – The Depot @ Humboldt State University w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
10-01 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
10-02 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex w/ Buke And Gase, Raleigh Moncrief
11-03 – Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar w/ Formica Man, Skating Polly, Liam Finn
11-05 – Houston, TX – Walter’s w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-06 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon w/ Formica Man, Twin Killers, Liam Finn
11-07 – Mobile, AL – Alabama Music Box w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-08 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-09 – Orlando, FL – Accidental Music Festival @ The Plaza Live
11-10 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-12 – Richmond, VA – The National w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn
11-13 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar w/ Formica Man, Liam Finn, Dope Body

Cardiacs

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If we really wanted to, we could probably just change the name of this blog to Weirdest Bands of the ’80s and take a permanent wayback vacation to the era of skinny ties, suspenders and John Hughes movies. What was it about that decade that produced so much wackadoodle pop music?

Me, I was all into Def Leppard and chicks with mullets, so I missed the boat on most of it. Which probably explains why until a reader named Eustaquio (seriously, that’s his name) hipped us to a band called Cardiacs, I had never heard of them before. But consider me schooled, Eustaquio! Even for a time that gave the world Klaus Nomi and DEVO, Cardiacs were pretty out there.

Some history: Cardiacs were originally called Cardiac Arrest and were founded by a pair of brothers named Tim and Jim Smith in a place called Kingston Upon Thames, a suburb of London. Don’t you love how British people name their towns things like “Kingston Upon Thames”? It was probably exactly that kind of stiff-upper-lip prim-and-proper shit that the Smith Bros. were rebelling against.

Anyway, early Cardiac Arrest recordings were apparently pretty scruffy, lo-fi affairs, but by the time the band changed its name to Cardiacs, they were getting a little more polished and a whole lot wackier. Much of their spazzy new sound came from Tim’s herky-jerky vocals (compared to him, David Byrne is Frank fucking Sinatra) and the elaborate keyboard arrangements of a later addition to the band, William D. Drake. They also added a chick sax player, which was very ’80s of them, don’t you think? Her name was Sarah Cutts but she eventually married Tim and became Sarah Smith.

The combination of raw energy and spazzy, complex arrangements (and saxophones!) has led some to label the early Cardiacs sound “pronk,” which is apparently short for “prog + punk.” To his credit, Tim Smith rejected this completely retarded label and would usually just say Cardiacs was a psychedelic pop band. Works for us.

Because everyone in the ’80s was a bit of a weirdo, Cardiacs actually gained a decent cult following and even had a hit single in 1988 with a song called “Is This the Life?”—although by this time they were starting to get that bombastic ’80s guitar sound (thanks a lot, U2) and shooting boring music videos in wind tunnels. Within a few years, Sarah Smith and William D. Drake quit the band and their weirdest days were behind them…although they were active right up until 2008, when Tim Smith suffered a series of strokes that nearly killed him. He’s apparently doing a bit better now, but his days of making music are, sadly, probably behind him.

Anyway, here’s a flashback to Cardiacs’ ’80s heyday, when they dressed up in quasi-military uniforms and smeared greasepaint across their faces and performed as the demented puppets of their malevolent overlords, the Alphabet Business Concern. (He doesn’t show up in the clip below, but they were occasionally joined in videos and onstage by an ABC representative called The Consultant who would alternately stand around looking blandly handsome and/or hurling abuse at the band members, particularly Drake. If you were stoned and British in the ’80s, it was apparently hilarious stuff.)

P.S. We must also give a nod to reader Oded, who also recently suggested we add these guys to The Weird List. But sorry, Oded…Eustaquio beat you to it. By 10 days. Was there just like a Cardiacs documentary on the Bio Channel or something?

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