Ghostigital

Ghostigital
Photo by Ingolfur Juliusson

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.

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Can somebody fly us to New Orleans so we can celebrate Mardi Gras with Quintron and Miss Pussycat?

Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Good news for people who like puking in alleyways and/or flashing their tits (not necessarily in that order): Mardi Gras is almost upon us! And what better way to celebrate than with New Orleans’ ambassadors of Crescent City eccentricity, Quintron and Miss Pussycat? (We hear Trombone Shorty’s a good time, too, but does he open his sets with sci-fi puppet shows? No, he does not.)

In addition to playing a few hometown Mardi Gras-related shows, Q & Miss P will also be bringing their puppets and swamp jams to several lucky, lucky cities this spring. See below for full tour dates, and for a little taste of what you’re in for, read our review of Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s last show here in L.A. The venue you see them at will probably less stanky, but we make no guarantees.

Quintron & Miss Pussycat Mardi Gras/spring tour dates:

02-1 New Orleans, LA – Tulane University Mardi Gras Ball
02-02 Lafayette, LA – Blue Moon Saloon w/ T-Kette
02-11 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s w/ K-Holes, Vice Cooler & the one and only STEPHANIE “call the police” MCDEE!
03-01 New Orleans, LA – THE PRYTANIA THEATER – NOLA Premier of “The Mystery In Old BathBath”
04-09 Tallahassee, FL – Downunder Club
04-10 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
04-13 Washington, DC – Kennedy Center New Orleans Bingo Show
04-17 New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine
04-20 Brooklyn, NY – SPRING FEVER @ Secret Project Robot w/ K-Holes, Black Dice
04-21 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter w/ Bermuda Triangles
04-25 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s Downstair’s
04-26 Dallas, TX – Double Wide Bar w/ Darktown Strutters
04-27 Austin, TX – Austin Psych Festival at Carson Creek
04-28 Waxahachie, TX – Webb Gallery

New Fol Chen album “The False Alarms” coming this March

Fol_Chen_2013

L.A. electro-popsters Fol Chen aren’t the weirdest band we’ve ever blogged about, but they’re definitely one of our favorites. Songs like “In Ruins” and “Cable TV” are so catchy they’re probably being studied at the CDC. Now, after two years of silence, they’re returning with their third album, The False Alarms. It arrives March 19 via Asthmatic Kitty and it promises to be fairly epic. The band is describing the album’s sound as “opera house,” which they define as “beat-driven electronica with grand, operatic gestures and lyrically-dense storytelling.” You can hear a sample below.

Here’s the tracklist for The False Alarms:

01. The False Alarms
02. I.O.U.
03. A Tourist Town
04. Hemispheres
05. The Fifth Season
06. Boys in the Woods
07. 200 Words
08. You Took the Train
09. Doubles
10. This Place is on TV

Along with the new music, Fol Chen also announced some national tour dates:

Mar 08 San Diego, CA – Casbah
Mar 09 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
Mar 17 Hot Springs, AZ – Low Key Arts
Mar 19 Chicago, IL – Schubas
Mar 20 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
Mar 22 Denver, CO – Hi Dive
Mar 24 Seattle, WA – Barboza
Mar 26 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
Mar 28 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of The Hill
Mar 29 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg
Apr 02 Washington DC, Black Cat
Apr 03 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
Apr 04 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands
Apr 06 Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo
Apr 07 Toronto, ON – The Drake Hotel

Ready for some “opera house”? Here’s the first single from The False Alarms, “200 Words” (if you can’t see the Soundcloud player, click here):

Iwrestledabearonce are working on a new album. But who’s singing on it?

IWABO-2013

As the girl who had to replace Krysta Cameron on lead vocals for Iwrestledabearonce, Courtney LaPlante has one of the most thankless jobs in all of rock-dom. Months since LaPlante took over screaming/singing duties, IWABO fans still routinely post things like “the new vocalist sings like shit” and “When Krysta’s back????” on the band’s Facebook page. Because, y’know, Iwrestledabearonce is the FIRST BAND EVER IN HISTORY TO REPLACE THEIR LEAD SINGER. And all just because their former lead singer decided to have a baby. What-fucking-ever.

The dude members of IWABO aren’t really helping dampen the Courtney/Krysta controversy, either. Krysta’s still listed as the lead singer on the band’s official website. Cold, guys, cold.

Still, when IWABO announced this week on their Facebook page that they are “currently writing a new album,” LaPlante was the one in the accompanying photo. Presumably this means she’ll be the one singing on the new album, too…but who knows? So long as IWABO fans keep pouring on the haterade and the band doesn’t update their official bio to at least mention her, there’s always a chance she’ll finally just say “Fuck this shit” and walk.

But, if she doesn’t…expect new music from the Krysta-less version of Iwrestledabearonce later this year. And maybe a wacky cover or two.

Meanwhile, those still mourning the departure of Krysta should order a copy of A Beary Scary Movie, IWABO’s feature film debut. Not only does it feature Krysta doing her best scream-queen impersonation, it also boasts a “special appearance by Jake Busey.” Aren’t all appearances by Jake Busey special? Here’s the trailer:

New Flaming Lips album “The Terror” finally gets a release date: April 2nd

Flaming Lips
Photo by George Salisbury

Has it really been five months since we first reported that the Flaming Lips were gearing up to release The Terror, their 13th studio album and first “proper” album (if that even means anything anymore) since 2009’s Embryonic? My how time flies when you’re eating paint chips and going to GWAR concerts.

Anyway, after some overly optimistic speculation from irresponsible music bloggers (us included) that The Terror might see the light of day as early as last December, we now have it on good authority (Warner Bros., the Lips’ label) that the nine-track set will finally arrive on April 2nd. We just previewed the whole album earlier today (“already?” you ask—yep, we’re fancy) and are happy to report that it’s far and away the weirdest, darkest shit Wayne Coyne and co. have recorded since Zaireeka, not counting any of that 24-hour-song nonsense they were churning out awhile back. Here’s the full tracklist:

1. Look…The Sun Is Rising
2. Be Free, A Way
3. Try To Explain
4. You Lust
5. The Terror
6. You Are Alone
7. Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
8. Turning Violent
9. Always There…In Our Hearts

We’ll have a full review closer to the actual release date. We wouldn’t want to give away too much before then.

P.S. Apparently, if you pre-order The Terror on iTunes, you instantly get a non-album bonus track called “Sun Blows Up Today.” Here’s a lyric video for the track that just debuted today. Warning: Nothing on The Terror is this catchy. Or this apocalyptic. I almost resisted the urge to describe this song as “catchalyptic” but…no, I went ahead and did it.

Compressorhead

Compressorhead1

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Humans suck. So it’s no surprise that there’s been an explosion of all-robot bands in recent years. There’s these guys. And these guys. And let’s not forget our old pals Captured! by Robots. Although they do have one human member, so technically they don’t count.

But earlier this month, a new all-robot band emerged that is basically the Terminator T-1000 to everyone else’s R2D2. They’re called Compressorhead and in addition to rocking solid imitations of Motörhead and The Ramones, they’re the first all-robot rock band that actually looks like a rock band. The drummer has four arms and a mohawk. The guitarist headbangs. If they could just smash their instruments, they’d really put all human rockers out a job.

Compressorhead are from Germany and they’ve actually been around for a few years. Early versions of the band featured just the drummer, Stickboy, although he was occasionally accompanied by robot go-go dancers. Am I a weirdo for saying the robodancers are way hotter than actual human dancers? Well, fuck it, I’m saying it anyway.

Stickboy was eventually joined by Fingers, a guitarist with 78 fingers (because shit, why not?) and Bones, a bass player, who only has eight fingers because let’s face it, playing bass is not that hard. Stickboy also has a little mini-Stickboy sidekick who looks kinda like a robot gremlin and just plays the hi-hat. Every drummer should have a mini-sidekick on hi-hat, don’t you think? So they can focus on more serious matters like double kick drums and cymbal crashes and bashing the living shit out of their snare.

Even though they’ve been around since at least 2008, Compressorhead really only started getting major attention earlier this month, when a video of them doing “Ace of Spades” went viral. Since pretty much the entire Internet has seen that clip, here’s another one of them doing “Blitzkrieg Bop.” You probably don’t actually need 78 fingers to play Johnny Ramone’s three chords, but it sure couldn’t hurt.

Starting this past weekend, Compressorhead began playing Australia’s Big Day Out Festival, which began last Friday in Sydney and continues this weekend in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. Apparently BDO organizer Ken West is now managing the robots, which has gotta beat managing a crowd of 50,000 sweaty Australians. Here’s a clip of them performing their signature track “Ace of Spades” for a mob of puzzled onlookers. I’m glad to see they gave Bones a little motorized platform so he can wheel around the stage, since apparently none of the robots have working legs yet. I’m sure they’ll all be stage-diving any day now.

So what do you think: Robot bands, good, bad, or a sign of the coming apocalypse? And when is someone gonna put them all on the same bill and call it RoboFest or something equally stupid? I figure it’ll happen by 2014 at the latest. This guy could be the MC.

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I thought we were all made of stars, but Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin says we’re all made of monads

Petunia7

So it turns out Moby was wrong. According to the latest song from Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin, we are all made not of stars, but of monads. I had to look up what a monad is, and according to Dictionary.com, it can be either a “simple, single-celled organism” or “an unextended, indivisible, and indestructible entity that is the basic or ultimate constituent of the universe and a microcosm of it.” I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing the second option.

Here’s the new song “Monads,” uploaded mere hours ago to the Soundcloud page of MacPumpkin’s label, Electric Phantom, along with some tracks from the mysterious Rosewater Treacle Tart. The perfect soundtrack to a slightly hungover Sunday afternoon, don’t you think? (If you can’t see the Soundcloud player, click here.)