Barbara

Barbara

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 psychosis intrigue.

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?

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Primus: Back on the road. Still in 3D.

Primus

Quick, what do Primus and The Hobbit have in common? If you answered, “they can both test audiences’ patience”…well, technically, you’re right, but that’s not the answer we were going for. No, they’re both in 3D, dude! Apparently last fall’s “Primus in 3D” tour was so successful, they’re bringing it back. Turns out Primus fans really love watching hallucinatory visuals that seem to distort space and time itself. Who’da thunk?

Anyway, here’s where Primus will be laying down the 3D jams this year. Except in places marked by an asterisk. You’ll have to settle for the low-tech, 2D version.

5/9 – Bottle Rock Festival – Napa, CA *
5/10 – Eureka Municipal Auditorium – Eureka, CA
5/12 – Revolution Center – Boise, ID
5/13 – Wilma Theater – Missoula, MT
5/14 – Shrine Auditorium – Billings, MT
5/16 – City Auditorium – Colorado Springs, CO
5/17 – Santa Fe Community Convention – Santa Fe, NM
5/18 – Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
5/19 – Fox Theater – Pomona, CA
5/21 – Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
5/22 – Fox Theater – Bakersfield, CA
5/24 – Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR
5/25 – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – Portland, OR
5/26 – Sasquatch Music Festival – Quincy, WA
5/28 – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium – Edmonton, AB
5/29 – McEwan Hall – Calgary, AB
5/31 – Burton Cummings Theatre – Winnipeg, MB
6/1 – Myth – Maplewood, MN
6/2 – Riviera Theater – Chicago, IL
6/6 – Mountain Jam Festival – Hunter, NY *
6/7-8 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
6/9 – Niagara River Rocks – North Tonawanda, NY *

* – Not 3D show

In other Primus news: Remember that $5,000 video contest we told you about? Well, either you all suck and no one won, or the band is really taking their sweet time picking a winner. The contest supposedly ended Dec. 15 but as far as we can tell, there have been zero updates since. Could no one contain the awesomeness of “HOINFODAMAN” in a single, low-budget video? Where are Your Fuzzy Friends when you need them?

Wanna play bass in a Japanese action comic punk band? Go to a Peelander-Z show. It could happen!

Peelander-Z in concert
No, that dude in the middle is not in the band. Photo swiped from Vice. Don’t sue us, guys, K?

If you haven’t been to a Peelander-Z show yet, you really need to get off your ass and rectify that situation, stat. Where else can you do a punk-rock conga line, play the band’s instruments and get knocked over by a giant squid riding a unicycle? It’s like Disneyland for drunk hipsters.

If you’re still not convinced, go read our review of their Halloween show here in L.A. last year. We’ll wait. Now, see if you’re lucky enough to be one of the handful of cities that get to play Tokyo to their Godzilla:

03/24 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
03/26 San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
03/27 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
03/28 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
03/29 Tucson, AZ @ Plush
03/30 Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
03/31 Flagstaff, AZ @ The Green Room
04/03 San Antonio, TX @ War Room
04/11 Brooklyn, NY @ Europa Brain-Cave Festival 2013

If they’re not playing your town, don’t sweat it. These guys tour like Willie Nelson after an IRS audit. They’ll be back around soon.

Blasted Mechanism

Blasted Mechanism live
All photos by Hugo Lima | http://www.hugolima.com

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?

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Chimney Crow has the creepiest basement this side of Buffalo Bill

chimneycrow5

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.

Here Come the Mummies just hit their Kickstarter goal. You’re off the hook this time, cheapskates.

HCTM

We’ve asked you, our soft-touch readers, to help out many a weird band via Kickstarter in the past. But this time around, we don’t need to ask. Yes, in just 12 days, Here Come the Mummies have already hit their Kickstarter fundraising goal of $50,069. So everything else from here on out is gravy—but hey, if you wanna give a bunch of horndog Mummies some gravy, be our guest.

All that coin is gonna help fund the release and promotion of Cryptic, the Mummies’ latest and greatest funk bomb of a studio album. It’s due out sometime in May and, as is usually the case, Kickstarter backers get first crack at it. Track titles include “Chaperone,” “Petting Zoo” and “You Know the Drill,” so we can safely assume HCTM have still not exhausted all the endless possibilities of their favorite topic, bumpin’ uglies. (And since these guys have been dead for 4,000 years, the emphasis is definitely on “ugly.”)

Click here to read more about Cryptic and watch one of those cute little Kickstarter videos; this one features the Mummies demonstrating how totally unqualified they are to hold down any kind of day job. We know the feeling, guys! Which is why I’m not sure Jake and I will be pledging anything this time around—although the custom voicemail greeting at $75 is mighty tempting.

Let’s play this post out with some live Mummies. If that’s not a contradiction in terms.

Pryapisme

pryapisme-sm

Can somebody explain to me what the fuck is going with France? I thought they all listened to Edith Piaf and Phoenix or some shit, but it turns out those stinky-cheese-eaters are churning out some of the weirdest music on the planet right now. Maybe all that stinky cheese gets you high or something.

Next up in our parade of French freakery: Pryapisme, an experimental prog-metal band…or maybe they’re an experi-metal prog-mental band. See how I did that? Anyway, they’re from some part of France called Clermont-Ferrand and they apparently sometimes play with our reigning Weirdest Band in the World, Igorrr. We don’t know much about them because most of their stuff is in French, but here’s their English bio:

Pryapisme is a band who doesn’t know how to write biography since 2000. After studying ninja, a re-conversion in the cons-expertise of technical equipment for a massive group of automotive, Pryapisme offers an avantgardist rereading of the works of Tolstoy, but with real pieces of pizza inside.

Yep, that’s the whole bio. The French bio is a little longer and contains phrases like “flatulences sonores” and “humour scatologique” so we’re pretty sure it’s not a direct translation. But Andy and I never studied French so we’re not sure. What’s French for “avantgardist”?

Anyway, they’ve apparently been around since 2000, but the only album we’ve been able to find by them is a 2010 joint called Rococo Holocaust. It’s available on Bandcamp and if you’re prone to seizures, I suggest you skip it. Unless you like music that changes genres every 15 seconds. In that case, by all means dive in.

Next month, Pryapisme releases a new album called Hyperblast Super Collider. So far they’ve only released two tracks from it, but both are definitely of the strap-in-and-hang-the-fuck-on variety. First up: Their epic, 9-minute, doom-metal/spazz-tronic version of “Night on Bald Mountain.” I cannot wait for someone to upload a Fantasia clip set to this shit. (If you can’t see the Soundcloud player below, click here.)

Next, here’s the video for a song called…save me, copy-paste!…”Un druide est giboyeux lorsqu’il se prend pour un neutrino.” It’s, um, I’m gonna say metalcore ska-funk? I don’t fucking know, dude, just make any epileptics leave the room and watch it.

Hyperblast Super Collider comes out April 1st on Apathia Records. The Pryapisme guys are calling it a “soundtrack to the 8-bit Catpocalypse.” I always knew cats were gonna bring about the end of civilization as we know it.

Oh, did I mention one of the tracks on Hyperblast Super Collider is called “Jon-bon-jon-boutros-boutros-boutros-bovi-miou-miou”?

I fucking love France. Who knew?

[Update: Hyperblast Super Collider is now available in the Amazon.com MP3 store for—last we checked—a mere US$6.99. We’re now an Amazon Associate site, so if you click that link and buy it, you’ll be supporting us as well as the band. It’s a win-win! For more on how Amazon Associates works, visit our FAQs.]

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