Monthly Archives: March 2013
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
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Oh, Anklepants, how we’ve missed you. Recently, our favorite penis-nosed breakcore lunatic stopped by a German TV show called the Network Awesome Show to perform the song “Ilikeyourfaceheadshoesanddick” and give an interview with, randomly, a muppet bat and a robot/crash test dummy. Oh, and some American dude in one of those pointy Asian hats.
You can watch both the performance and the interview below. We don’t want to give away every revelation bomb Anklepants drops in the interview, but we will tell you this: We still don’t know why he has a penis on his face. Maybe some mysteries are best left unrevealed.
In other Anklepants news: After hanging out in Berlin for some time, the man behind the penis is returning to Australia. He’s also releasing a new 12-inch single soon on Love Love Records. We’ll be sure to let you good people know when it’s out. Yes, even you fuckers who didn’t pledge money to the face-tar.
Since our little blog is growin’ up so fast, we decided it was finally time to move our monthly poll from its former home on Facebook to right here on TWBITW. Don’t worry, Facebook—we still love you! Whenever you invade our privacy, we find it totally adorable.
So cast your vote for a future Weird Band of the Week right here. No cheating! Only one vote per human. (Cats, aliens and our future robot overlords can vote as much as they like.)
[Sorry, folks; this poll has now closed. Check back here next Wednesday, when the winner will be revealed!]
Wanna know more about this month’s bands? Read on:
8090 (pronounced “eight-oh-nine-oh”) is Andy Metz and Seth Williams, a hip-hop duo from Chicago who bust rhymes about the 9-to-5 grind. Here’s a link to their website/Bandcamp page, and here’s a video for the song “Work Music,” which was shot in the most depressing-looking office I’ve seen since that telemarketing job I had in college.
Barbara is a pair of brothers from Toronto who end their shows with a dance-off set to a song full of Eyes Wide Shut quotes. You can watch the dance-off here, or you can listen to their EP, Stuck to the Ground, on Bandcamp. We recommend the song about coffee. But then we love pretty much anything that has to do with coffee.
The Goggenheim are a band from Oxford, England who have been described as a mix of “performance art, punk pop and psychedelia.” Their drummer Stewart recently shared with us their video for the song “Moth,” which is a good introduction to their style. You can hear more on their website.
H-Beam hail from Nashville, home to one of our favorite weird bands, Here Come the Mummies. (Yes, turns out there’s more in Nashville than just country music.) Much like HCTM, they do wacky costumed stage shows and play rockin’ party-friendly tunes. You can hear their album Useful Box of Hair on their website. We also recommend the video for “Love Panda.”
Tingle in the Netherlands
This duo describe themselves as an “absurdist electro-pop collaboration between poet Helên T and electronic musician Owen J. They’re from Manchester, England. You can read more about them on their blog, and check out some of their music via Soundcloud. We recommend starting with “A Forest of Cocks.”
So there you have it! We’ll close voting on Friday, March 22nd, so help us get the word out, won’t you? And may the weirdest band win!
It’s the freakin’ weekend! And I don’t know about you people, but I’m ready to celebrate like a Mad Hatter with a belly full of special tea.
Two of our favorite web buddies, Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin and TommyTopHat, have joined forces for a new track called “Mad Hatter’s Ball.” It might be the most festive tune we’ve heard yet from Ms. MacPumpkin. I guess using Alice in Wonderland as source material just does that to people. And that Tommy fellow seems pretty festive, too. His manbehindthecurtain blog is chock full of cool shit.
Anyway, here’s the track. Fire it up and let’s get this ball a-rollin’! Or something like that.