Monthly Archives: August 2013
This week’s weird band hails from Brazil, which has been quite the breeding ground for strange new genres of music over the years: tropicália, baile funk, forró, whatever the hell Os Mutantes does. Add to that list something called “tecno brega,” a Brazilian-style spin on “cheesy techno” that takes corny pop melodies—many of them familiar—gives them a glossy electro finish, and sets them to syncopated cumbia, reggaeton and baile funk beats. The combination of influences can get pretty out there, especially when rendered by the campy, day-glo trio called Banda UÓ.
Banda UÓ started in 2010 as a one-off joke to promote a party. Buddies Davi Savvig (the Daryl Hall of the group) and Mateus Carrilho (the John Oates of the group) got together with a singer friend of theirs named Flora Maria to make a quick video of them singing a tecno brega version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” The video was a surprise YouTube hit and when Flora Maria was replaced by Candy Mel (the transsexual Shakira of the group), Banda UÓ was born.
Banda UÓ are probably best-known in Brazil for “Shake De Amor,” an electro-brega remake of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” with a video that got them on Brazilian MTV (which is clearly way cooler than American MTV) despite the fact that it’s mostly just the three of them dancing like idiots. Actually, pretty much all of Banda UÓ’s videos are just the three of them dancing like idiots, but they do it so well, there’s not much point in upping the production values or the plotlines. “Shake De Amor” seems to have something to do with killing someone in the desert, but who cares? Look at the way Candy Mel swivels those hips!
For their debut album, 2012’s Motel, Banda UÓ worked with fellow funky Brazilians Bonde do Rolê, who helped them produce the set and start delving into original songwriting. The results were a bit more polished but no less weird—and the videos, thank Christ the Redeemer, were still mostly just an excuse to film Davi, Mateus and Candy busting out their unique wardrobes and dance moves (this time in a boxing gym, no less).
This year, they released their most seizure-inducing video yet. The track, “Gringo,” was produced by the über-trendy Diplo, but don’t hold that against it—it really is an amazing mix of tecno brega, baile funk and full-on glitchcore freakout.
So are Banda UÓ the weirdest band we’ve ever added to the Weird List? Not really. But they are definitely among the funnest.
- Banda UÓ Tumblr (full site coming soon, but apparently not yet fully functional)
- Banda UÓ on Facebook
- Banda UÓ’s SoundCloud
- Mateus Carrilho’s YouTube channel
- “Brazil’s Banda UO Proves Electrobrega is the New Black” (one of the few other English-language articles on them, from MTV Iggy)
I haven’t had the pleasure of attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but my wife’s been and she tells me it’s a hoot. Where else can you see experimental underground theatre, stand-up comedy, chap-hop and drunk Scottish people puking in alleyways, all in the same day? Nowhere else, my friend. The EFF has got that shit on lock. Especially the drunk Scottish people part.
About that chap-hop bit: Apparently our tied-for-first-place-on-our-list-of-chap-hop-icons friend Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer is something of a regular at the Fringe, and he’s returning this year to play 12 nights at the Voodoo Rooms, Aug. 13-25. (He’s taking the Monday off halfway through, no doubt to get his moustache trimmed and waistcoat freshly pressed.) If you’re lucky enough to be hitting the Fringe this year, we highly recommend you go see him. You can score tickets here.
Word round the cricket pitch is that Mr. B will be debuting a few new tunes from his forthcoming piece of Victrola fodder, Can’t Stop, Shan’t Stop. According to the Fringe website, he’ll also enlighten his audience on “choosing event-specific footwear,” “ordering the correct size champagne bottle” and “the appropriate time to arrive at an orgy.” Wish he’d dropped that last bit of knowledge on me back in my Burning Man days.
Let’s play this post out with a new track recently posted to Mr. B’s SoundCloud: a chapified cover of “Diamond Lights,” a song that was apparently made popular in 1987 by a pair of English footballers named Glenn & Chris. It’s England’s answer to “The Super Bowl Shuffle”!
I honestly can’t remember how we first heard about this week’s weird band. Somebody posted one of their videos on our Submit a Band page, I think, but I’m too lazy to go back and find it. Anyway, we had sort of forgotten all about them, because we have the attention span of ADHD cats, but just yesterday they emailed us and were all like, “Hey, I think we were featured on your website before.” And we were all like, “Not really, somebody just put one of your videos in the comments, but you know what? You should be featured. Let’s do this!” And here we are, introducing you to the ridiculousness that is pee pee po.
Pee Pee Po (or P.P.Po, or peepeepo…dudes like to mix it up) is a couple of guys from Murfreesboro, Tennessee named Cooper and Josh, who have been making a racket together since 2006. As Cooper explained to us, they originally set out to be a “serious” band, but all they had was a microphone and a Casio MIDI keyboard and because they didn’t really know how to use the keyboard at first, all they could really do was make really fucked-up drums and strings sounds with it.
“It was so funny that we just decided to make weird shit like this all the time,” Cooper explains. And that became pee pee po. It’s an inspirational story of triumph in the face of adversity.
Pee Pee Po still get a lot of mileage out of that Casio keyboard, although they eventually started mixing in some guitar and stuff. Their signature trick, probably going back to their early Casio days, is to constantly change tempos, sometimes speeding things up so fast that the song just becomes a zillion-BPM smear of noise, like a skipping CD player. The songs occasionally have lyrics, but more often the “vocals” are just randomly shouted words, unintelligible gibberish, and rude bodily noises. Lots of rude bodily noises.
There’s a shit-ton of music on their SoundCloud and even more on their YouTube channel, which is called Omahamaho and also features random silliness like fake newscasts and Michael Jackson parodies. But their crowning achievement is without a doubt the song and video “Going Weest.” It’s like New Age guitar music for crackheads. Done by a bunch of dudes who wear their sunglasses upside down, which is a pretty good look if you’re a no-budget weird band making New Age guitar music for crackheads.
We’ll throw in one bonus video from Omahamaho’s vast YouTube catalog. This is called “Slovakian Death Concert 1989” and while I guess it’s not technically a pee pee po video (though they do make an appearance), it makes me wanna smoke out and watch an Adult Swim marathon.
P.S. Turns out we were able to find the reader who turned us on to pee pee po after all. So many thanks to FastestPossum! I’m wearing my sunglasses upside down in your honor.
Sometimes it’s the simple videos that are ultimately the most effective. This one, posted today by our buddies Chimney Crow, is called “Bucks Bike Ride Bride” and it’s about, well, a bike ride. And a bride. Pop a Dramamine and enjoy.
We’ve really been slacking on catching the uncategorizable duo Sparks on their “Two Hands, One Mouth” tour. Not only did we skip seeing them at Coachella—a move I don’t regret at all, I might add, because seeing one of your favorite bands at Coachella is like kissing your biggest high school crush through a T-shirt soaked in other people’s sweat—we also totally missed the boat on seeing them perform at the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is a gorgeous venue and way less sweaty. (We saw Matmos there earlier this year and it was awesome.) Fortunately, Sparks have decided to be kind to us slackers and return to North America this fall for another round of tour dates.
This time, Ron and Russell Mael have redubbed their “Two Hands, One Mouth” tour and are calling it “The Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth”—on account of that terrible thing you people did to Sparks on the first “Two Hands, One Mouth” tour. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Whatever you want to call it, “Two Hands, One Mouth” is just that: Ron Mael’s two hands on keyboards, and Russell Mael’s mouth on vocals. No band, no computers, no pre-recorded backing tracks. Just one of the weirdest and most eclectic catalogs in pop history, whittled down to its bare essentials. Here’s a taste of the format from that Masonic Lodge show we missed; full tour dates after the clip.
The Revenge of Two Hands One Mouth Tour Dates:
10/23: Atlanta, GA @ The Variety Playhouse
10/25: Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Festival
10/27: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/28: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/30: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
11/1: Montreal, QC @ Le National
11/2: Toronto, ON @Lee’s Palace
11/4: Detroit/Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
11/6: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
11/7: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
11/8-11/10: Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/11: Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theatre
I really hope we get to take the people over at Aggronautix out for beers someday, because those guys are frickin’ awesome. Their Throbblehead series sometimes seems like it’s ripped from the pages of this blog: GG Allin, Mojo Nixon, Roky Erickson (OK, Roky’s not on the Weird List yet, but he probably should be). If they come out with an Anklepants Throbblehead, we’ll take that as proof that they’re mining our Weird List for likely candidates to immortalize in polyresin.
The latest entry in Aggronautix’s growing pantheon of weirdo Throbbleheads is none other than DEVO. Based on the classic look from the band’s 1980 “Freedom of Choice” tour, the seven-inch figure sports a bitchin’ keytar and a red Energy Dome hat—which bobbles! To the best of our knowledge, the keytar doesn’t work—but it still looks bitchin’.
The DEVO Throbblehead figures ship in September and only 2,000 are being made, so pre-order yours now. And as if you needed any more convincing, here’s a video starring Gerry Casale and, uh, some other dude, touting the Throbblehead’s many virtues.