Monthly Archives: December 2013

Chimney Crow and Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin cover each other’s songs in “The Big Switch”

petunia-chimney

So it seems that while the rest of us were unwrapping presents and/or going out for dim sum this past Dec. 25th, the folks over at weirdo label Electric Phantom were hard at work. They released two Christmas Day videos from their top artists, Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin and Chimney Crow—but they also threw in a twist: Petunia does a Chimney Crow song, and the Chimney Crow does a MacPumpkin song! It’s like that Peter Gabriel Scratch My Back project, except that it’s actually worth listening to.

If you want the full story of how this little project came about, watch this video and all will be revealed. (You’ll also find out which member of Chimney Crow is obsessed with The Residents—I would’ve assumed they all were, but it turns out the other guys are more into horses and stuff.)

But let’s get right to the good bits. Here’s Petunia turning Chimney Crow’s “Teddybear and His Bullet” into a spooky, skeletal hymn:

And here’s Chimney Crow sneaking a nifty little dance groove in under the funhouse nursery rhymes of P.L. MacP’s “Houseplants.” With audio-visual aids, no less!

So thanks for these little surprise Christmas presents, Electric Phantom. We look forward to more of your inimitable weirdness in 2014.

Flaming Lips reveal their punk roots on previously unreleased 1983 demo

FlamingLips1983

If you left any Flaming Lips fans off your Christmas list, there’s still time to get them a cool stocking stuffer: a blue seven-inch vinyl release of the band’s second demo from way back in 1983, when they were just another scruffy post-punk college-rock band with a shouty lead singer (Wayne Coyne’s brother Mark, who left the group in 1985). The untitled four-song demo was originally recorded on cassette tape and has never been previously released to the public. Only 2,000 copies of the blue vinyl were released, all on Dec. 24th to independent record stores. Our friends over at The Future Heart have diligently assembled a list, via Twitter, of which stores still had copies left as of yesterday. There are also apparently still some copies of the Lips’ first EP floating around green vinyl, as well.

Wanna listen before you buy? Of course you do. It’s an on-demand world. So here, feast your ears on what the press release aptly describes as the Lips’ early “primitive shambolic drug-damaged punk-pop.” These first two tracks are called “The Flaming Lips Theme Song 1983” and “The Future Is Gone”:

And here’s “Underground Pharmacist” and “Real Fast Words.” Dig that walking bassline from Michael Ivins.

Author & Punisher is back on tour this January

Author & Punisher

Photo via Brooklyn Vegan

It can’t be easy for Author & Punisher‘s Tristan Shone to haul his massive “doom machine” instruments all over the country. But he’s doing it again next month, and once again he’s mostly doing it as an opening act for former Pantera lead singer Philip H. Anselmo, who clearly knows a badass opening act when he sees one.

Before Shone joins Anselmo’s aptly named “Technicians of Distortion Tour ’14,” he’ll be playing a couple of shows here in SoCal opening for metal/industrial collective Corrections House. Jake and I plan to hit up the Jan. 5th show here in L.A., so stay tuned for a full review of all the Author & Punisher insanity.

Author & Punisher Jan. 2014 tour dates:

1/5/14 — Los Angeles, CA — Echoplex*
1/6/14 — San Diego, CA — Soda Bar**
1/10/14 — Houston, Texas — Warehouse Live/Studio Room†
1/11/14 — Shreveport, La. — Riverside Warehouse†
1/13/14 — St. Louis, Mo. — Pop’s Nightclub†
1/14/14 — Omaha, Neb. — Waiting Room†
1/15/14 — Denver, Colo. — Summit Music Hall†
1/17/14 — Seattle, Wash. — El Corazon†
1/18/14 — Portland, Ore. — Hawthorne Theatre†
1/20/14 — Sacramento, Calif. — Ace of Spades†
1/24/14 — Scottsdale, Ariz. — Pub Rock†
1/25/14 — Albuquerque, N.M. — Launchpad†
1/27/14 — San Antonio, Texas — Backstage Live†
1/28/14 — Dallas, Texas — Trees†

* w/Corrections House and Wreckmeister Harmonies
** w/Corrections House
† w/Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals and Hymns

Santa Hates You

Santa Hates You

Just to clear up any possible confusion: No, this week’s weird band has nothing to do with Christmas or Santa Claus. Their name is merely a statement of fact because, let’s face it, Santa has never actually given you shit. Spoiler alert: It was your parents the whole time!

Now that we’ve cleared that up: Santa Hates You is a self-described “dark electro” duo from Germany who make industrial-tinged dance music accompanied by goofy/creepy/sexy videos that we can’t seem to stop watching. The goofy part comes from Peter “PS” Spilles, a German singer/producer also known for his electro-industrial group Project Pitchfork. The sexy part comes from Jinxy, an Italian singer about whom we know very little, except that she looks great in red vinyl. They both get in on the creepy part. (Actually, Jinxy gets a little goofy sometimes, too, and I suppose Spilles might be sexy if you’re into cigar-chomping German guys in evil clown makeup.)

Santa Hates You’s graver (goth + raver—yes, that’s actually a thing) music isn’t actually all that weird—honestly, we mostly picked them this week because Christmas falls on a “Weird Wednesday” and they have Santa right there in their name—but they bring a twisted sense of humor to everything they do that’s definitely unique. How many other electro-industrial bands can you name who’ve released a pirate-themed album? With track titles like “Watch Out Motherfucker, I Know Karate“? You can’t, because there aren’t any. Santa Hates You has cornered the market on pirate karate goth electro tracks.

But it’s in their videos that Santa Hates You’s weirdness really shines through—especially thanks to Spilles, who mugs his way through them all like some kind of demented mix of Rammstein‘s Till Lindemann, the Tiger Lillies‘ Martyn Jacques, and Heath Ledger’s Joker. He’s hysterical, in every sense of the word. And yeah, Jinxy’s pretty great, too. And not just because she looks amazing in vinyl. She, too, sells the whole goth/industrial “I’m so evil. And sexy. But mostly EVIL!” thing with a giggle and a wink.

SHY’s latest album, released last year, is called It’s ALIVE! and trades in the pirate theme for more of a classic monster-movie motif. But it’s not all reanimated corpses and vampires. Some of the monsters PS and Jinxy take on are just the religious hypocrites and raging dickheads who watch too much Fox News. Merry Christmas, you fucking scum!

P.S. We almost forgot to give a shout-out to reader Emily Brown for recommending that we plunge into the electro-goth funhouse that is the Santa Hates You oeuvre. Thanks for the early Christmas present, Emily! We love you, even if Santa doesn’t.

Links:

Pryapisme to release 8-bit EP “Blastbit Rococollider” on limited-edition pink cassette tapes

Pryapisme3

French Nintendocore rockers Pryapisme must love the ’80s. Not only are they releasing a new limited-edition EP only on pink cassette tape, they’re filling entirely with 8-bit music—you know, that tinny, lo-fi electronic stuff that sounds like two Atari 2600’s getting freaky. It’s called Blastbit Rococollider and appears to contain 8-bit remixes/remakes of tracks from their first two albums, Hyperblast Super Collider and Rococo Holocaust. They’re only making 100 copies, but if I can get my hands on one, I plan to break out my old canary-yellow Sport Walkman and make it the soundtrack to a weekend-long binge-playing session on my Asteroids emulator. Don’t judge me.

Here’s the track list for Blastbit Rococollider, which comes out Feb. 3rd on Apathia Records. To (attempt to) order a copy, keep an eye on the Apathia website.

World A :
Level 1 : Quenelle quenelle fourrure (Intro)
Level 2 : La notion de chiralité de spin et d’oscillation de saveur des particules supersymetriques définissant un champs scalaire lors d’une transition de conifold en cosmologie branaire dans un modèle ekpyrotique (Scrolling map)
Level 3 : Lesbian bordello (Warp zone)

World B :
Level 4 : Un druide est giboyeux lorsqu’il se prend pour un neutrino ( Platform )
Level 5 : Darkness lobotomy insurrection (Final boss)
Level 6 : Sanglié par un cornid (Bonus stage)

a.P.A.t.T. ask you to “Spare a Thought for Santa” this Christmas

a.p.a.t.t.

Do you think Santa Claus feels under-appreciated? I mean, sure, everyone dresses up like him for a month and erects effigies of him on their rooftops and sends him mail and sings songs about how great he is. But does he get any presents on Christmas? I mean, apart from milk and cookies, which are nice and all but far less satisfying than an Xbox? No, he does not. It’s fair to say that come Dec. 26th, Santa is probably the bitterest motherfucker on the planet. He probably locks himself in a dark room for a month with all those cookies and a box of porn and wonders why the hell he even bothers.

Fortunately, British art-rock weirdos a.P.A.t.T. are here to help Santa out. Not with actual presents or anything—I mean, let’s not go crazy. Like most art-rock weirdos, they’re probably too broke to buy Santa an Xbox. But they did write him an adorable little song called “Spare a Thought for Santa,” which is available now via Bandcamp for a mere £1. All proceeds go to help Mrs. Claus get Santa some post-Christmas therapy and maybe a trip to Barbados. I’m kidding, of course. They all go to line the pockets of a.P.A.t.T., who could probably also use some therapy and a Caribbean vacation. Either way, it’s a good cause.

Donny Varper

Donny Varper

Anyone know if Michael Jackson visited Nicaragua sometime in the late ’80s? If he did—and sired an illegitimate child during his stay—that’s one of two possible explanations for the existence of the exotic creature known as Donny Varper. The other possible explanation? That he really is, as he claims, from another galaxy.

We first learned of Nicaragua’s weirdest progeny by way of a great little website called EarBleed.com, which is kinda like our site except that—as you might have surmised from the name EarBleed.com—most of the music they feature is fucking awful. I suppose Donny Varper’s stuff is kinda awful, too—it’s basically just shlocky dance-pop, with lots of stabby synths and cheesy breakdowns and Auto-Tuned vocals—but it’s catchy and filled with random references to UFOs and aliens and Aztec aliens who came to Earth in UFOs and…oh, hell, just watch and listen for yourself.

Brilliant, right? He’s like a Lady Gaga impersonator who dropped acid at a Blasted Mechanism concert and had a vision of Jesus and Quetzalcoatl swooping down in a flaming chariot and abducting him into an episode of Ancient Aliens.

We don’t know much more about Varper, except that he lists his gender as “electronic pop” (which kinda makes sense, actually) and he claims to be from another galaxy but now, according to his Facebook page, lives in Los Angeles. If that last part is true: Donny, hit us up! We’d love to be the first (as far as we can tell) American blog to interview you and help you spread your music of cosmic love to the English-speaking masses.

We’ll leave you with Varper’s catchiest and most batshit creation, a little song and video called “E.T.” that should really, if there is any hope left for humanity, become the next “Gangnam Style.” I look forward to your parody videos, YouTube Nation. Get on it.

Links:

And now, a message of holiday cheer from the Radioactive Chicken Heads. No, wait, scratch that. They just wanna say “Cluck You.”

Radioactive Chicken Heads

Usually when a band posts a new video this late in the year, we just assume it’s gonna be yet another lame cover of “Jingle Bell Rock” or some such tinsel-bedecked piece of crap. But not the Radioactive Chicken Heads. These costumed purveyors of snot-punk mayhem have a much more appropriate message for when you’ve just wasted your weekend shoving baby strollers out of the way in a futile attempt to find the last iPad Mini in town for your high-maintenance girlfriend: “Cluck You!”

Before we get to the clip, we should also mention that this coming February, the RC-Heads celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band with a show in Orange County, Calif., where they got their start. 20 years! Hope they’ve upgraded their costumes a few times or else the inside of that carrot must smell like a Port-O-Potty on day three of Bonnaroo.

Van Canto defeat evil and save heavy metal in their new video, “Badaboom”

Van Canto

Sure, you laugh now at Van Canto, the German a cappella metal band that does all their drop-D riffs with voices instead of guitars. But when the shit hits the fan, you’re gonna need these guys. Because only a cappella metal can defeat the forces of evil that are conspiring to keep you from banging your head as nature intended.

In their new video for the awesomely titled “Badaboom”…which we can only hope will soon be followed by a prequel song/video called “Badabing”…Van Canto must save the day when an evil scientist and his Matrix-like horde of shades-and-suits henchmen decide to rid the world of heavy metal by stealing every heavy band’s guitars. They start right at the top with Sabbath and Metallica, then they skip further down the list to Swedish power metalers Sabaton, I guess because they needed to represent Northern Europe somehow and no one actually knows what Opeth looks like. Anyway, Van Canto come to the rescue because, of course, they don’t need no stinkin’ guitars…although they do have a drummer, because everyone knows that mouth percussion is retarded.

“Badaboom” is the first single from Van Canto’s fifth album, Dawn of the Brave, which comes out next February on Napalm Records. You can pre-order that shit here, and catch them on tour if you happen to live in Europe. If you live in America, like us, well I guess there’s always a chance Glee might do an all-metal episode. But let’s hope not.

Van Canto 2014 tour dates after the clip. By the way, which impersonator in this video is worse: fake Ozzy or fake Hetfield? Discuss!

Van Canto “Dawn of the Brave” Tour:
14.02.2014 RUS – Moscow / Klub Volta
15.02.2014 RUS – St. Petersburg / Zal Ozhidaniya
21.02.2014 FR – Strasbourg / La Laiterie
22.02.2014 CH – Pratteln / Gallery
23.02.2014 DE – Nuremnberg / RoFa
06.03.2014 IT – Milan / Factory
07.03.2014 DE – Munich / Backstage
08.03.2014 CZ – Prague / Nova Chmelnice
09.03.2014 DE – Ludwigsburg / ROFA
21.03.2014 DE – Aschaffenburg / ColosSaal
22.03.2014 DE – Hamburg / Grünspan
23.03.2014 DE – Hamelin / Sumpfblume
02.04.2014 GB – London / Underworld
03.04.2014 NL – Tilburg / O13
04.04.2014 DE – Bremen / Aladin
05.04.2014 DE – Cologne / Live Music Hall
10.04.2014 DE – Berlin / Lido
11.04.2014 DE – Glauchau / Alte Spinnerei
12.04.2014 DE – Düsseldorf / Pitcher
13.04.2014 DE – Dortmund / FZW

Gangpol & Mit get interactive for their latest project, “La Boîte”

gangpol-furnitures

French duo Gangpol & Mit have always been more of a multimedia project than a band. To fully appreciate them, you almost have to watch their cartoon videos, which are like Shag paintings brought to life by the creators of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Well, now they’ve brought their distinctive visual aesthetic into three dimensions with a series of giant multimedia instruments—or “carved furnitures,” as they call them—as part of a project called “La Boîte.” Check out the video below and tell me you don’t want spend a day alone with these gadgets and your mind-altering substance of choice.

La Boîte—literally, “The Box”—will be turning up in various parts of France through February of 2014, after which we can only hope it eventually makes its way over here to the States. To learn more—and see an even cooler video of the instruments in action—visit Gangpol & Mit’s website.