This preview of Anklepants’ new band, Clock_yange, will scare the crap out of you

Anklepants and Ratbag are Clock_yange
Photo by Laura Fusato

Our favorite penis-nosed provocateur Anklepants has been having a busy month. Just a few weeks after knocking the entire Internet on its ass with his bonkers Boiler Room set, he’s unleashing a brand-new project this weekend: Clock_yangé (or possibly Clocké_yangé—the spelling seems to vary), a collaboration with a mysterious, tin-foil-faced guitar player called Ratbag. “Clocké_yangé is the übergründé Convict cloud chamber encapsulating Reecard Farché (Anklepants) and RATBAG,” declares the duo’s Facebook page, continuing in the grand Anklepants tradition of sticking accents and umlauts all over the place while making as little sense as possible.

Earlier today, Clock_yangé released what we believe is their first online music, a little two-minute SoundCloud preview of their live set. You can check it out below, but be warned: You may want to listen with someone you’re not ashamed to cower behind. Shit’s kinda scary. Right, Mom? (I cowered behind my mom.)

Rumor has it this unholy duo will unleash their aural onslaught upon an unsuspecting Berlin populace this Saturday. Half the city is gonna wish they left that wall up. (Too soon?)

We’ll leave you with one final fleeting glimpse of Ratbag and his amazing animatronic inverted cross hat. I hope they made extras, because they really need to give one of those things to every member of Mayhem.

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Weird of the Day: Venetian Snares, “Welfare Wednesday”

Venetian Snares

I’m in the midst of doing a big article about breakcore for another website (yeah, they occasionally let me out of my cage here at TWBITW), so I’ve spent the past several days plunging down the rabbit hole of twisted “Amen” breaks, distorted basslines and machine-gun snares. So far, I’ve yet to find a track crazier than this little number from Venetian Snares’ 2010 album, My So-Called Life. But give me another day or two and I’m sure I can top it, ’cause breakcore is batshit.

As coincidence would have it, Venetian Snares released a new album just last week, his first since My So-Called Life. It’s called My Love Is a Bulldozer and you can preview tracks or order up a copy via Planet Mu Records or Amazon.com. That’s the cover art at the top of this post, by the way. And yes, the music is as awesome as the cover.

Christeene ’bout to brang it to London for 10 nights, motherfuckers

Christeene

When we heard Texas tranny terrorist Christeene was hitting England and Europe last summer, we were pretty sure she would cause some kind of international incident. But I guess white trash and Eurotrash have more in common than we thought, because she’s heading back to the EU…that’s pronounced “Eww,” y’all…for another string of dates, starting with 10 nights at the Soho Theatre. Soho’s like, all posh and shit, right? Well, la-di-fuckin’-dah! Hope Christeene doesn’t come home talking like Maggie Smith and holding her pinkie in the air when she sips her Four Loko.

“Christeene: The Christeene Machine,” as her Soho show is called, starts tomorrow night, June 24th, and closes July 5th. For full dates and tickets, go here.

This promo video says Christeene will be traipsing around Europe until Aug. 30th, but we’re not sure where else she’s off to after she rips Soho a new one. We’ll try to keep you in the loop.

Weird of the Day: Portsmouth Sinfonia, “Also sprach Zarathustra”

Portsmouth Sinfonia

What happens when you tackle the classical music canon with all the enthusiasm and rank amateurism of a high school garage-punk band? You get Portsmouth Sinfonia, a classical ensemble active in the ’70s that butchered reinterpreted everything from the William Tell Overture to the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Originally made up of students from the Portsmouth School of Art, all of whom were either total beginners or trained musicians who had switched instruments, the project was conceived as a kidding-but-not-really experiment by a teacher/composer named Gavin Bryars. Bryars wanted to see if it was possible for novice musicians to play clumsy approximations of familiar classical pieces that would still be recognizable to audiences. Based on this version of Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra,” better known now as the theme music to 2001: A Space Odyssey, I’d say the experiment was a raging success.

Ironically, as members of the Sinfonia gradually got better at their instruments, the public lost interest, and the project disbanded in 1979. They’ve been back in the news this year because this marks the 40th anniversary of their legendary performance at the Royal Albert Hall (yes, they got so popular at one point that they played the Royal Albert Hall—that kinda sticks in your craw, doesn’t it, trained classical musicians?). We found them by way of an article on Cracked.com called “7 Bizarre Music Experiments That Went Shockingly Wrong” that also called out several Weird List bands, including Stalaggh/Gulaggh, Hatebeak and Matmos. I don’t think any of these experiments went “shockingly wrong,” per se—more like their creators set out to do stuff that would make people go, “That’s not right.”

Bonus fun fact: For awhile, Portsmouth Sinfonia counted Brian Eno and minimalist composer Michael Nyman among its members. In the right (or wrong?) context, we are all amateurs.

The Soft Pink Truth’s electronic black metal album, “Why Do the Heathen Rage?”, is out now

Drew Daniel of The Soft Pink Truth
Photo by M.C. Schmidt

Remember when we told you that Drew Daniel of Matmos was releasing an all-electronic album of black metal covers through his solo project, The Soft Pink Truth? Well, the album arrived this past week, and it’s even more hilariously batshit than we could have hoped for. You can hear the whole thing via Spotify and other fine streaming sites, or watch this extremely gay and frostbitten video for his hardcore techno version of Venom’s “Black Metal” for a taste of the project’s highly irreverent approach to its source material:

Daniel, who is gay, loves black metal but hates its politics, which tend to be a wee bit racist, homophobic and, y’know, white supremacist. So he meant for Why Do the Heathen Rage? to be equal parts homage and piss-take. “I wanted to be a kind of Satanic serpent that sneaks in the Garden of Eden of black metal and fucks with it,” he said in a recent interview with XLR8R, “takes the sacred bands, like Mayhem and Darkthrone, and trashes them. I mean, it’s a trashing that’s born out of love, but it’s also born out of a desire to provoke and piss off.”

It’s both a queer and punk-rock way to tackle black metal, which is so hidebound in rigid conventions and notions of “authenticity” that even some of the genre’s purveyors have grown sick of it. When we interviewed current Mayhem guitarist Teloch and asked him about experimental black metal bands like Deafheaven, he had this to say: “To me, when you say experiment and black metal together in a sentence, it’s no longer black metal. To me black metal has strict rules and codes to follow for it being black metal, but that’s also the reason why I quit playing/listening to black metal years ago.”

Lest there be any doubt that Daniel was casting a queer eye on black metal, he premiered one of the album’s tracks, “Ready to Fuck,” on the website of BUTT, a British gay magazine.

The rest of Why Do the Heathen Rage? is in a similar glitchy, electronic vein, but with definite touches of black metal’s death rasp vocals and pounding, relentless sense of doom. It’s dark music that will put a smile on your face. You can order up a copy of the album from Thrill Jockey Records or via Amazon.com.

Let’s roll a fatty and watch Insane Clown Posse’s infomercial for the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos

Insane Clown Posse weed

How have we not reported anything yet about the 2014 edition of Insane Clown Posse‘s annual Gathering of the Juggalos? What the fuck is wrong with us? You’d think we’ve been high for the last six months or something. Oh, wait…

Anyway, the 15th annual GOTJ has a brand-new location this year: the awesomely named Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. Tickets are still on sale and it all goes down July 23-27, so you people still have a month to buy us a pair. C’mon, please? After all we’ve done for you? Fine, we’ll just follow the whole thing on Twitter again.

I could bore you all with a bunch of words about how it’s gonna be interesting as fuck, what with all the awesome rappers and bands playing and all the hot Juggalettes who might sit on your head if you pass out. But reading? Fuck that. Let’s watch a 23-minute infomercial instead.

I don’t know about, but I need to relax after all that excitement. So let’s play this post out with a soothing death ballad from Psychopathic Records artist and GOTJ performer Boondox. Pour one out!

Weird of the Day: The Shamen, “Ebeneezer Goode”

The Shamen

It’s Flashback Friday here at Weird Band HQ. We’re taking the Wayback Machine to 1992, when rave music dominated the British pop charts and random groups like The Shamen could have a chart-topping hit with a silly dance song about taking drugs. Our British readers no doubt remember “Ebeneezer Goode,” a song that generated much controversy and was even banned briefly by the BBC because the chorus sounded like frontman Mr. C was chanting, “E’s are good”—”E” being British slang for the drug Ecstasy. But what probably seemed like just another dance choon at the time sounds pretty out there today, especially when accompanied by a frenetic black-and-white video starring a dude in a Victorian attire with a thing for setting shoes on fire.

We were reminded of the existence of “Ebeneezer Goode” this week because Mr. C announced that he’s auctioning off an important piece of Brit-rave memorabilia for charity: the harness and codpiece he wore when The Shamen performed “Ebeneezer” on Top of the Pops. He’ll even throw in the negative articles about the band with which he stuffed said codpiece. Now that’s a collector’s item.