Category Archives: Sunday Shout-Out

Sunday Shout-Out: Yeah I Know It Sucks

yeah-sucks

Our latest Sunday Shout-Out is a little biased. OK, more than a little. We had already stumbled across the “absurdist review blog” Yeah I Know It Sucks and enjoyed their irreverent humor and penchant for unearthing obscure treasures like Mark Templeton’s ambient/chopped-n-chilled remixes of cheesy ’80s ballads. Then they actually took the time to interview Jake and me for a feature about Weirdest Band in the World and made us feel all special. So we’re returning the favor.

Discerning taste in fellow blogs aside, YIKIS really is a fantastic source for music that escapes the attention of pretty much the entire rest of the blogosphere. It’s not all weird, but most of it is well worth checking out: Mark McGuire’s abstract guitar reveries; Logosamphia’s chiptune/breakcore freakery; the tape-hiss and field recording experiments of To-Bo. That it’s all served up with the sort of goofy, friendly, free-association humor you usually only hear from your friends after their third bong rip is just the icing on the Suckitude cake. Here, for example, is a line from their review of a release called “Piece of Shit,” from an artist called MARK (they’re currently in the midst of an all-artists-named-Mark binge…you know, just cuz): “I have no idea what MARK eats, if he has a special diet or uses special ingredients because his ‘piece of shit’ is the most chilled out funkiest space jam that ever came out of an anus!” I guarantee you that is the single greatest sentence anyone has ever written on the subject of MARK and his “Piece of Shit.”

YIKIS is the work of a whole team of music obsessives, including one Kai Nobuko, the man behind our current Weird Band of the Week, Toxic Chicken. He’s also the guy who did that interview with me and Jake that I mentioned earlier. Have you read it yet? No? You should, it’s really rather quite good. Here’s the link again. Go read it and every burning question you’ve ever had about TWBITW shall be answered.

andyjake1

Sunday Shout-Out: Dangerous Minds

[Some Sundays, we give a little hype to a fellow blog, website or other source for all things related to weird music and the people who love it. Check the tag “Sunday Shout-Out” for other recommendations.]

Richard Metzger, Dangerous Minds

When our little blog grows up one day, we hope it bears more than a passing resemblance to Dangerous Minds, the website/online talk show created by Richard Metzger. It’s a veritable treasure trove of subversive, unconventional and downright freaky bits of cultural detritus from across the ages and around the globe, all presented with a level of intelligence and wit that most other blogs (ours included, quite frankly) rarely achieve.

Metzger got his start as the co-founder of The Disinformation Company, or Disinfo, creators of the popular You Are Being Lied To and Everything You Know Is Wrong books, along with the controversial U.K. television show Disinformation, which Metzger hosted. With Disinfo, Metzger made a career out of exploring underground and sometimes dangerous subcultures like Satanism, as well as interviewing leftfield artists and thinkers like Douglas Rushkoff and Throbbing Gristle‘s Genesis P-Orridge. He’s still doing that with Dangerous Minds, but in a more thoughtful, less sensationalized way.

Dangerous Minds covers dozens of topics, not just music; it’s also a great place to learn about, say, fashions of the future as imagined in 1893, or a long-lost cable access show that hosted the likes of R. Crumb and Tiny Tim. But without its rich source material, many entries on this here blog would not have been half as interesting. Where else would we have found a track-by-track analysis of Nina Hagen’s Nunsexmonkrock? Or read a detailed first-person account of the 1989 Butthole Surfers show that took place inside an old porn theater? Or been reminded that Jermaine Jackson once collaborated with DEVO?

So we doff our Energy Domes to you, Mr. Metzger! For nearly 20 years, you’ve made the Internet a much weirder place, and we are all the better for it.

Sunday Shout-Out: WTF Japan Seriously

[Most Sundays, we give a little hype to a fellow blog, website or other source for all things related to weird music and the people who love it. Check the tag “Sunday Shout-Out” for other recommendations.]

WTFJapan1

I think it’s probably fair to say that without Japan, our blog would not be half as entertaining. From metal to pop to experimental noise, the Japanese have an uncanny knack for taking virtually any genre of music and turning the weirdness factor up to 11. But music, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. All of Japanese culture is—to us Westerners, at least—pretty bizarre. And one of the most entertaining ways to consume it is via WTF Japan Seriously.

Since 2010, WTF Japan Seriously has been chronicling the “WTFery” of the Land of the Rising Sun in all its glory—everything from TV commercials to game shows to whatever the hell this is. They offer it all with virtually no commentary, because really, no commentary is required—I mean, when you’ve just seen Tommy Lee Jones shooting lasers out of his eyes to sell coffee in a can, what more is there to add?

If memory serves, we first encountered Kyary Pamyu Pamyu when a reader sent us a link to one of her videos on WTF Japan Seriously. And I’ll never forget the day I was surfing their site instead of doing yard work when I stumbled upon this priceless video artifact. For that alone, I feel forever indebted to the folks behind this treasure trove of Japanese pop culture ephemera (Japhemera?)

WTFJapan2

Sunday Shout-Out: Aggronautix

[Most Sundays, we give a little hype to a fellow blog, website or other source for all things related to weird music and the people who love it. Check the tag “Sunday Shout-Out” for other recommendations.]

Throbbleheads

As anyone who’s ever been a baseball game knows, you’re not really immortalized in American pop culture until someone makes a bobblehead doll in your likeness. So God bless the people at Aggronautix for inventing the “Throbblehead,” which is basically a bobblehead doll for the punk-rock crowd. Now you too can glue a jockstrap-clad GG Allin to your dashboard and watch his head waggle every time you hit a pothole. It’s almost better than listening to “I Wanna Fuck Myself” on a $10,000 stereo system. Actually, wait, the jockstrap GG is sold out. You’ll have to settle for the fully clothed version. Sorry.

Throbbleheads are the brilliant idea of a dude by the name of Clint, whose day job is working at MVD, a company that specializes in reissuing old punk records and DVDs and underground films. A few years back he started using his punk and indie music connections to get the rights to the likenesses of various icons of the scene, including more than a few of our favorite weirdos. Since making a splash with the GG Allin Throbblehead, he’s gone on to release figurines based on everyone from Mojo Nixon to DEVO to Wendy O. Williams. Most are limited to runs of 2,000 dolls or less and sell out quickly.

Mojo Nixon ThrobbleheadAggronautix puts out other cool stuff, too. They were the folks behind that GG Allin prison diaries coffee table book we made fun of told you about awhile back, and they’ve also put out everything from picture discs to skateboards to homoerotic comic books starring Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig. If you’re into punk rock collectibles, they’re basically K-Tel, Target and the Hummel Figurines catalog all rolled into one.

We’ll keep you posted about future Throbblehead releases. Who knows, maybe Clint will find inspiration for his next loose-necked doll right here in the virtual pages of this here blog.

Sunday Shout-Out: Wicked and Weird Around the World

[Every Sunday, we give a little hype to a fellow blog, website or other source for all things related to weird music and the people who love it. Check the tag “Sunday Shout-Out” for other recommendations.]

Rijeka Carnival

The Rijeka Carnival is indeed both wicked and weird

One of my annual New Year’s traditions is to make a resolution to travel more and then totally not travel more. The world is full of amazing sights, strange events and even stranger people, and if my couch wasn’t so darned comfy I’m sure I’d spend more time exploring them. Fortunately for me, I can live vicariously through websites like Wicked and Weird Around the World, a travel website for people who like to get off the beaten path—way off.

The creation of a totally normal-seeming young writer and filmmaker named Cat Mills, Wicked and Weird seeks out bizarre festivals, attractions and competitions in far-flung corners of the globe, like cow-racing in Australia, the World Gurning Championships in Egremont, England and the one that really caught our eye, the absolutely bananas-looking Rijeka Carnival in Croatia, at which a bunch of people dressed up like lobsters is pretty much business as usual. In addition to conveniently sorting all her discoveries by country, Cat also produces and stars in a web series chronicling her own travels to some of the weirdest and wickedest events, like the Toe Wrestling World Championships—which, in addition to being completely ridiculous, also looks like the most painful form of wrestling ever invented.

Wicked and Weird only occasionally covers music-related events (like the annual World’s Fastest Drummer competition), but if you’re a fan of weird culture in general, it’s definitely worth a look-see. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel to keep tabs on upcoming web series episodes. Here’s a trailer of past and future highlights (including that painful-looking toe wrestling).

Sunday Shout-Out: BizarreRecords.com

[Every Sunday, we give a little hype to a fellow blog, website or other source for all things related to weird music and the people who love it. Check the tag “Sunday Shout-Out” for other recommendations.]

bizarre-wenchin

Here at TWBITW, we try to keep the focus squarely on the music. Well, and on the videos, and OK, sometimes the outfits, but mostly on the music. Rarely do we address the subject of album cover art, which of course can often be just as weird or weirder than the contents of the album itself. So thank the Internet Gods for BizarreRecords.com, which since 1996 has lovingly cataloged the cover art of hundreds (thousands?) of bargain-bin gems and garage-sale treasures. Most of the covers speak for themselves, but site creator Nick DiFonzo is also kind enough to upload liner notes, post sample tracks, and even hunt down publicity photos or links to the collectors’ site GEMM.com, in case you absolutely have to obtain your very own copy of Tell It Like It Is: A Folk Musical About God.

bizarre-jimpost

oscarzamora

bizarre-jimkeeling

DiFonzo’s most famous discovery is probably Joyce Drake, whose 1983 country/gospel album Joyce has become a kind of Internet shorthand for ridiculous album art. Jeff Bridges even went on Ellen and showed Joyce as part of his own collection of bad album art—but we’re pretty sure Bizarre Records gets credit for unearthing her first.

bizarre-joyce

If you can’t get enough of this stuff, DiFonzo has compiled over 200 of the best/worst album covers into a book, Seriously Bad Album Covers!, which is sadly out of print but still available (last we checked) via the BizarreRecords.com website. You can also keep tabs on the latest Bizarre album covers on Facebook. Like all good curators, DiFonzo doesn’t post new finds often, but when he does, they’re always pure gold.

Sunday Shout-Out: “Bepi Crespan Presents…” on CiTR Radio

So here’s an idea Jake and I came up with after too much eggnog: On Sundays throughout 2014, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite weird things that come in non-band form: blogs, podcasts, magazines, record labels, books, films, radio shows, YouTube channels, visual artists and more. There’s just too much good weird shit out there that deserves more than the occasional retweet.

We’re kicking off this new series with one of our absolute favorites: Bepi Crespan Presents…, a weekly radio show and podcast broadcasting out of Canada on CiTR Radio (also home to legendary radio personality Nardwuar the Human Serviette). Host Bepi Crespan plays a self-described mix of “difficult music, harsh electronics, spoken word, cut-up/collage and general CRESPAN© weirdness.” He favors artists like Merzbow, Cabaret Voltaire, Einstürzende Neubauten, Negativland and Ryoji Ikeda, but also features tons of newer bands and composers who probably don’t get airplay on any other FM radio show in the world. He remains, to the best of our knowledge, the only FM radio DJ to regularly play the twisted art-pop of TWBITW favorites Chimney Crow and Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin, and that alone makes him worthy of a hat-tip in our book.

BepiCrespan

Crespan broadcasts his show every Sunday morning from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. on CiTR; if you live in the Vancouver area, you can find him at 101.9 FM, and if you live anywhere else, you can livestream his show on CiTR.ca. Past shows are posted in podcast form on the Bepi Crespan Presents… website. So next time you’re in need of a heavy dose of avant-garde noise, give one of his shows a spin. You’re pretty much guaranteed to discover something you’ve never heard before, which is more than we can say for 99.9% of terrestrial radio anymore.