Weird of the Day: Hervé and Zebra Katz, “Tear the House Up”

Herve + Zebra Katz Tear the House Up

We first ran across Zebra Katz when we were doing research for our Weird Band of the Week post about fellow queer hip-hop artist Le1f. He’s produced a lot of eye-popping videos, but never anything as colorful as his new video for “Tear the House Up,” a collaboration with British DJ/producer Hervé. The track itself is fun but pretty straightforward, minimalist electro-house, but the video, directed by Ghost+Cow, is some of the best eyeball crack we’ve seen in a long time.

Gonna watch it again right now, aren’t you? We thought you might.

You can buy “Tear the House Up” via iTunes.

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Die Antwoord are back with a new album, “Donker Mag,” and another batshit music video

Die Antwoord

We’re getting stoked to see Die Antwoord here in L.A. next week, and now we have reason to be even more stoked: The South African rap-ravers just announced that they’re dropping their third album, Donker Mag, on June 3rd. I mean, unless they play the whole album at their show and it sucks, in which case we’ll be non-stoked that they didn’t play more $O$ tracks. But I bet they won’t disappoint.

Earlier today, Ninja and ¥olandi also dropped their latest video, for the Donker Mag track “Pitbull Terrier.” Like most Die Antwoord videos, this one’s pretty bananas, even if the track itself isn’t exactly their most inspired. Ninja makes a pretty convincing rabid dog. And naturally, only ¥olandi can tame him.

Here’s Donker Mag‘s tracklist. You can pre-order it now via Amazon.

1     Dont Fuk Me
2     Ugly Boy
3     Happy Go Sucky Fucky
4     Zars
5     Raging Zef Boner
6     Pompie
7     Cookie Thumper!
8     Girl I Want 2 Eat U
9     Pitbull Terrier
10   Strunk
11   Do Not Fuk Wif Da Kid
12   Rat Trap 666 (featuring DJ Muggs)
13   I Dont Dwank
14   Sex
15   Moon Love
16   Donker Mag

And here are Die Antwoord’s North American tour dates:

May 22 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
May 23 – Quincy, Wa – Sasquatch Music Festival
May 24 – Eugene, Or – Cuthbert Amphitheater
May 25 – Portland, Or – Roseland Theater
May 27 – San Francisco, Ca – The Fillmore
May 29 – Los Angeles, Ca – The Fonda Theater
May 31 – Dallas, Tx – House Of Blues
June 1 – Houston, Tx – Free Press Summer Festival
June 3 – Chicago, Il – Riviera Theater
June 4 – Toronto, On – Danforth Music Hall
June 6 – Montreal, Qc – Metropolis
June 7 – Boston, Ma – House Of Blues
June 8 – Philadelphia, Pa – Electric Factory
June 10 – New York, Ny – Irving Plaza
June 11 – Washington, Dc – 9:30 Club
June 12 – Charlotte, Nc – Amos’ Southend
June 13 – Manchester, Tn – Bonnaroo Music Festival

Weird of the Day: Panther, “You Don’t Want Your Nails Done”

Panther

Today’s weirdness comes to us from reader GeeEs and the year 2007. Back then, a dude from Portland named Charlie Salas-Humara (that’s him on the left) made an album of awkward hipster lo-fi disco under the name Panther called Secret Lawns. He later added a drummer, Joe Kelly (that’s him on the right), and signed to indie label Kill Rock Stars, but he only managed one more album and an EP of Panther stuff before putting the project on ice. He now does psychedelic synth-rock under the name Grapefruit.

Panther didn’t leave much of a web footprint, but the project did produce at least one video that’s kind of genius: “You Don’t Want Your Nails Done.” This takes dancing around your room with a hairbrush pretending to be Justin Timberlake to a whole new level. Enjoy.

Here’s the Panther catalog on Amazon.com.

[Update: We love Panther so much we just made them our Weird Band of the Week. Motherfuckahh!!]

Little Big

Little Big

God bless Die Antwoord. If those crazy South Africans hadn’t pointed the way with their over-the-top rap-rave anthems and even more over-the-top music videos, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have the Polish “Slavschool” hip-hop of Donatan and we definitely wouldn’t have the Russian rap-rave anthems of Little Big, who are basically Die Antwoord after too much vodka.

On one level, Little Big resembles Die Antwoord so much that they almost seem derivative. Their music is glitchy and uptempo; their videos are grotesque, absurb and occasionally shocking; their lead singer is a skinny tattooed dude who used to be a hip-hop-loving performance artist. (Die Antwoord’s Ninja, aka Waddy Jones, got his start doing more high-brow, satirical with projects like Max Normal; Little Big’s Ilya Prusikin honed his mic skills doing raps dressed up as Josef Stalin.) Even Little Big’s two midget members, Olympia Ivleva and Anna Kast, are reminiscent of Leon Botha, the late Die Antwoord collaborator with progeria syndrome—although that’s probably a totally unfair comparison because for all I know, Kast and Ivleva are integral singers/songwriters/producers in Little Big who just happen to be little people.

And yet, for all the obvious indebtedness to Die Antwoord—and, I suspect, to the videos of Donatan—there’s something about Little Big that is thrillingly original, too. Their hyper-kinetic videos are especially addictive, recasting the stereotypical images of Russian culture—the folk dancers, the vodka, the tracksuit-clad hooligans, the drab, Cold War-era military uniforms, even a balaclava nod to Pussy Riot—as the ghetto-fabulous trappings of a non-stop dance party. And even though their music is almost entirely electronic, there’s a manic, gypsy-punk energy to it. They’re like a raver version of Gogol Bordello, especially on their most popular track, “Everyday I’m Drinking”:

And if you thought that was a wild ride, get a load of “Life in da Trash,” in which a junkyard doubling as a zombie prison camp turns into an apocalyptic dance party and, judging from some heavy-handed title cards, a metaphor for modern life. Prusikin told Vice UK that he’s also a big fan of Cannibal Corpse, which makes total sense after you watch this.

Little Big have an album coming out later this month—their first, I believe. They have a pair of album release shows coming up in St. Petersburg and Moscow and just released a new video earlier today to promote them. It’s called “With Russia From Love” and it gives me oddly amorous feelings towards goats. And makes me want to dance like a Cossack on meth.

P.S. Huge thanks to reader Vass for introducing us to these guys. You made our week, Vass!

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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.

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Banda UÓ

Banda UO

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.

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pee pee po

pee pee po

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.

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