Here Come the Mummies announce “If the Clown Shoe Fits” tour

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Anubis be praised! (No? Not an Egyptology crowd tonight? Fine…) Here Come the Mummies are bringing their reanimated funk back on the road…and this time, for the first time in like, forever (well, OK, for as long as we’ve known about them, which to be fair has only been about a year), they’re playing a show here in L.A.! Jake and I will be there with bandages and corpse paint on, baby, ready to let our freak flags fly.

But wait, the news gets cooler. HCTM are also pulling a Louis C.K. and selling tickets directly through their website, keeping convenience charges low and throwing in a few perks like a $5 gift certificate to the Mummies online store. Pretty savvy for a bunch of dudes who’ve been dead for 3,000 years.

Here are the full dates for what they’ve dubbed the “If the Clown Shoe Fits” tour. Clowns and mummies? It’s like the birthday party I was so cruelly denied as a six-year-old.

Sep 21     Toledo, OH     Headliners
Sep 22     Urbana, IL     Canopy Club
Oct 4     West Hollywood, CA     House of Blues
Oct 5     Santa Ynez, CA     Chumash Casino Resort
Oct 6     Las Vegas, NV     Hard Rock Las Vegas
Oct 7     Tucson, AZ     Rialto Theatre
Oct 11     Nashville, TN     Live On The Green
Oct 12     Bloomington, IN     The Bluebird
Oct 13     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
Oct 14     Lincoln, NE     Rococo Theatre
Oct 18     Lexington, KY     Buster’s Billiards & Backroom
Oct 19     Ft. Wayne, IN     Pierre’s
Oct 20     Mansfield, OH     Renaissance Theatre
Oct 25     Madison, WI     Majestic Theatre
Oct 26     Onamia, MN     Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Oct 27     Hinkley, MN     Grand Casino Amphitheater
Nov 1     Joliet, IL     MoJoes
Nov 2     Macomb, IL     COFAC Recital Hall
Nov 3     Dubuque, IA     Diamond Jo Casino
Nov 10     Cincinnati, OH     Taft Theatre
Nov 16     Indianapolis, IN     Vogue Theater
Nov 17     South Bend, IN     Club Fever

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That 1 Guy

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It’s been awhile since we blogged about an artist who plays homemade instruments. So let’s fix that this week by making That 1 Guy, creator of the Magic Pipe, our Weird Band of the Week.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Dude, I play my Magic Pipe every night! Usually to pictures of Kate Upton.” But That 1 Guy’s Magic Pipe is both longer and cooler than yours, my friend. Hooked up to various electronics and a few bass strings, it’s a seven-foot, harp-shaped weapon of mass awesomeness that, in the hands of That 1 Guy’s Mike Silverman (who is, indeed, just one guy), can sound as funky as a Les Claypool bassline, as evil as a Nine Inch Nails song, and as goofy as, oh, let’s say Ween, all in the same song. Lots of artists these days use loops and electronics to do the whole one-man-band thing, but few do it with more oddball swag than That 1 Guy.

Silverman is a highly trained jazz bassist who got so bored with the limitations of his instrument that he decided to start making his own gear. In addition his signature instrument, the Magic Pipe, which is sort of like a Chapman stick on steroids, he’s also concocted the Magic Boot, the Magic Flute and the Magic Saw. Apparently, he even does magic tricks in his act now. If he ever asks you to pick a card, go for the Joker. (Did we mention that That 1 Guy’s songs tend to be hilariously silly? Well, they do.)

That 1 Guy has collaborated with fellow weirdos like Buckethead (subject of a future Weird Band of the Week pick, we promise—hang in there, Ian!), but mostly, he does solo shows like the one in the video below. When you can generate that much noise all by yourself, who needs collaborators?

P.S.: Shout out to our new biggest fan, Sheavy, for reminding us about this guy. Glad you like the site, buddy! Have you come around to Die Antwoord yet?

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Here Comes the Mummies are playing the Indy 500

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We’re not sure what mummies and auto racing have in common. But something about the stanky-sweet undead funk of Here Come the Mummies seems to have the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sold. After playing there last year for the 2011 Indy 500, they’ve been invited back for the 2012 edition of America’s most prestigious event that involves driving cars around in a big circle really, really fast. (So far, the only other confirmed musical act appears to be Lynyrd Skynyrd, who at this point are basically undead, too.)

I should probably point out that the Mummies are not playing the actual race itself, which happens Sunday, May 27th. They’re playing the “Pole Day Qualifications.” I was really hoping that’s some kind of stripper competition, but my one friend who actually cares about auto racing just burst my bubble and informed me it’s the day the drivers compete to see who gets prime position at the start of the race. “Pole Day” happens on Saturday, May 19th and unlike the Indy 500 itself, which is mostly sold out, you can still get tickets for it—for a mere 15 bucks—here.

The Mummies play the Coke Stage at 6:15 p.m. Wonder if Coke knows its corporate banners will be accompanied by a bunch of dudes in mummy costumes whose set list typically includes songs like “Attack of the Wiener Man” and “Libido Knievel”? We hear they do a “PG version” of their set for events like the Indy 500, though. Wouldn’t want to upset those God-fearing NASCAR fans. And yes, I know the Indy 500’s not NASCAR. Split hairs, why don’t you?

Let’s play this post out with a clip from the Mummies’ concert DVD, Undead Live. More cowbelt!

The Cowbelt: Now available for human use, from Here Come the Mummies

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Good news, mortals! The Cowbelt, that formidable piece of musical crotch gear, once available only for Mummy use, can be now strapped to human hips for a variation on the cowbell so funky, Christopher Walken himself would weep to hear it. Your pelvic thrusts will be so funkified, members of both sexes will go weak at the knees around you. Or maybe they’re just doubled over in laughter. Who can tell? You’ll be so busy ringing your Cowbelt, you won’t fucking care.

For those not familiar with the awesome power of a fully operational Cowbelt, we offer up the following video of its creators, Here Come the Mummies, in fully Cowbelt deployment. Brace your ass, cuz it’s gonna wanna move.

Can’t wait to strap one on now, can you? So go order one of the first 100 from the HCTM website. They ship March 30th—a day the earth will probably wiggle on its axis from the sheer funkiness of it all.

More Cowbelt!

Free music from Here Come the Mummies

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(Photo by Dean Dixon)

The funky creatures from beyond the grave in Here Come the Mummies love you a lot. And to prove it, they’re giving away a five-song digital sampler…for free. You have to give them your email address, but we’re sure they’ll take good care of it. Head over to the HCTM website to claim your five-track bundle of mummified joy. I’m listening as I write this and all I can say is, if you crank this shit on Valentine’s Day, you are so getting laid.

In other Mummies news: They’re also offering five bucks off all CDs, T-shirt and digital downloads all this week. Their generosity knows no bounds, people!

We’ll play this one out with the new video for “Freak Flag,” featuring the excellent animation of Bobby’s Brane. We’re gonna boogie-oogie-oogie all night to this one. Emphasis on “oogie.”

Lenny Pickett with the Borneo Horns

Ready for a little trip back into the vaults, kids? Back in 1991, Saturday Night Live saxophonist Lenny Pickett released this now super-obscure and hard-to-find album with his band, the Borneo Horns, which consisted of him and two other sax players (Steve Elson and Stan Harrison), plus a drummer and occasional additional horns. Now, while they’re hardly the only predominantly sax-based band that ever existed (see also: World Saxophone Quartet and one of our favorites, the skronk-tastic Little Women), they’re arguably the funkiest. A typical Borneo Horns joint sounds like a cross between James Brown, a New Orleans parade band and the theme music from Benny Hill. You can’t decide to whether to dance your ass off or laugh your ass off—and both are probably equally valid responses.

I was lucky enough to see the Borneo Horns in college back around the time the album came out (which I swear was in ’89, but Amazon.com has it listed as ’91 and I was admittedly drunk a lot back then) and let me tell you, they could rock it out. Pickett is mostly famous these days for those wailing high notes he squeezes out as that week’s SNL host bounds onto the stage, but he’s also got an amazing sense of rhythm and syncopation. He got his start playing in the horn section of funk band Tower of Power and that stuff is clearly in his blood.

These days, it’s hard to come by much information about the Borneo Horns, let alone their actual music. The one and only Lenny Pickett with the Borneo Horns album is out of print and will set you back upwards of $200 for a used vinyl copy. The blog Music Hertz has a good little piece about the album, and you can hear several Borneo Horns tracks on Lenny Pickett’s sorta cool, sorta annoying official website. But beyond that, the genius of the Borneo Horns has been mostly lost in the mists of time. Which really has me kicking myself, because I used to own a cassette copy of Lenny Pickett with the Borneo Horns and I have no idea where it is now. I purged most of my cassettes years ago, so it’s probably gathering dust in a Goodwill somewhere.

Fortunately, some kind soul did post this one Borneo Horns track on YouTube, so we can share some of Lenny’s funky magic here. Cooler than the SNL theme music, isn’t it?

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Here Come the Mummies

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It’s Friday, and Jake and I are ready to get on down with our bad selves. And who better to get down with than a bunch of dudes playing hammy funk-rock while done up in full-bandage mummy attire? No one, we say!

Here Come the Mummies are based in Nashville and keep their identities secret, so naturally there’s a lot of speculation as to who might be lurking under those mummy rags. One thing’s for certain: It’s not these guys. That’s a completely different band from California just called The Mummies, who actually pre-date Here Come the Mummies by a good decade. We’ll probably put The Mummies on the Weird List at some point, too—although they play snotty, DIY punk, which is actually sort of what we’d expect a bunch of mummies to sound like. Here Come the Mummies, by contrast, sound more like a cross between Fitz & the Tantrums and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, which is totally unexpected and therefore, we think, kind of awesome. There is not much mummy iconography in funk and soul music. Not even P-Funk, as far as we know, ever had anyone in full Boris Karloff drag lurching around the stage. These guys are breaking new ground.

Oh yeah—and they are also the proud inventors of the Cowbelt. Did we mention that these are naughty mummies?

The Here Come the Mummies live show looks pretty fun, but the best YouTube videos featuring the group were all actually shot for a syndicated radio program called The Bob & Tom Show. If you don’t mind the occasional annoying laughs of the hosts, the sound quality here is excellent—and proof that whoever these guys are, and however silly their whole horndog mummy shtick may be, they can play.

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