Weirdify Playlist 9: Summer Freaks

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It’s been too long since we posted a new Weirdify playlist, don’t you think? Let’s make up for lost time with an extra long mix for your first of what will hopefully be many backyard summer shindigs. Fire up the grill and dig in, kids. Memorial Day is just around the corner.

1. Signmark feat. Osmo Ikonen, “Speakerbox.” We’ll kick things off with our favorite feel-good jam from the world’s only (as far as we know) deaf Finnish rapper, Signmark. No, this song isn’t actually the least bit weird, but you don’t want to start your guests off with Caroliner, for Christ’s sake. Let the poor people ease into it.

2. Here Come the Mummies, “Freak Flag.” OK, now we’re getting at least slightly weird, courtesy of Tennessee’s most decomposed funk band. We’ll have a Mothership connection in 3, 2, 1…

3. Parliament, “Rumpofsteelskin.” If all you really know about George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic is “Give Up the Funk,” you’re probably wondering why we included them on the Weird List in the first place. This song should help clear that up.

4. That 1 Guy, “Funk Bean.” Nearly as funky as a fully operational Mothership, Mike Silverman’s Magic Pipe can summon Primus fans from miles around like a giant dog whistle. Even to non-Primus fans, it’s pretty groovy. (Also, apologies to That 1 Guy for jacking the cover art to his album Packs a Wallop! for this playlist. Don’t wallop us with your Magic Pipe, K?)

5. Fol Chen, “Cable TV.” Because nothing says summer like a song about watching Pay-Per-View in a fleabag motel. Or does that say “meth deal”? Either way, it’s got a beat and you can bop to it without spilling your margarita.

6. Hank3, “Six Pack of Beer.” After much deliberation, we decided to spare you and your BBQ guests the mighty racket that is Hank3’s cattlecore (that’s cattle auctioneers set to speed metal, y’all) in favor of this pickin’ and grinnin’ ode to the beverage of choice at BBQs everywhere.

7. Bob Log III, “Shake a Little, Wiggle It and Jiggle It Too.” The other great “III” on our Weird List, Bob Log III dresses up like a down-on-his-luck Evel Knievel and plays gutbucket slide-guitar blues, preferably while a willing young lass perches on his knee. And yes, he’s our hero.

8. tUnE-yArDs, “My Country.” This song from Merrill Garbus and her oddball, lo-fi jam band is perfect for Fourth of July parties. Sort of.

9. Dolchnakov Brigade, “Dating in Space.” It’s about time in the party for a little jam for the ladies, don’t you think? This DEVO-esque electro-pop freakout from our favorite pseudo-Russian Brooklyn band is just the ticket for getting the girls moving, at least in a confused, slightly epileptic way. (Can you be only “slightly” epileptic? You can when Dolchnakov Brigade is playing.)

10. DEVO, “Beautiful World.” Name-checking DEVO reminds us—every good party mix needs a little DEVO, don’t you think? Also, is it DEVO or Devo? Discuss.

11. Yip-Yip, “Slime Shuns Sun Shine.” Quick, say that song title ten times really fast. Now quick, try dancing to it. Which is harder? Discuss.

12. Waylander, “Re-Born to the Fight.” We’ve neglected the headbangers at your little backyard shindig for far too long. A little Celtic metal should satiate their desire for something more rockin’, while giving your other guests a chance to do a little jig and/or whiskey shots. Everybody wins.

13. The Misfits, “Teenagers From Mars.” You might think the punk band most closely associated with Halloween is not a very appropriate choice for a summer-themed party mix. And you’d be right. But fuck it, we’re throwing them in there anyway. Have another beer and roll with it.

14. The Flaming Lips, “Fryin’ Up.” Not the weirdest song the Lips ever did by a long shot, but it’s got a good party-rock vibe and that lyric about “blowin’ everything off on Monday,” which seems appropriate. Plus, the title is a reference to fryin’ burgers, right? Right?

15. The Upper Crust, “Eureka – I’ve Found Love.” We continue the rock portion of this mix with a tender love song from our current Weird Band of the Week, the Boston-based AC/DC-meets-Marie-Antoinette awesomeness that is The Upper Crust. Bibo ergo sum! Look it up, motherfuckers.

16. Bang Camaro, “Pleasure (Pleasure).” Boston’s other great novelty rock act (seriously, it’s like no one there can just headbang without irony), Bang Camaro achieve that multi-tracked ’80s hair-metal vocal sound with a ten-plus member “dude choir.” They have also clearly studied Pyromania to an unhealthy degree. OK, that’s enough rock for one party, don’t you think? Moving on…

17. Fool’s Gold, “Surprise Hotel.” This Afro-Hebrew-jam-pop band was one of the first acts we ever blogged about. In hindsight, they actually don’t seem all that weird compared to most of the bands on the Weird List, but damn if songs like this one don’t shout “summer!” like a happy parent shouting “mazel tov!” at their daughter’s wedding.

18. MaxNormal.TV, “HipnWidIt.” We’ve never featured our current No. 1 Weirdest Band on a Weirdify playlist before, and I wasn’t sure we’d be able to, considering Waddy Jones and co. pretty much scrapped this whole band when they reinvented themselves as Die Antwoord. But amazingly enough, Spotify does have some Max Normal tracks, including this shameless “Blue Monday” rip. But hey, even a secondhand version of the familiar New Order synth riff should get your more well-lubricated guests shaking a leg or two.

19. Dirty Sanchez, “Really Rich Italian Satanists.” Let’s keep the dance party vibe going with a little high-camp electroclash. Nothing says “party” like a bunch of drag queens channeling an Italian Satanic murder cult, am I right? Now pass the Campari, bitch.

20. Sir Ivan, “Hare Krishna.” We interrupt this party for a hands-in-the-air hippie moment from our favorite Raver Billionaire. Everyone loving one another? Good, let’s move on…

21. Sparks, “Now That I Own the BBC.” We really don’t mention often enough how freakin’ awesome Sparks are. This is from their Pet Shop Boys on Acid phase, as I like to call it. Enjoy.

22. The Superions, “Who Threw That Ham at Me.” We introduced this band from Fred Schneider of the B-52’s as a strictly Christmas-themed group, but they do summer-themed songs, too. And then they do this song about canned-meat tossing. You might want to make sure all the meat at your BBQ is in a secure place before this comes on.

23. The Wet Spots, “Do You Take It…?” (Dr. Feelin’s O.R. Dance Remix). By this point in the party, you’re probably wondering which of your guests like to get freaky. Here’s a hint: The ones who won’t look you in the eye while this track is playing? Not freaky.

24. Mojo Nixon, “I Ain’t Gonna Piss in No Jar.” OK, so by now, if you’re a party host worth your margarita salt, most of your guests are too drunk to dance. But too drunk to sing along to a Mojo Nixon song? We’re pretty sure that’s not physiologically possible.

25. Naked & Shameless, “And Then the Drugs Ran Out.” At all of Jake’s parties, this song is basically last call.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s mix. And remember: Always recycle your empties. Unless someone peed in them.

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Hank3 is hittin’ the road

We interrupt this national day of mourning for Whitney Houston with a totally unrelated but nevertheless vitally important piece of news: Hank3 is hittin’ the road! Yes, the badass inventor of hellbilly and cattlecore will be bringing his trademark multi-set onslaught of trad country, metal and the aforementioned genres to 15 lucky cities this March. If any of the shows sell out faster than usual, I’m sure it’s because I just talked about him on The Dinner Party podcast/public radio chat show.

Here are the dates:

3/2 Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm & Brews
3/3 Montgomery, AL @ Rock Bottom
3/4 Mobile, AL @ Soul Kitchen
3/6 Orlando, FL @ Plaza Theatre
3/7 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room
3/9 Melbourne, FL @ Levelz
3/10 Tampa, FL @ State Theatre
3/11 Jacksonville, FL @ Brewsters
3/13 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
3/14 Norfolk, VA @ Norva
3/15 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
3/16 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
3/19 Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St
3/20 Indianapolis, IN @ Vouge
3/21 St. Louis, MO (Sauget, IL) @ Pop’s

Jake and I will be stuck back here in LA, so if anyone makes it out to one of the shows, please give us a report. To give you a little taste of what you can expect, here’s a fan-made video of the “3 Bar Ranch” portion of his set, the part that features cattle auctioneers set to speed metal:

So yeah…bring your earplugs!

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Weirdest Band in the World on The Dinner Party Download

(Trippple Nippples photo by Rafael Rios, lifted from this Hearty Magazine feature)

Those Prairie Home Companion listeners won’t know what hit them. Yes, Weirdest Band in the World is about to become NPR-famous. My partner-in-crime Andy Hermann (formerly known as Eddie Argyle) is a guest on this week’s edition of The Dinner Party (formerly known as The Dinner Party Download). The Dinner Party is a popular public radio show and podcast that delivers an hour’s worth of news, pop culture, music, cocktail recipes (my favorite part) and foodie talk in the form of witty dinner party banter. And we’re crashing the party. Pass the irony, please!

Andy is featured in a segment called “The Guest List,” in which he talks about some of the past year’s weirdest bands: Hank3, Trippple Nippples, and Iwrestledabearonce. You can download the whole show (free!) in podcast form here (or get it from iTunes) and listen to Andy and samples from all three bands starting at around the 8:40 mark. But you should listen to the whole show, because it’s pretty great. Did I mention they talk about booze?

If you still live in the 20th century and happen to be in either Philadelphia or Los Angeles, you can also fire up your shortwave radio machine and catch The Dinner Party on WHYY-Philadelphia (90.9 FM) tonight (Saturday) at 9pm or tomorrow (Sunday) on KPCC-Los Angeles (89.3 FM) at 3pm. We’re told it’s also being broadcast in Seattle and “select cities in the Midwest,” which I’m gonna say means Dubuque, Fargo and Peoria, because those are my favorite Midwestern city names to say out loud. Oh, and Kalamazoo. We’re gonna be huge in Kalamazoo, bitches!

Andy tells me I should also mention that The Dinner Party is actually a production of American Public Media and not NPR, because they get touchy about that. Apparently those are two completely different organizations. Who knew?

Hank3

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It’s gotta suck being the musician kid of a famous musician. On the one hand, you want to carve out your own identity for yourself; on the other hand, how you sing and how you play and even how your write songs is embedded in your DNA. Dhani Harrison can’t help sounding like his dad George no matter how much Radiohead he listens to and how many members of Wu-Tang Clan he collaborates with.  Harper Simon, son of Paul, toiled in obscurity on various unsuccessful musical projects until his late thirties, when he finally said “Fuck it” and made a Simon & Garfunkel record. Heredity is destiny, or something like that.

So it’s kind of amazing that a guy like Hank3 exists. Hank3 is better known as Hank Williams III, grandson of the great Hank Williams and son of the not-so-great Hank Williams, Jr., that dude who sings the Monday Night Football theme. Any halfway sane offspring of that musical legacy would probably be on his third tour of duty with Celebrity Rehab by now. But happily, Hank3 is just the right kind of nuts to live it all down and do his own thing.

That thing, for years now, has been playing back-to-back sets every night of pickin’ and grinnin’ traditional, honky-tonk country, followed by a rip-your-face-off onslaught of punk, psychobilly and speed metal. Yes, Hank3 somehow manages to have it both ways. He honors the family legacy and extends an upraised middle finger to it, every night.

Because of the schizophrenic nature of his music, Hank3’s always been more than a little weird. But he really went off the deep end just recently with the release of 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin’, one of four different albums (well, technically three, because one was a double LP) he released on the same day earlier this month.

The other albums are all pretty much par for the Hank3 course. Ghost to a Ghost/Guttertown is a mix of trad country, the country/punk hybrid sound he calls “hellbilly,” and Hank’s swampy, spooky version of Cajun music. Attention Deficit Domination is a straight metal record, although it’s slower and sludgier than fans of Hank’s punk/metal band Assjack might expect.

Then there’s 3 Bar Ranch, which is a critter of a different color entirely. It’s an entire album’s worth of cattle auctioneers accompanied by speed metal. Hank3 calls it “cattlecore.” We call it…well, let’s just say the man famous for putting the “dick in Dixie” and the “cunt in country” really outdid himself this time.

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