Help Blasted Mechanism crowdfund their “eighth generation”

Photo by Hugo Lima
Photo by Hugo Lima

How do you say “crowdfunding” in Portuguese? Tribal-futurist electro-rock weirdos Blasted Mechanism have just launched a campaign on a Kickstarter-like Portuguese site called PPT to raise fan funding for their “eighth generation,” or “eighth album” as other, less tribal-futurist bands might call it. They’re hoping to rake in 8,000 Euros by Jan. 7th, 2014, so go visit their campaign page and give generously.

We probably should have figured this out back when we made them our Weird Band of the Week earlier this year, but apparently Blasted Mechanism totally reinvents their look with each album—hence the “generation” term. Past looks, as handily recapped in their PPT project video, include Mind at Large, Namaste and our favorite, the totally bonkers, Japenese-meets-Aztec (Japaztec?) superhero outfits from their fifth generation, Sound in Light. Actually, the costumes from each generation are pretty freaking cool—except maybe generation one, Balayashi, when they kinda looked and sounded like a bad Red Hot Chili Peppers knockoff. But hey, it’s cool. We all made bad style choices in the ’90s.

So what form will the eighth generation of Blasted Mechanism take? We’ll just have to chip in and find out.

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Here Come the Mummies just hit their Kickstarter goal. You’re off the hook this time, cheapskates.

HCTM

We’ve asked you, our soft-touch readers, to help out many a weird band via Kickstarter in the past. But this time around, we don’t need to ask. Yes, in just 12 days, Here Come the Mummies have already hit their Kickstarter fundraising goal of $50,069. So everything else from here on out is gravy—but hey, if you wanna give a bunch of horndog Mummies some gravy, be our guest.

All that coin is gonna help fund the release and promotion of Cryptic, the Mummies’ latest and greatest funk bomb of a studio album. It’s due out sometime in May and, as is usually the case, Kickstarter backers get first crack at it. Track titles include “Chaperone,” “Petting Zoo” and “You Know the Drill,” so we can safely assume HCTM have still not exhausted all the endless possibilities of their favorite topic, bumpin’ uglies. (And since these guys have been dead for 4,000 years, the emphasis is definitely on “ugly.”)

Click here to read more about Cryptic and watch one of those cute little Kickstarter videos; this one features the Mummies demonstrating how totally unqualified they are to hold down any kind of day job. We know the feeling, guys! Which is why I’m not sure Jake and I will be pledging anything this time around—although the custom voicemail greeting at $75 is mighty tempting.

Let’s play this post out with some live Mummies. If that’s not a contradiction in terms.

Look who’s on Kickstarter now: The Polyphonic Spree

Let’s make it rain for the Spree!

This Kickstarter thing is getting outta hand. Every time we turn around, another Weird List alumnus is passing the cyber-hat, looking to crowd-fund their latest folly. We’re not made of money, people!

But you know what? Fuck it. We should spend every nickel we earn from those stupid WordPress ads on our site to kick down some cash to artists like Anklepants, Christeene and Mission Man, because without them, this blog wouldn’t exist. So count us in for all your crazy Kickstarter campaigns, you broke-ass weirdos! And yes, that includes you, Polyphonic Spree. I just pledged 12 bucks and became backer #613. You’re welcome.

For those of y’all too lazy to watch the full video or read the breakdowns on the Spree’s elaborate and ambitious Kickstarter pledge drive, here’s the skinny: After laying pretty low for most of the past five years, Tim DeLaughter’s merry band of symphonic rock lunatics is gearing up to return with a vengeance in 2013. They plan to release a live album, a new studio album, a live concert/documentary DVD, and tour the globe—all with their usual contingent of 20-plus robe-wearing singers and violinists and piccolo players and whoever else they can cram onto their gigantic tour bus. Y’know, the usual Spree stuff.

Estimated cost: $100,000. Which sounds like a lot of money, I know. But if you think about it, that only comes out to like, four grand per Spreeling. Or to put it another way, about what Ashton Kutcher makes every two minutes on Two and a Half Men. So I’d say the Spree are keeping things downright frugal.

It’s also worth noting, since nearly everything that’s ever been written about Kickstarter seems to miss this point: The hundred G’s ain’t charity, folks. Everyone who pledges at least $10 gets something tangible in return, whether it’s a CD copy of the new studio album (which I’m getting for my $12 pledge), a digital “full meal deal” that includes downloads of both albums and the concert doc (for a very reasonable $35) or a “surprise handmade gift” from a member of the band (for a roll-the-dice $100—could be a doll made of pipe cleaners, could be a framed piece of art you’ll bequeath to your grandkids). So stop calling Kickstarter pledges “donations,” for fuck’s sake. The under $5 contributions could be described that way, but everyone else is paying in advance for a future service, just like you do when you buy concert tickets. Why so many people miss this crucial aspect of the Kickstarter economy (as when otherwise sensible media outlets refer to Amanda Palmer as a “Kickstarter millionaire”—like she fucking pocketed every penny from Kickstarter and paid for her albums and merchandise and touring expenses with elf farts) is beyond me.

Sorry…I’ll climb down off my soapbox now and just mention one last thing: The Polyphonic Spree also have a totally non-crowd-funded holiday album coming out. It’s called Holidaydream and you can read more about it (and pre-order a copy, if you’re so inclined) here. When do these guys sleep?

I’ll leave you with the rough-cut intro to that Spree concert doc DVD. Tim DeLaughter hearts you! Even if you don’t send him money. But probably more if you do.

Help Anklepants make the Face_tar a reality

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I gotta say, I am feeling pretty damn good about myself today. I just ponied up $10 to one of the worthiest causes I know. No, not defeating Mitt Romney, although I really should give the Obama campaign ten bones just as a thank-you for the 83,792 emails they’ve sent me over the last six months. My wife writes me less.

No, I parted with my hard-earned ducats to help one of my favorite weirdos, Anklepants, build a new instrument called the Facé_tar™. And you should join me, because the man creature also known as Reecard Farché is, as of this writing, a little (okay, a lot) short of his goal of raising $1,875 for all the necessary components. So he needs a little generosity and a little help getting the word out.

The Facé_tar™ is explained, sort of, on the Indiegogo page Reecard/Anklepants creator [name redacted] has built for his fundraising campaign. I say “sort of” because, like Anklepants himself, this Facé_tar thing is a little hard to explain. Here, I’ll quote Reecard/AnkleP’s:

This hybrid Robotic instrument will be the second character (along side Reecard Farché) for the future Anklepants live show.

The body of the guitar (A large lip syncing animatronic creature /puppet made of silicone and fibreglass) with a large mouth , moving eyes and very expressive face , delivering lip synced vocal performance and a range of interaction with Reecard Farché as he carries and plays the instrument like some kind of deranged and loving ventriloquist, bag pipe player / guitarist /pied piper.

If that still doesn’t make sense, there are some concept drawings you can check out here. Still can’t wrap your head around it? Fine. Just know that [name redacted], in addition to being a pretty killer breakcore/IDM/drum ‘n’ bass musician, is an amazing designer of prosthetics and animatronics who, among other things, worked on [he doesn’t want you o know]. Oh, and his headpiece for Anklepants has an animatronic penis-nose that moves in time to the music. So your money will almost certainly be put to good use.

As with Kickstarter, it’s a little misleading to describe Indiegogo contributions as “donations.” Depending on how much you pitch in, you can get any number of Anklepants goodies in return, from a digital WAV copy of his latest album to your very own silicone cast of the full Anklepants “facéhead.” (It’s a bust, not a headpiece, so sorry—you can’t wear it to your next DJ gig. Make your own damn penis-nosed prosthetic!)

We’ll leave you with that Indiegogo link one more time and a little taste of the Anklepants live show. Just imagine this shit with the added bonus of a guitar that’s also a face!

Wanna help fund the new DEVO Documentary, “Are We Not Men?”

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OK, Weird Nation: You helped fund the Kickstarter campaigns of Christeene and Mission Man. Ready to pony up for the next worthy weird pursuit?

This time around, the project looking for a little crowd-sourced scratch is a documentary about DEVO called Are We Not Men? Amazingly, this is the first feature-length documentary about the experimental Ohio band. The five-minute trailer on the Kickstarter page looks pretty cool. There’s lots of vintage footage of the band freaking out the normals (keep an eye out for Merv Griffin) and more recent stuff about their 2009-2010 comeback as the tongue-in-cheek embodiment of consumer-tested corporate rock.

The filmmakers have set themselves the rather lofty goal of raising $25,000 by Aug. 7th. As of this writing, they’ve managed to raise just over three grand. So go and give generously, won’t you? Think of it as casting a financial vote against that fucking Katy Perry movie.

Here’s that Kickstarter link again. Do your duty now…for the future! (I was going to insert a “Whip It” reference here, but that shit’s played out, don’t you think?)

Mission Man is hitting the road (and Kickstarter)

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Brace yourselves, Chicagoans: Mission Man is coming your way, and he is gonna blow your freakin’ minds. Even in the city that gave the world Common, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco, they might not be ready for hip-hop this far off the grid.

For those of you new to these parts: Mission Man is Gary Milholland, a mild-mannered pizza delivery guy from Oxford, Ohio who onstage transforms himself into a rhyme-dropping ball of WTF. Even though his stuff is technically hip-hop, he probably has less in common with Kanye and Common than he does with another legendary Windy City denizen: Wesley Willis. Except The Mish isn’t black or schizophrenic and, as far as we know, is not prone to head-butting his fans. So on second thought, scratch the Wesley Willis comparison. Let’s just call him a true original and leave it at that.

In addition to his big Chi-town gig (tix available here), Mission Man is also playing multiple shows all over his home state all summer long. If you happen to be in the Buckeye State, catch him if you can. He’s by far the wackiest thing that place has produced since DEVO.

May 30    Mickey Finn’s Pub    Toledo, OH
Jun 08    Blind Bob’s    Dayton, OH
Jun 14    ELBO ROOM    Chicago, IL
Jun 23    Relay for Life    Oxford, OH
Jun 30    Symposium    Lakewood, OH
Jul 01    Scarlet and Grey Cafe    Columbus, OH
Aug 10    Greenwich Tavern    Cincinnati, OH

In other Mission Man news: You have just 13 days left to back his Kickstarter campaign, which will fund the release of his 11th studio album, M” (yes, with one quotation mark—even his titles are outside the box). Pony up, people! He’s only asking for $700, for Christ’s sake. As a pizza guy in a college town, he probably makes that much during finals week.