Tool

Greetings and salutations, weirdlings. It’s been a looooong time since we’ve posted anything here and for that, Jake and I sincerely apologize. You see, when we got to our 100th post (yes, this is our 100th post) and our 100th weird band, we had some kind of weird existential crisis over why we started this whole fucking blog in the first place. “We’ve done 100 bands already, and we’re still not famous? Why go on?” we thought. Followed immediately by: “We’ve only done 100 bands? We’ve been at this for nearly two fucking years. Mojo Nixon has probably written 100 songs in that time. Christ, we suck.”

We also agonized over who our 100th band should be. We decided it should be a biggie and even used that stupid new Facebook “Questions” feature to ask you guys to help us figure out which biggie it should be. (And, like, six of you voted…which further deepened our “Why are we even doing this?” existential crisis.) Tool? Primus? Butthole Surfers? Worthy candidates all…but then we found ourselves thinking, “Really? The world needs us to point out that Tool is weird? Fucking duh!” And bam, more existential crisis. And more drinking. (Well, Jake drank. I started mowing down pints of Ben & Jerry’s. It was a dark time.)

Finally, we said “Fuck it. We’ve come this far. Why stop now?” So today, at long last, Jake and I are emerging from our two-month booze-and-butterfat-fueled pity party to tell the world that, yes, Tool is one weird fucking band.

Are we preaching to the choir on this one? Well, yes. But we’re completists and if any band ever deserved a spot on our Weird List, it’s these guys. Really, any band featuring Maynard James Keenan should probably wind up here sooner or later. That guy is a freak. We hear he makes good wine though.

More than Keenan, though, what really sets Tool apart from their prog-metal brethren is their videos. Created mainly by guitarist Adam Jones, they use lots of stop motion animation and creepy visual effects to create some of the most disturbing imagery ever presented by an MTV Veejay. It’s hard to pick just one as their weirdest, but “Stinkfist” has to be high on the list. So enjoy…and we promise we’ll be back soon with more weird bands, including maybe even a few you haven’t already heard of.

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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Well, kids, we really missed the boat on this one. A whole bunch of you out there in Weirdo Land have been suggesting almost since we started this blog that we write about Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and we were always like, “Yeah, yeah, we’ll get around to it.” And we blew it off, and blew it off, and now Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is no more.  Last week we got an email announcing SGM’s final L.A. show this past Friday, and final San Francisco shows yesterday. “As it turns out,” read the email, “we are being replaced.”

For those of y’all not familiar: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is basically what happens when a bunch of SF art freaks get together and decide to make Dadaist-inspired prog-metal on a combination of traditional and homemade instruments. They were started in 1999 by Dan Rathbun and Nils Frykdahl, who used to be in a band called Idiot Flesh, and also featured members of Tin Hat Trio, Skeleton Key and a dance company called InkBoat. To give you an idea of how friggin weird these guys were, here are the names of some of their other projects: Vacuum Tree Head, Immersion Composition Society, Thinking Plague and Moe!kestra. Wonder which one is “replacing” them?

Supposedly the band was named after an actual museum that burned down in 1916, one founded by a futurist and a “black mathematician” and one that did not allow human visitors. Among the many odd instruments featured in their shows were something called a sledgehammer dulcimer and something else called a “popping turtle.” One of their songs, “Helpless Corpses Enactment,” features lyrics based on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake; another, “FC: The Freedom Club,” uses texts from the Unabomber. It’s all very intellectual stuff, even if it’s being delivered by guys in topknots and what kinda look like neo-pagan prom dresses.

Although SGM have sadly played their last gig, we supposedly haven’t heard the last from them. The same email that announced the last shows also promised some new studio material, a short film and a live DVD compiled of performances from the past six years. So maybe they haven’t been totally replaced after all.

Anyway, here’s their totally bitchin’ and (we think) mostly tongue-in-cheek ode to Satan (or Lucifer, if you wanna get all techincal), “A Hymn to the Morning Star.” Never has pure evil looked so silly.

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