Christeene

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Here at TWBITW, we’re always up for supporting a good cause. So when we learned that self-described drag terrorist and “sexually infused sewer of vile shamelessness” Christeene had only three days left on her Kickstarter campaign and was still more than $2,000 short of her goal, we just knew we had to leap into the breach. Even though we were a little afraid of using the word “breach” in a sentence about Christeene.

For those of y’all not familiar: Christeene Vail is the creation of singer/rapper/filmmaker/drag artist Paul Soileau, born at a queer open-mic in Austin about three years ago (Christeene, not Paul—Paul looks to have been born sometime in the late ’70s, though only his makeup technician knows for sure). Paul had performed for years as a more conventional drag queen named Rebecca Havemeyer, but he concocted Christeene because he wanted a persona that was more, in the words of one writer, “quick, destructive and fun—something to leave his audience speechless in less than five minutes.” Mission accomplished!

Christeene is a foul-mouthed, dirty-minded, trailer-trash naif who makes improbably catchy electro-pop with touches of R&B, hip-hop, dubstep and booty bass. She’s sort of what might have happened if Crazy Britney had spent less energy on shaving her head and attacking cars with umbrellas and more on actually making music as provocative as her pantyless bouts with the paparazzi.

Christeene’s performances and amazing, totally NSFW videos (made with filmmaker PJ Ravel under the name Three Dollar Cinema and mostly available on Funny or Die) are aural and visual assaults of gold teeth, smeared lipstick, flashed privates, ass-cheek-spreading backup dancers, and gender-bending songs and raps about ass play (“Bustin’ Brown”), sad hookers (“Tears From My Pussy”) and what we can only assume is old-people sex (“Workin’ on Grandma”). It’s not for the faint-hearted, even though Christeene herself maintains an endearingly childlike, Adam Sandler-ish quality throughout.

Arguably the weirdest—inarguably the most downright nasty—thing Christeene’s ever produced is “Bustin’ Brown,” a song about anal sex (“breakin’ laws in your bee-hind”), with a video that mostly takes place inside a giant colon. But for sheer NSFW hilarity, we have to agree with reader Hirsh, who first brought Christeene to our attention on our Submit a Band page by posting the “Fix My Dick” video along with the that-about-sums-it-up comment, “Mmmm yes.” (Did I mention this video is NSFW? I really, really can’t stress that enough.)

If you enjoyed that, please for the love of Jesus proceed immediately to Christeene’s Kickstarter page and give generously so that her debut album, Waste Up, Kneez Down, may see the light of day. Jake just stole one of my credit cards and gave five bucks, and if that raging homophobe can support this hot mess with someone’s else money, you sure as shit can, too. (I kid. Jake’s not a homophobe. He just gets squeamish about hairy guys in thongs.)

[Update: Well, shit. Christeene just hit her $10,000 Kickstarter goal with 46 hours to go—and barely 24 hours after we first wrote this post. Y’all just got the Weird Band Bump, Christeene! Congrats.]

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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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Parliament-Funkadelic

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Big news, weirdos: Today marks the one-year anniversary of The Weirdest Band in the World. And they said we wouldn’t last! Okay, actually, they didn’t really say anything, because they pretty much didn’t notice us when we first started this thing. Anyway, the point is, we’re still here. So thanks for reading.

To mark this special occasion, we felt we couldn’t blog about just any old band. So we went back into the vaults (read: Jake’s iTunes, the fruitful result of many a late-night Limewire bender) to see if there were any truly worthy “classic” weird bands that we had overlooked. And there it was, slapping us in the face like a Bootsy bassline: After a year of chronicling weird bands, we had yet to Give Up The Funk. Clearly, this situation had to be rectified at once. (Plus, P-Funk is frequently played at special occasions, like weddings, bar mitzvahs…and the anniversary parties of music blogs, probably. Right? We’ll try and let you know how it goes.)

We can’t really say much about George Clinton’s twin towers of funkitude that hasn’t already been said. We’ll just note, in the interest of establishing their TWBITW bona fides, that in its heyday, the Parliament-Funkadelic experience included the onstage arrival of a gigantic spaceship, out of which would emerge a dude in a white suit (Clinton) named Dr. Funkenstein, who would use his “Bop Gun” to vanquish his sworn enemy, Sir Nose D’voidoffunk, by getting him to dance to songs with titles like “Funkentelechy” and “Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop).” It’s fair to say that no band, funky or otherwise, ever went to greater lengths to develop their own elaborate mythology. And they were doing this at a time when the other stuff topping the R&B charts was crap like “Le Freak” and “Three Times a Lady.”

I had the privilege of going to a couple of P-Funk All-Stars concerts in the mid-’90s, when the band still featured many of its key members: I don’t think keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell was touring with the group, but bassist Bootsy Collins was there, as was the amazing guitarist Michael Hampton (his live lead on “Maggot Brain” could blow any rock band off the stage), as well as memorable characters like Robert “P-Nut” Johnson, Carlos “Sir Nose” McMurray, Clinton himself, and of course, the late great Garry “Diaperman” Shider, who passed away earlier this year. I want to say Maceo Parker was at one of the shows, too, but I could be making that up.

Those ’90s shows had no Mothership, but it hardly mattered—with Clinton and his cohorts crammed onstage, sometimes 20 or more at a time, and riding one space-age groove after another, it felt like we were witnessing an alien visitation. About a zillion artists have drawn from the P-Funk well at this point, from Afrika Bambaataa to Prince to Snoop Dogg to OutKast, but somehow, a P-Funk show remains a wholly unique experience.

Anyway, here’s a clip from one of those crazy ’70s Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership Connection tours—which, by the way, were the most expensive tours ever mounted by a black music act up to that time. So it wasn’t just the music and the sci-fi mythology that was groundbreaking.

You might also like: Here Come the Mummies, Frank Zappa, That 1 Guy

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