Weird of the Day: Cookie Mongoloid, “C Is for Cookie”

Cookie Mongoloid

Recently a reader named StArSeEd (obviously a big fan of tUnE-yArDs) bombarded our Submit a Band page with about a zillion bands of varying levels of weirdness. And while we wish we cover them all, StarSeed (sorry, I’m not putting all those goddamned caps in your name twice), for today, you’ll have to settle for us sharing Cookie Mongoloid with our readers.

Cookie Mongoloid is (or possibly was—they seem to have been inactive since about 2010) a Bay Area bunch of freaks who took the popular description of death metal growls as “Cookie Monster vocals” to its logical conclusion: They got Cookie Monster himself to be their lead singer. Actually, I suspect it’s not Cookie himself but probably his alcoholic brother, Mookie Conster. But since we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them live for ourselves, it’s hard to say for sure. They call their music “Sesame speed metal” but I think “Muppet goregrind” is catchier, though perhaps less accurate.

Anyway, here’s a video of them performing (what else?) “C Is for Cookie,” complete with flames, motorcycles and a cookie cannon. Looks like fun! If anyone knows whether or not these guys are still together, let us know.

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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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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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Powerglove

God, metalheads are such dorks. The latest proof of that statement comes from Boston, Mass. (home of another of our favorite dorky metal bands, Bang Camaro) in the form of Powerglove, an instrumental metal quartet who specialize in doing headbanging covers of videogame theme songs. Although for their latest album, Saturday Morning Apocalypse, they branched out into the slightly less 8-bit world of Saturday morning cartoon soundtracks. Don’t choke on your Froot Loops, kids!

In the studio, Powerglove’s sound actually makes so much sense that it’s hard to even categorize them as weird. The theme music for things like The Simpsons and Power Rangers actually sounds pretty OK done as melodramatic speed metal. It’s really their live show where things start to get a little WTF. Two of the guys are in sort of half-KISS drag, but another one’s sitting in a chair like they just wheeled him in from a marathon coding session and stuck a guitar in his lap. Or maybe he’s in a wheelchair? Does anyone know? Were we just unintentionally offensive to the disabled community? Wouldn’t be the first time. Wait, here the same dude is standing up, at another gig eight months earlier. Did he sprain an ankle? The mystery deepens. (Also, why are both shows in Montreal? Do French-Canadians have some weird vintage videogame fetish we don’t know about?)

Anyhow, Powerglove just released their crowning achievement in weirdness: They shot a video for their cover of the “Batman” cartoon theme music in which they cast themselves as characters in their own videogame. “I programmed several video game fight scenarios with the band as playable characters and recorded takes of me playing through the mini games,” guitarist Chris Marchiel explains in a press release. Like I said…dorks!

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