Wednesday, October 08, 2008

For the Love of a Daughter


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We'll help you plan your escape route from the Palin Menace! Step one: Stockpile ramen noodles. You'll have a lightweight food for quick getaway, and you'll earn the protection of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!


About five years ago, my daughter The Heir asked this man, a friend named Seth, to tell her the weirdest band of all time. Without hesitation he answered, "The Residents." The Heir promptly went out and began to stockpile CDs and DVDs from this band, which makes Frank Zappa look like Lawrence Welk. Calling The Residents a band even stretches the concept of "band" as far as it will go, since none of them can sing or play the instruments they use, other than to make lots of noise.


I took great solace in hearing that The Residents had been around since the 1960s. So it was not likely that they would go on tour and give shows anymore.


Tonight, The Heir, Seth, and I are going to a Residents concert. All Residents material is themed. This one is called "Bunny Boy." The Heir is so excited she can hardly see straight. I asked Seth (who is not a geezer) if he didn't think the audience might be rather long in the tooth. He replied, "No, what I think you're gonna see are a lot of people who rarely leave their basements."

Oh. Joy.

Actually there is some joy in this. The Heir has only been home for one night since she left for college on August 23. So it will be wonderful to see her, and to watch her enjoy her favorite ... band ... term used loosely. And the beauty of the theater is that it has an upstairs, open only to adults, where I can sit and put my hands discreetly over my ears (when I'm not drinking). No way I could stand through a concert just now, but sitting will be okay.

If you have a favorite extremely weird band, please post a comment. The Heir has her own radio show at her college, and she devotes it entirely to the weirdest music she can find. So dig into your archives and give me some names. We are already aware of Niko, Klaus Nomi, Devo, Talking Heads, Les Claypool, and the Butthole Surfers.

I'm not even taking my faeries to this concert. Oh well, maybe Puck. This sounds like the kind of thing Puck will love. He's bad to the wing.


Anonymous said...

Oh! Oh! Finally, something I can contribute something to one of my top ten favorite blogs!

I'm a veteran college radio dj myself, and I highly recommend the following for maximum, awesome weirdness:
Happy Flowers - Daniel Johnston - Negativland - the more obscure tracks from They Might Be Giants (the song "Spider" for start - love that one) -
gar, I'm sure I'll think of more, but the damned dayjob beckons me back...

Have fun at the Residents concert! Eeeeee!

KrisMrsBBradley said...

Tell her to look up the Dead Milkmen. With songs like "Bitchin' Camero", "Punk Rock Girl", "My Many Smells", and "Methodist Coloring Book" they are fun, weird, and wonderful. They are one of my favorite bands from my youth!

They are still together and you can find them here:

miakoda said...

If she knows Les Claypool, I'm assuming she knows Primus, too... And if she likes They Might Be Giants at all, she might be amused by The Decemberists and Jonathan Coulton. (I highly recommend the first Decemberists album for neat stories and sheer can't-get-it-out-of-your-headness, while my favorites JC songs are "Code Monkey," "Re Your Brains," and "Skullcrusher Mountain" ... too funny!) Since she likes the musical saw, she might also dig medieval bagpipe-rock, Corvus Corax-style. And if she wants more music in the vein of mixing old and new, Helium Vola sets old German/French/Latin poetry to a mix of medieval and electronic dance music. For more experimental/instrumental music, she might try Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

miakoda said...

Oh my ... Dead Milkmen! How could I have forgotten THEM? :D

sageweb said...

I have one band..with a cool name too. They are not really bad...they are okay..just a cool name.

Jesus and Mary Chain.

-Fred. said...

Off the top of my head:

- Dread Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin cover band playing Reggae with an Elvis impersonator. Their first album was their best.)
- Ween (I'm partial to their country album, but all of their stuff is odd).
- The Tiger Lillies (WTF? I LOVE their stuff. Hard to find in the US, so check the torrents.)
- Roky Erickson (This guy's mental health bleeds through into much of his music)
- John Hartford (His album "Mark Twang" - which won a Grammy - is bluegrass-weird, but lots of fun.)
- Cyro Baptista (Brazilian odd).
- The Cramps (punk/garage/roots rock that can get weird).

...and I'm sure that I'll remember some more before the day is out.


Anonymous said...

How about Rainbow Butt Monkeys (some of their members went on to create Finger Eleven.) Sounds right up her alley!) If she is into Europena metal stuff, maybe Nightwish, or Within Temptation. Hmmm, who else... Murder Dolls, Lacuna Coil, oh and definitely Stolen Babies (heavy metal female singer/accordion player.)

It just occurred to me that my four month old might grow up with bizarre music tastes.

-Fred. said...

It's falling out of my head now...

- Camper Van Beethoven ('80s college radio staple).
- Eugene Chadbourne (Hank Williams on LSD.)
- R.Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders (jug band stuff from the '60s most famous underground artist). Others that fit in a similar mould: Squirrel Nut Zippers, Asylum Street Spankers, and to a lesser extent Leon Redbone.
- Tom Waits has some peculiar work.
- Holy Modal Rounders (Psychedelic-Folk from the '60s and beyond)
- The Fugs (A more electric/political version of the Holy Modal Rounders).

More to come...

-Fred. (Who has been told by just about everyone he knows that he listens to strange music).

Anonymous said...

There is no shame in taking ear plugs to a rock concert.


-Fred. said...

Here's my last post (for now). Some of this might be a stretch, but then I guess that depends upon how far you stand from main stream music.

- Wesley Willis (Another mentally ill musician, yet entertaining).
- Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper (Another '80s college radio staple).
- El Vez (Umm....?)
- GWAR (Their music pretty much sucks, but their on stage antics are fun).
- Hayseed Dixie (Bluegrass AC/DC).
- A.C. (Lewd, crude, and just plain wrong; but at least their songs are short).
- Kinky Friedman (Jewish Texas Country music).
- Tiny Tim ("Tiptoe Through the Tulips" is just the tip of this iceberg. Tim did some bizarre and some fantastic stuff).
- Barnes & Barnes ("Fish Heads", do I need to say more?).
- Captain Beefheart (Contemporary of Zappa).
- The Incredible String Band (English Hippy Psychedelic Folk).
- Diamanda Galas (Scary, scary stuff. I don't know how to describe this unearthly music.)
- George Clinton/Funkadelic/Parliament (I'm a white guy from the midwest. This stuff was alien to me until recently. Weird if you're used to hearing Tim McGraw every time you turn on the radio).

Let me know if want any more info on any of these artists...

A good source for other odd stuff are the books and CDs: "Incredibly Strange Music, Volumes I & II" and "Music in the Key of Z".


BTW - Illisse is right, ear plugs are a requirement. My wife and I ALWAYS bring ear plugs to shows. So much better than listening to ringing for days.


Erik said...

Luther Wright and the Wrongs - their bluegrass version of The Wall (the whole album) is not to be missed.

Loke E. Coyote (you probably already know about them, but just in case... they bill themselves as "Wiccabilly").

Swans - pure Industrial madness.

Maeve said...

Singing Science Records.

Earlier David Bowie, like "Earthling" and "The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust".


Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty.

Les Claypool.


The Chipmunks "Chipmunk Punk" (this one always makes me giggle.)

Star Wars Christmas Album "Christmas in the Stars"

yellowdoggranny said...

i was going to say kinky friedman..his songs include they don't make jews like jesus any more. I also like asshole from el paso...
have fun..can't wait to hear about it..

Mertseger said...

Apocalyptica: A cello quartet that plays heavy metal.
Mac Umba A Celtic/Caribbean fusion band like all the other Celtic/Caribbean fusion bands out there.
Comus: The best late Sixties folk-rock band with Pagan leanings you never heard of.
Richard Cheese: Lounge versions of explicit rap and punk songs.
The Bobs A capella covering songs that should be impossible to perform a capella. Seeing their version of "Purple Haze" live in the 90's is one of my fondest memories.
The Squirrels Pretty typical rock band; however, their full-length parody of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" is better than the original.

I could go on forever. I love strange bands.

greer said...

Squirrel Nut Zippers, oh that brings back memories. Ok, maybe not weird per se, but Fishbone does have some out there lyrics.

Anonymous said...

Variant Cause

Thalia said...

They Might Be Giants (mentioned early and often) does in fact use a musical saw on one song, James K. Polk, off of the Factory Showroom album.

Oh and Ween, oh my god I love Ween, their rock stuff anyway. I wouldn't go near a country album with a ten foot pole.

They're not just weird, though. I was listening to Chocolate and Cheese back in the day when The H.I.V. Song came on. A weird song,k certainly: dinky sounding music that would stop every once in a while for them to say either "H.I.V," or "AIDS". Stopping and starting rather irregularly, actually. And it hit me that it was actually Musical Chairs. Sooner or later, only one person left.

Anonymous said...

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. They're a Lovecraft-themed band. I ::heart:: them.

::singing, 'She gave me the Innsmouth look..."::

Goat Yoda said...

'Walter Westinghouse'- nothing like it. Geez, was that 20 yrs. ago? We'd get really high and listen to The Residents. OMG! I didn't think they were still around.

Srsly, I'm working on some Cthulhu puppet shows and photo albums- stay tuned for some wacked out concept stuff.

F'tahgn for now- oh, and take a look at Way too much fun!

Anonymous said...

I agree with several that have been said already, especially Dead Milkmen, Jonathan Coulton, and The Decemberists. And I have to add Voltaire, and Ceann.

Brandon said...

Philip K. Nixon - Mysticism and noise.

Aphex Twin - Standard crazy electronic music.

Dahler Mehndi - Not really weird in context... Punjabi pop music.

The CuterThans - May not be able to find any. Obscure local band.

Finntroll - Finnish metal with elements of Finnish polka (and one song featuring a traditional Finnish yodeling called yoiking) sung in Swedish because "it sounds more troll-like." Uses the metaphor of trolls vs. humans for pagans vs. christians.

Laibach - Slovenian martial/industrial/techno. Their album called Jesus Christ Superstars contains a cover of the song.

The Moog Cookbook - Covers of 90's alterna-rock and rock classics played on analog synthesizers.

Revolting Cocks - Country-western themed music from industrial-metal mastermind Al Jourgensen.

Some people mind find this weird:
Dethklok - Tonge-in-cheek melodic death metal from the fictional band in the Adult Swim cartoon Metalocalypse. You get songs like Hatredcopter, Mermurder, and a coffee company jingle.

BBC said...

Thanks, but no thanks, I have my own plan.

Elvis Drinkmo said...

Praxis- a collaboration of funk, metal, turntables, and you name it- really cool shit with Bootsy Collins in the earlier stuff and I think the guy who did horns for the Butthole Surfers is in there someplace.

Anonymous said...

> ::singing, 'She gave me the Innsmouth look..."::

The 'Innsmouth look' is something that you have, not something that you give someone. It just means that you look vaguely batrachian. Sheesh, what do they teach kids these days?

Anonymous said...

Sott'eos, yes I know. And so did the songwriters. :)

("I did her batrachian lips, her bulbous eyes and scaly hips/She's got secrets, but they'll soon be mine/O Father Dagon smiles upon me from the bas-relief/Something's fishy down in Devil Reef...") Scuse me while I go dig out that cd.

Their latest album is "The Shadow Out of Tim" (no, that's not a typo.)

Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

KrisMrsBBradley said...

Jesus and Mary Chain are weird? Say it ain't so! That is the music of my youth!

I think we are forgetting the obvious, though.

Weird Al Yankovich. The high priest of weirdness.

Maybe she could do a little Johnny Cash does the NIN and Depeche Mode? He did some amazing covers.

Cocteau Twins are another of my favorites, that are a little off the norm.

Voice of the Beehive has some great, campy tunes.

Gwar is just a mess, but interesting!

BBC said...

Women are crazy

Erik said...

OK, if you're going to drag Comus into it (great band, BTW), then I'll just same time and suggest Googling the terms "wyrd folk", "psych-folk" and "acid folk".

Oh, and from the novelty bin, the song "Detachable Penis".

Anonymous said...

Ooh! Ooh! I'd suggest a band called Pain (sadly defunct) from my very own li'l Alabama college town.

They sound kinda like a ska They Might Be Giants. But not really.
You can get or listen to mp3s at Amazon. I particularly recommend "Midgets With Guns," "Chuck Al Hashib" and (possibly the most charming love song ever) "One-Legged Girl" off the album "Midgets with guns."

I don't know tags so I hope this isn't awful: