Seven Nights Out: Tuesday

Last night saw two of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in ages, a perfect example of the joy you can get from small-scale, live, local music.

The Master Musicians of Bukkake describe themselves as a “loose-knit posse of Seattle-based musicians performing collective ceremonial music.” I’d describe them as a mixture of Fantomas and the Village People, transplanted to a hill tribe village in northern Thailand. Think costumes, old-style analog synths, samples and loops, burning swirling Paul Leary guitars, Black Sabbathy basslines, fog machines, and a singer who wavers between low growls and falsetto faux-Chinese. I’ve seen them twice before and found them too confrontational, almost like they were daring the audience to stick around. But last night they were tight, focused, energetic, and entertaining as hell, with lots of dynamic builds and just the right level of weirdness–interesting without being pretentious. Particularly loved a song that contained the lines “if the world spins, is that unfair to you?” and “you’re just a reflection,” repeated about 12 times each.

The second band, Hairy Apes BMX are a percussion-heavy funk-rap-groove combo with entertaining but political lyrics and a miraculous keyboardist/FX maestro. Think a combination of G-Love and Special Sauce, Disposable Heroes, and Bernie Worrell. You have to love a band that can write a catchy chorus about an acid trip and rhymes “Dick Cheney” with “Ayatollah Khomeini.” Especially if they’re from Texas. Which they are.

These bands are touring a bit together on the West Coast in April, and I strongly encourage anybody who likes unusual music to check them out.

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