Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Howdy everyone!First off, a big thanks to Nikkos for pointing me here and convincing me that other people might want to read the blabber that, until now, I’ve inflicted only on my friends.What am I doing here? Well, as far as seeing live music goes, I’ll go see just about anything, and I go to a lot of shows in and out of the city. Eventually, I got sick of making fifty phone calls (hey, it’s the Internet, I can pretend I actually have that many friends) just to get one or two people to come out with me to a show. So I put all my friends on a big giant email list and spammed them every once in a while with descriptions of these shows and pathetic pleas for company. Nikkos is on that list, and now here I am (probably just because he thinks I’ll stop clogging up his inbox now). I guess that’s mostly what I’ll be doing here: begging a great many more of you for company at some shows that you might not have heard about, or might not have considered checking out (although most of you are probably cooler than me, and you’ll know about most of these already).Here’s a great one that’s coming up soon: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the Double Door on Friday, March 10th. Read on for my long-winded description of why you should go…Me and a friend went to see these guys one night a few years ago based on the name alone. We knew absolutely nothing about them, and were not expecting much. It turned out to be one of the coolest shows I’ve ever seen, and I haven’t missed them in Chicago since. This is the one pretentious art-rock band that does it right. They’re really artsy-fartsy, and they really rock, dude.The artsy-fartsy:I’m pretty sure they’re all ex- or current drama school or music school or art school people, and they dress up in weird costumes and makeup and try to look all scary. The lead singer is especially weird looking and actually IS scary (not since hearing the Mr. Bungle album for the first time have I been made uncomfortable by music or a show). The last time I saw them, they had a concept show going on where there was this creepy dancer dressed up like some kind of monkey thing suspended from a hook for most of the show. Again, it was actuallypretty creepy and fun.The rock, dude:I guess I would describe the music as art-prog-metal. Tool meets good Mr. Bungle meets Dream Theater. Guitar, bass, drums, percussion, and fiddle. The bass player sometimes plays regular bass, and sometimes plays a weird homemade lap-slide-bass thing. The percussionist plays all kinds of every-day objects–pots and pans, car parts, discarded junk. Sorta like ‘Stomp’. They’re all pretty damn good at their instruments; the drummer does really cool and rockin’ stuff without a big giant 80’s rack kit, the percussionist actually adds interesting and musically appropriate sounds (he’s not just there for the sake of having some weird guy playing a bunch of junk on stage), and the fiddle player plays stuff that impresses even me (what with with my advanced-stage bluegrass snobbery and all).The most important thing about them though, and the reason I like them so much when I usually hate this kind of garbage, is that under all the makeup and costumes and hoighty-toighty-ness, they somehow communicate to the audience that they’re still just a bunch of people up there having fun. It’s very subtle, and it’s not enough to get in the way of the show, but it’s definitely there. And the fiddle player was very nice and gracious when I bought a shirt at the last show, even through her thick layers of scar makeup and blacked-out teeth.I should probably note that the Secret Chiefs 3 will be opening for them. This is the side project of a member of the late Mr. Bungle (I don’t remember which one, and I care so little that I’m not even gonna open another tab and look it up). Mr. Bungle is a band that made perhaps the best art-rock album of the last 30 years, and then proved over the course of two more albums and many more mediocre shows that it was a complete accident. This is gonna suck. Don’t let your arrogant, insider, snobby music friends tell you otherwise (and for any of my friends reading this, I AM your arrogant, insider, snobby music friends and I’m telling you it’s gonna suck).Trust me, this one’s gonna be cool.

3 Comments so far

  1. Bill V (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 10:46 am

    No comments on the artists that you mention, but I too have problems getting my peeps out to shows. It is difficult seeing bands that go on at midnight during the week, or even later on the weekend. So I shoot for the earlier starts if possible and have better luck on Thursdays-Saturdays. Otherwise I just go myself.

  2. nikkos (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    Hey, your first post! Glad you’re on the MetBlog team.

  3. Dobro Dan (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

    Thanks for the welcome!

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