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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Forgotten Bands

I'm very gratified (in an intellectual sense, of course) that Nuffy has taken the time to review the storied history of several bands whom the Grammys have snobbishly ignored in favor of "popular, tonal, listenable" music.

I thought I'd chime in with a few Nuffy left out. I'm no music historian myself (my amateur interests are mundane things like the complex development of sonata form in early Twentieth-century Mahler and Ives, or the ironic juxtaposition of pop rhythms and avant-garde sonorities) so I've tried to limit the notes to the key contributions of each group.

  • The Swimming Chickens - The first band built around the peculiar timbre of the electronic chicken neck.
  • Frou-frou Fighters - Aside from the trademark controversy with that other band, the most famous band to do rock covers of Maurice Chevalier tunes.
  • Strike Double Turkey - The world's loudest ten-pin bowling tunes band ...loud because, amongst other things, they frequently sampled ten-pin bowling in their tunes.
  • Paul McCartney's Hairpiece - 1990's Neo-Skiffle band
  • The Busted Zippers - Famous Spinal Tap tribute band who reached 272 on Billboard's Hot 100 with their original song "Metal Detector"
  • Ming on Stilts - Reinvigorated 30's serials music by rearranging scores as speed-metal songs.
  • The Okra Boys - The only band that could rock a house seating 10,000 and make and serve first-class gumbo to the crowd whilst performing
  • Gunther Rasputin and the Prawns from Hell - The world's first (and last) death-polka band
  • Filthy Rotten Hos - Strangely enough, mostly Pat Boone covers
  • Gunga Din is Watching You - The only band to play Carnegie Hall dressed as giant sponges. No one is sure why.
  • Iced Tea Ecstasy - Briefly fronted by "Dandy" Don Meredith, until the infamous lemon wedge incident
  • Toefungus Among Us - All heavy metal country ska, all the time, even during the breaks
  • The Electric Dreidels - Played the Palladium before it was built
  • Emmylou Ceilingtiles and the Banjo Petroleum Jelly Sisters - Rollicking bluegrass-goth crossover band
  • Hum - The only band to score their songs completely for feedback, including percussion and vocals

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