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Hantarash - Web Wig

New Discovery.  I was reading up on Mike Patton’s ‘Adult Themes for Voice’, an almost unlistenable and fantastic album of Patton making random noises in hotel rooms during a tour, and I found he was influenced by Hantarash’s album, 'IV aka AIDS - a - Delic’.  

So, I grabbed it,and I present it here for your… um… listening pleasure. 

Hantarash were formed in Japan under the name Hantarashi in 1984, and they released a series of very intense and almost unlistenable albums. 

They became known for their use of power tools and random noises in recordings and live shows.  Audience members had to sign waivers to show they understood there was a very real risk of serious injury.  They were banned from most venues due to their destructive tendancies, including driving a bulldozer through a venue wall to reach the stage, and strapping various power tools to their bodies, and even sawing a dead cat in half. 

The above song is from 'IV aka AIDS - a - Delic’, and is pretty much the most listenable thing on the album. 

Despite the complete noise and chaos, I quite like the album.  I don’t think I will be sticking it on during sexy tiems and at parties, but there is a certain charm, and I will be checking out more.  I’d like to hear some of their more…. coherent moments. 

Below are a couple of photos from the Bulldozer gig.  They do look utterly terrifying. 

For any fans of avant-garde, fucked up noise, you’ll seriously enjoy this.  Actually, enjoy is the wrong word.  But you’ll get what I mean when you hear it. 

This is the product of being up until 3am with my boyfriend, current roommate, and soon-to-be roommate just chatting. My boyfriend was trying to say something about his mother being intensely Christian but it came out as “my mother is RoboChrist.”

Soon-to-be roommate doodled this on our fridge whiteboard and I felt that additions had to be made.

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The Divine Comedy - The Frog Princess.

And after the noise of Hantarash, have something very British, melodic, and lovely. 

This is the mighty Divine Comedy, AKA Neil Hannon, who has been a solid backbone to the British music scene since 1989. 

Hannon essentially IS The Divine Comedy, as he writes all the music and lyrics.  He takes a sideways swipe at love and life in general, with a tongue firmly embedded in his cheek.  His lyrics are humorous and clever, and, musically, his songs are melodic and well structured pop songs, bringing to mind Leonard Cohen at times, and Hannon wears his Scott Walker influence firmly on his sleeve. 

The Divine Comedy rose to prominence in 1999, and that was when I became aware of Hannon’s genius in clever, knowing nods to popular culture and this peculiar British sensibility. 

He has written and perfomed some stunning songs.  It was hard to choose one to stick with this post, and I settled on ‘The Frog Princess’, from 1997’s 'Casanova’, mainly for the following lines…

I met a girl, she was a frog princess
And yes I do regret it now
But how was I to know that just one kiss
Could turn my frog into a cow? 

I also include Hannon’s STUNNING performance of 'Our Mutual Friend’ below.  This gives me serious tummy bubbles and should be heard by everyone ever.  It is completely beautiful and heart-wrenching, and much, much better than the album version.