SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Keep your ears open to the unexpected present, the unpredictable future. To new musicians – when they say, ‘It’s all been done before’, tell them they haven’t heard what you’re going to do next weekend.

Nils Frykdahl, The Prog Rock Website, 2002

Formed: 1999, Oakland, California, USA

Featured album: Of Natural History (2004) – REVIEW COMING 26/6/17

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM’s first performance ‘was done for the benefit of a single banana-slug in an abandoned Newberry’s department store in downtown Oakland.’ At least that’s what the liner notes to their first album claim. As far as origin stories go, it’s ridiculous and, obviously, utter bullshit. But playful mystification and highly detailed nonsense are what this band is all about.

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MEDÚLLA (2004)

medulla

Artist: Björk

Label: One Little Indian
Producer: Björk, Mark Bell
Cover art: M/M Paris (design), Inez and Vinoodh (photography)
Length: 45:40

‘DID OUR LANGUAGE commence with singing?’ Charles Darwin asked in his collected notebooks from 1836-1841. ‘Is this the origin of our pleasure in music?’ While cognitive psychologists, neurologists, anthropologists, and even animal psychologists are still asking this question, there is no doubt that singing is one of humanity’s oldest activities. On Medúlla, Björk taps into the elemental power of the voice to say something about what it means to be human.

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BJÖRK

Bjork 3

I have this utopian view that the common person – like your gran, or the guy who works in the sandwich shop – actually wants an adventure, to hear something they’ve never heard before. I might seem leftfield, but I’m really not trying to be weird, you know.

Björk, Daily Telegraph, 2005

Born: 1965, Reykjavík, Iceland

Featured album: Medúlla (2004)

SO YOU WANT to be an art-pop genius? Well, it helps if you were born a child prodigy – just ask Captain Beefheart, Diamanda Galás and Nina Hagen. But with the exception of maybe Kate Bush, few gifted youngsters who’ve grown up to traverse music’s outer limits have attained the sort of mainstream recognition Björk has. Maybe that’s because she’s as earthly as she is otherworldly, as attuned to pop as she is to the avant-garde.

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BUTTHOLE SURFERS

Butthole Surfers

We… come from the same place of just hating what we heard, and wanting to make something that was even worse that people would hate even more and somehow get paid for it. That’s what we were trying to do; make the worst records possible.

Paul Leary, Our Band Could Be Your Life, 2001

Formed: 1981, Texas, USA

Featured album: Locust Abortion Technician (1987)

IF IT’S TRUE what French symbolist Arthur Rimbaud said about a systematic derangement of the senses being the source of true creative inspiration, then the Butthole Surfers might just be America’s greatest artistic visionaries. There are few audio-visual experiences as mind-shatteringly disorientating – to band and audience alike – as a Butthole Surfers show.

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