By my estimate, Canada now ranks 4th in the world for producing (or overproducing) bands who look more like bearded/pixie girl librarians than creative forces of rock! Just because you want to be Bobby 2.0, it doesn’t mean you need to dress like the ghost of Woody Guthrie.
I’ll be the first to admit that that image holds only a small fraction of importance, but the hippie occult look needs to go. Scan any issue of Exclaim! in the last few years and tell they don’t resemble the reincarnation of the Manson Family!
Luckily, the big ol’ sky captain blessed us with Crystal Castles, the Toronto-based duo set to release their third effort this week (aptly titled III), who look as bad ass as their sound. Not many women can pull off the bruised, beat-up, rabid animal look, and maintain a force of complete control over a crowd. With that in mind this week – you guessed it, kiddos – it’s the Beg, Borrow, and Steal of bands who can talk the talk, and walk the walk.
I wish I could be a busker, but my dependence on the reverb pedal and narrow views on frat rock make it hard to collect the change needed to buy some music. So, I’ll just resort to some puppy dog eyes, growing out a crazy beard, and appealing to the charity of my fellow man, by getting all up in their shit and demanding they buy me some music. . . .
Sonic Youth – Dirty
The Scooby Doo crew of music – or the four people so cool it hurts to even try to look like them. Dirty boots, silver pants, retro before retro was in, these NYC noise makers have been looking the part from Day One. Sound-wise, they’re the reigning champs of untuned, scrambling, thrashy romance. Plus, have you heard Washing Machine?
For further evidence of their Kool Thing look- watch ‘Bull in the Heather’ or ‘Mildred Pierce’.
Einstürzende Neubauten – Halber Mensch (DVD)
You may not be aware of the band – or even know how to pronounce their name – but, make sure know you this: they use anvils, chains, saws, and hammers, plus the usual rock line-up to achieve the ultimate C.H.U.D. sound.
They’re so good, Nick Cave even roped in Blixa (think a skinnier/sicklier Edward Scissorhands) to join the Bad Seeds. One part Hitler Youth, two parts Tim Burton, blend until chucky = Einsturwhateverthehell. . . .
The Cramps – Bad Music for Bad People
High heels, leather thongs, lipstick and the invention of the microphone blowjob, The Cramps have been able to balance their high energy rockabilly sound with full on fetish wear and a look that is one part cheeky, nine parts completely insane. Take note: this band will never be outdone by their ability to achieve a zen moment between 1960s go-go dancer meets sex addict. You can take that to the bank!
In these tough economic times, it just pays to be a mooch. . . .
The Melvins – Houdini
Music as thick as bong resin, and members so groggy looking, you might suspect ether, absinthe, and the presence of paint thinner went into making the records.
Look wise, King Buzzo’s hedge hair makes for the perfect focal point when you start to peak and want to touch the grey fuzzy man – wait, my drink tastes funny?!
The Sheepdogs – The Sheepdogs
Hairy boys from Canada, who look oddly enough like sheepdogs. Kind of a mix of Jim James closet and a purposeful neglect to shave. Their music is good ol beer drinking shit, but oh well…they’re ok.
Stealing is wrong – if you get caught.
[Editor’s Note: Raz Mataz Magazine still doesn’t support theft.]
New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon
Real ugly dudes from NYC, who pretty much started the U.S. glam scene; influencing not only style but sound and packaging, these boys are truly worth a looksy.
Oh yeah, and Mic man, David Johansen, looks like a nightmare version of Jagger – yeah, think about it.
Primus – Pork Soda
Les Claypool might be the only one on this list who can be described as the closest looking to his music.
Real elastic noodling slap bass, with a knack for bizarre stage antics and outfits, he’s been able to maintain a level of backing his shit up for almost 20 years. Just take a look at ‘Jerry Was A Racecar Driver’, or ‘Tommy The Cat’. This is weird, for the weird, by the weird.