We all know how big a fan Smashy Claw is of “Weird Al” Yankovic, right? Okay, well this week an episode of the Weird Al-themed podcast Me Talking Weird Al to You dropped where host Dakota Rimmer interviews Austin about Al and the band (… our band, not his). We encourage you to listen to this very weird and specific fandom discussion!
The following is the transcript of my live-tweeted review of Miley Cyrus’s new Flaming Lips-produced album, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz. Oh also, I had just taken a tab of acid before I did this. Enjoy the anarchy!
Okay, so people are saying I should live tweet my reaction to the new Miley Cyrus record. So I’m gonna start doing that. Watch as my language becomes more and more unintelladsfkja
Dooo It – Okay, just took this stuff, so it’s not in complete effect yet. Starts off a capella, cool. Is she saying she likes beets? Like the vegetable. I like when the bass comes in. Good contrast between the verses and chorus. Christ, you can really tell the Lips produced this. How much input do you think she had? Ooh, I like those backing vocals coming in on the right channel towards the end. Yeah, smoke pot, sing about love. Nothing about acid, whatever.
Karen Don’t Be Sad – That’s immediately very different. This feels like it could’ve been a little further into the record to allow for an even greater contrast. Reminds me of Buggin. Oh shit, man. This shit really just kicked in and this song’s spacey quality just became ten times spacier. Don’t let them win, Karen. KAREN, ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME, KAREN?!
Floyd Song – Another slower jam. Is it supposed to sound like Pink Floyd? I guess, sort of? Kind of? I’m digging the minimalism of this one. Drums are coming in in odd places, like old Beatles record. I really like those backing vox spread across. Good use of delay in the lead vocal. Nice 32nd note thing going on in the guitar. There’s suddenly a weird How Can I Sing Like a Girl pad in the right channel. You are a girl, Miley. That is probably why.
Space Dude – Hmm, another slower one. That 32nd note thing is back. Actually, sounds pretty similar to the last thing altogether. Is that guitar out of tune or just being played badly? It’s interesting either way. Intentional badness is interesting sometimes. Unintentional badness is interesting too. Badness is good. Goodness is good too. This song isn’t bad though. What the fuck am I typing anymore. I like the pizzicato synth.
Space Boots – From dudes to boots. She’s sitting there with nothing to say, but I can’t stop typing. Ahh, a heavy beat. I needed that. The last few songs didn’t have much in the way of a beat. Beets? She smoking her weed and dying. There seems to be a running theme of vague drug-use. I guess Disney stars gotta start somewhere. Lotsa pads and spacey shit on this. I guess that’s appropriate.
Fuckin Fucked Up – Aah, a song to describe how I’m feeling. Okay, this is starting to feel like a ‘we’re gonna fuck with you’ Ween song.
BB Talk – Okay, it’s getting harder to tell when one song starts and the other begins. Not sure if that’s a me or her thing. I guess this is a new one. Another sort of lower-tempo one. Is she trying to rap? There’s lots of talking then a pretty poppy hook. Like a weird amalgamation of her old and new style. She’s putting her head in armpits and licking teeth. What the fuck is happening.
Fweaky – Is this another fuck with you song? It’s like someone’s messing with the EQ and volume knobs.
Bang Me Box – The beat returns, this time with a nice electric bass. Cool. I wasn’t expecting a disco song on this. I like the sparse guitars throughout. There’s like a vibration going through my fingers and the letters are starting to move on the screen. I don’t know how I’m still typing. Holy shit..
Milky Milk – Here’s some more Lipsy shit. I’ve still got the paper in my mouth, I’m chewing on it. That’s not a lyric that’s what I’m doing. The paper doesn’t taste like milk. Okay, I swallowed the paper. Shit. The milky milky gods. There’s a really dissonant chord somewhere in this, weird. There’s like this dance-pop synth too. Oh man, and everything’s just coming in at the end.
Cyrus Skies – That bassy, warbly pad is fuuucking coooool. Then a bell of some sort comes in. This one’s really minimal and slow. 8th note bass line’s neat. I like the range on the vocals. Okay, I’m pretty sure I just stared at my hand for 40 minutes. I should probably pay attention to this record. Holy fuck, is this song still going on? How long is this song? There’s this panning, piercing synth that works really well. And it fades.
Slab of Butter – I already am fucked up, asshole. There’s some insecty synths going on. I don’t know what that means. And it’s like they’re doing frequency sweeps. Oh shit, and suddenly a rock beat comes in. Beet? Yeah, this is some Soft Bulletiny shit. Like the Spark That bleeds. changing from section to section. A slab of butter melting in the sun, that probably shouldn’t seem profound. It probably isn’t. Oh, that was the only song that just ended.
I’m So Drunk – A famous pop star doing an obviously autotuned thing. This does not feel like drunk music.
I Forgive Yiew – Those insecty things are back. This album has a lot of sexual frustration and juvenile swearing. I like the group vocals, I like the Ah vocals too. I do a lot of Ah vocals too. Jesus Christ, this is probably all reading like that Daniel Keys novel.
I Get So Scared – This song seems like its trying to be deep. I just spent a while touching my teeth, so I don’t know if I’m qualified to judge deepeness, I like those glocks, glocks need to be in pop music more. Oh, some acoustic guitar and strings too. Cooool. More swearing for no reason. There’s a spirally thing going on. Is that a guitar? I don’t know. And it just stopped.
Lighter – It’s becoming harder for me to realize there was a time before this album started. It’s only been an hour, siht. This is another deeper one. Crying, dying. I could write better lyrics than this…….. probably not right now. Oooh, I like that pad that comes in at the very end. Haha, and there’s like a fucking Phil Collins drum. There’s a stuttering vocal thing, lots of vocals. What’s going on in my mind, And it fades
Tangerine – Is this song a reference to She Don’t Use Jelly? This feels like the 13th slow thing in a row. The next one should be faster. This has some weird panning. There’s a dude voice… oh fuck, it’s a rap break. This seems like the exact opposite song that needs a rap part, maybe that’s the point.
Tiger Dreams – It’s not fast, but there’s a steady beat. That’s something. Another faux-deep thing. Bullshit in the world, mmhmm, please do tell me about the bullshit daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. Oh man, just took a really minor key turn, that was unexpected. Do these songs even have a structure? I’m too fucked up right now to tell. Oh, more autotune. I like that drum in the right channel, kind of off-beat. I probably sound like an asshole. This was a bad idea. There’s like a snotty NAHNAH vocal going on. That is not helping your case here, Miley. Yes, you kind of are singing the same song.
Evil is But a Shadow – It really feels like an hour is passing every time I write one of these, but I look and there’s 2 minutes of song left. What the fuck is happneing with time. This one is anoooooother goddamn slow one. I do quite like the distorted bass. Is that a clarinet? That cliche pop start thing where the vocals go down an octave suddenly. What;s with that shit? It’s like siwitching between a synth bass and real bass. And it fades.
1 Sun – The beat comes back. Welcome back, motherfucker. Where’ve you been, asshole? There’s a call and response thing going on. You think you have your own concept of time? I’m living in that fucking movie where they have the clocks that stop time. Was that a movie or a Twilight Zone? Twilight Zone, I should watch that on this shit. The sun, the moon. How much I really love you. Love seems to be a buzz word on this album, more than a word that means anyhting.
Pablow the Blowfish – Aand a ballad about a fish. Suddenly she’s Coulton. Oh shit, they’re eating sushi. That’s not cool, man. This one definitely makes me focus on the lyrics more, what with the nothing else going on at allness of it all. Was she on the same shit I’m on when she wrote this? Is this song supposed to be innuendo for oral sex? Not very subtle. Or maybe it’s like reaaaly subtle and I’m on some other world shit where I can like see into her mind.
Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz – Very fake sounding pads never done hurt nobody. She just uhin and ahin all over.
Twinkle Song – Did she just say David Bowie was shaped like Gumby? Now she’s seriously fucking with me. Another piano only song. Oh this is the last one, shit. How long have I been doing this? Good emotional performance towards the end, I can’t hit those notes. And of course it ends with an irrelevant swaer word, well done.
I guess the record’s over and my head is on fire. I’m going to find something else to listen to. Maybe I’ll talk about it. Not sure yet.
Okay, immediate impressions of Cyrus record before I find something else: that was totally a Lips record that Miley did vocals on. Really cool to see her do something new. It’s particularly important that someone as famous as her is doing something this strange. Maybe it’ll help the rest of us that do weird shit.
Sent out to the SC mailing list on May 9, 2015. To receive updates from us, subscribe now.
Hello, neglected masses!
Welcome to another sporadic adventure in the topsy-turvy world of Smashy Claw-related news items! It’s been like a year… sorry about that. Hopefully we can all get over this period of callous negligence and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned shilling. Ready? Okay!
– Stuff That Happened in the Last Year
Seriously, sorry for the stupidly long absence.
– FuMPfest 2015
We have a show next month in freaking IL! Wow!
– FAWM 2015
Jesus, there’s a new FAWM?! We have been gone awhile.
– Monthly MP3: Flying (Demo)
A new track from the new FAWM. New!
– F#$@ed Up Horoscope
– Nathan Long Gets a Word in Edgewise
Guy: “I have missed your rambling introductions so, good sir.”
Austin: “I’m unsure of the sincerity of that statement.”
— Stuff That Happened in the Last Year —
So, it’s been awhile since we sent out one of these. There are tons of reasons (Austin finishing college, Nathan working a lot, the ravenous alien apocalypse that the band heroically everted single-handedly but was swiftly covered up by the government), but no one likes excuses. The main one is that we just haven’t been doing much we can talk about publicly yet. It suffices to say that we’re working on something that we think will be really cool, and you’ll know about it right here, as soon as it’s ready to be announced. Thanks for sticking around, you lovable bunch of weirdos!
— Two New Videos! —
Holy crap, that’s right! At the end of last year we totally released two new music videos for songs from our (increasingly older) Former Spine album. Both of which were debuted on Albino Blacksheep, as has become a tradition. So please, go check out the nifty stop motion King Kong tribute Jar of Worms (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aPWwuFIBbk) and the animated plight of the faceless My Almost Me (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I6Woukt9x8).
— FuMPfest 2015 —
In just a little less than a month, the gang will heading up (or… down?) to Chicago for a show at the second annual funny music festival, FuMPfest, a thing put on by the dudes over at the Funny Music Project (FuMP). Us Claw lads will be performing a full hour of our more comedic tunes on Sunday June 7th at 11:00 AM. You can buy passes for the whole weekend at http://www.fumpfest.com, details as always are at http://www.smashyclaw.com/shows. Be there or… I don’t know, engage in less laughter than you would otherwise have that weekend, I guess.
— FAWM 2015 —
Another year, another FAWM (February Album Writing Month). Austin once again managed to complete the ridiculous challenge of writing 14 songs in February this year. You can check out the results of this bloody struggle for forced creativity at http://music.smashyclaw.com/album/fawm-2015. Go ahead and download these demos for free while they’re available!
— Monthly MP3: Flying —
This month’s audio offering is a selection from the aforementioned FAWM 2015 tracks. This one’s a bit of a departure for us, being that it has such a sparse arrangement and contains very few lyrics. We’re pretty excited about it.
Download link: http://tinyurl.com/scmm-may15
— F#$@ed Up Horoscope —
You insert your meager tokens into the public transportation vehicle’s currency dispensary and enter into the claustrophobic enclosure. There seems to be a mass of onlookers as you journey down the aisle looking for an empty pair of seats to find some sense of privacy within. Alas, you settle for the least offensive stranger to sit next to after passing an ocean of gross troglodytes. The annoyed woman you have chosen reluctantly moves her belongings from your desired area and you lower yourself into the uncomfortable position beside her. An hour vanishes behind you like so many miles of road as the bus makes its journey toward its destination. You’ve had bad allergies all week and reach in your pocket to find you’ve misplaced your tissues. You want to ask the lady if she might have any but are nervous to irritate her any further. After a few minutes of tension, you gently inquire if she might have any spare snot-wiping devises. She doesn’t respond. After a few awkward seconds you ask again. Once more, no answer. Becoming a bit perturbed, you reach over to tap her on the shoulder, but your fingers fall right through her body. Beginning to worry, you swish your hand around her person only to find there’s nothing there. You get up from your seat and begin running around the aisle desperately flailing your arms, looking for something to grasp. To your dread, all the passengers are illusionary holograms. Suddenly the vehicle begins to shift around. From outside people see a seemingly normal bus transform into a seven-story-tall robot monster. Blood pools at its feet as your crushed body hangs lifelessly inside. You probably should’ve taken the 6:30, dude.
— Nathan Long Gets a Word in Edgewise —
“The idea to start selling live parakeets at Target was a complete failure. They were flying off the shelves.” – Nathan Long
See ya next year!
This past Tuesday, Denver Metro University’s MET Report chatted with me after my solo show at the University of Colorado Denver. More performance videos from the gig are forthcoming. For now, check out the featurette below!