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Idiot Flesh

aus: USA


Bemerkungen


Idiot Flesh ist eine der Vorgänger Bands der Avant-Abräumer Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Ich habe relativ wenige Infos zu dieser Combo finden können, doch sie galten wohl als "dada-inspiriertes Musik-Kabarett" mit beeindruckenden Live-Performances bei denen Tänzer, wilde Kostümierungen, Puppen, psychedelische Effekte, Pyroeffekte usw. an der Tagesordnung gewesen sein sollen...

Die Band existierte von 1990 bis 1998 und veröffentlichte 3 Alben. Mitglieder waren Nils Frykdahl und Dan Rathbun von Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.

Ich habe einen höchstinteressanten Text zu der Band im Netz gefunden. Leider konnte ich den Verfasser nicht um eine Freigabe bitte, da ich ihn nicht erreichen kann. Zudem ist der Text in Englisch und ich biete ihn entsprechend im Original an. Der Text stammt von einem gewissen Andrew Lentz. Thanks Andrew, I hope wou will be fine with releasing your historical overview on these pages.

The performance-art troupe Idiot Flesh wants to shake up audiences' accepted notions of what art is and should be. The avant-garde goes cabaret in the spectacle of Idiot Flesh.

The Minotaurs of Baal, Beefra the Cook, Helpy the Hamburger Bee and Mr. Punch--this entire dark roster of grotesqueries is at the disposal of any audience brave enough to experience the phantasmagoric musical performance-art troupe Idiot Flesh.

These actors are known collectively as the Filthy Rotten Excuse Chickens, a motley bunch that enhances the Idiot Flesh experience with a variety of acrobatics, dancing and pantomime. Whether it's ghoulish frontman Pin emerging from a strobe-lit box in pancake makeup or Hatcha and Datcha's dance of death, an Idiot Flesh show bathes audiences in a richly entertaining spectacle.

"We're primarily a theatrical band," says guitarist Captain Dragon (real name Gene Jun), one of the four core members of Idiot Flesh. The other three are Pin, the Improver and Hyena Boy (Nils Frykdahl, Dan Rathbun and Wes Anderson, respectively). Surprisingly, Idiot Flesh incubates its outlandlishness not in a South of Market loft but in a bland Oakland warehouse. "San Francisco is too hip and self-conscious," Frykdahl says. "There's actually a lot more opportunity to do something different here."

In alternative music these days, it's trendy to throw every style and idiom into one big grooving stew of sound. All too often, however, the result is an amateurish hodgepodge. Idiot Flesh indeed brings together many traditions--WWII-era Berlin cabaret, avant-rock opera and comic-noir show tunes--yet each emerges clean and distinct in a kind of virtuosic cross-section of multiple genres.

"We're not like chameleons; we don't put suits on and off like John Zorn," says Jun, referring to the famous avant-garde musician.

"We use pastiche--it's the inevitable result of liking a lot of music, but it's not what we're about," Frykdahl adds. "Another comparison we get is to [Frank] Zappa, who dabbled in everything, which is fine, but the only thing that disturbs me about him is the sarcasm, the 'I know I'm funny, you know I'm funny' kind of thing. Irony is fine if it's done well, if you have a point or if you're going somewhere with it."

Frykdahl and Jun both studied under the renowned composer Arthur Imbrie at UC-Berkeley. Despite their academic backgrounds, however, they did not pursue traditional classical music careers. Their education has made capable musicians of them, but Jun downplays their technical mastery. "We're not prog," he insists, alluding to the bloated progressive-rock bands of the '70s. "We're high-brow for low-brow sensibilities."

To get an idea of Fancy 's sound, think of show tunes run amok. Idiot Flesh has also been influenced by such experimental '70s groups as the Art Bears, Henry Cow, Universe Zero and Art Zoid, which melded rock, jazz and chamber music. These groups were part of a larger European movement called Rock in Opposition, an informal collective of bands that defied the conventions of pop by drawing from global musics and experiments with "found sound."

Idiot Flesh has taken its cues from this ideology to form its own movement: Rock Against Rock. "It's not really a movement," Frykdahl says. "We just want to shake up the notion of art. Where does the interest lie in art? Is it the inner workings of a human being?"

"Or is it true at all?" Jun pipes up. The band is also disturbed by the universal idea that music is supposed to be pleasing. "I hate great albums," Jun confesses.

If Idiot Flesh has an overarching goal, it is to annihilate the ego in music. "We're making a deliberate attempt to get away from the cult of personality that you have in popular music, the writing of semiautobiographical songs," Frykdahl says. "We don't want to manipulate the audience."

Maybe Idiot Flesh doesn't manipulate audiences, but its sheer multiplex of performance art is such a deluge of sensory overload that it does leave people slack-jawed. Idiot Flesh redefines "putting on a show."

 

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Charming Hostess; Faun Fables; Free Salamander Exhibit; Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Alle besprochenen Veröffentlichungen von Idiot Flesh

Jahr Titel Ø-Wertung # Rezis
1990 Tales Of Instant Knowledge And Sure Death 11.00 1
1994 The Nothing Show 14.00 1

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