Hooo boy. I’ve been sitting on my hands for weeks, not knowing if/when I’d be allowed to say anything, but I just got the go-ahead from Nils. NOW IT CAN BE TOLD.
Idiot Flesh are getting back together.
“Look out, you’re dead like us. Dead like candy.”
photo by Katherine Copenhaver
For really and truly. The four core members of one of the most unclassifiable, unbelievable underground bands of the 80s/90s met up in Oakland late last month to get reacquainted and talk shop. They’re currently in the studio recording the final tracks needed to complete an album left unfinished since 1998, and they have tentative plans to do some live reunion shows as well. A bit of background on the band from the Idiot Flesh wiki entry:
Known to tour the US in a converted city bus with [member] Rathbun as the driver/mechanic, with the windshield destination banner of “HELL.” Besides their “rock against rock” attitude, they were also known to defy classification with marching band routines, performing puppet shows, and playing household items as instruments (in tune).
“Idiot Song” video directed by Annmarie Piette
If you’re already a rabid cult follower, chances are you are doing an exuberant wiggle dance right now. If you’ve never heard of Idiot Flesh, try to place their sound, guerilla theater tactics and spookylicious attire in the context of the 80s and early 90s, before Tim Burton’s aesthetic became quite so zeitgeisty. While they often draw comparisons to Mr Bungle (and there’s merit in that, seeing as both groups formed in 1985, wore obfuscating costumes and displayed frenetic, mathrock/metal/funk shredder chops), Oingo Boingo, Crash Worship and other unhinged California weirdos from that time period, Idiot Flesh and their roving pack of Filthy Rotten Excuse Chickens inhabited a world all their own. Their influences range from the Residents and Zappa, to SWANS, the Art Bears and Henry Cow, to T.S. Eliot and John Kane. The band’s live act –which places emphasis on audience participation and non sequitur antics– is the stuff that Dadaist wet dreams are made of.
This is monstrously good news.