October 22, 2008
Action editor Tim Parsons hands me a CD he received in the mail, That 1 Guy, and says “You might like this; you’re an enigma when it comes to music.” Thank you, Tim.
I wanted to start “The Moon is Disgusting” review without doing any research, just from listening to the music, looking at the jacket and reading the lyrics.
As his name implies, it’s just That 1 Guy creating mostly funk-driven tunes with what looks like old toilet plumbing or some elaborate giant bong made from scrap out of the garage.
Like Aldo Nova back in the ’80s, That 1 Guy does all the work. Playing, writing, and recording in Richmond, Calif., That 1 Guy is impressive.
A couple songs seem out of place, especially “Rainbow.” You can imagine him working the wires of a classic Moog synthesizer, building a whirling, ethereal sound and for me to say this, almost annoying, rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The other, “Dig” sounds like samples recorded from strumming your fingers on you throat. It’s interesting but goes on too long.
Now for the good stuff that’ll get you moving and the lyrics, well, they’re interesting, to say the least. Being a fan of Stan Ridgway (Wall of Voodoo) and wacky lyrics (think Mojo Nixon) this CD is a nice blend of the two with some Weezer and a dash of Parliament.
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“That 1 Guy” has an obsession with food, or old food in particular, body parts and celestial bodies. Starting off with “The Moon is Disgusting” a thumping tribute to cheese left out too long. Here’s a sample: “The honey tastes sweeter when you anger the bees /the moon is disgusting, it’s made of cheese./ It’s a wet cheese left out in the cold …”
“Mustaches” is a bouncy, rhyming tribute to the hairy upper lip, but it’s “Buttmachine” and “How’s ‘Bout Them Holes in the Moon” where That 1 Guy really shines. The first is a blend of white-guy rapping, a slapping bass line and some interesting takes on the posterior: “Just ’cause it’s cracked doesn’t mean it’s broke/ just ’cause it’s a butt doesn’t mean that it’s a joke.” “Holes” has some intense scratching, driving beat and is easily my favorite of all 11 tracks.
Turns out That 1 Guy is Mike Silverman, a classically trained bassist, and the one-stringed-electronic instrument he invented called the “Magic Pipe,” creates all that sound. Watching a video, you see how it all comes together. He plays with his hands, feet and almost anything else you can pound, tap or rub on the 7-foot invention.
I highly recommend “That I Guy” for those who like their music with a sense of humor, inventive sounds and a strong bass line. It’ll shake your walls.