Honky-Tonk Laments, Horror Rap, Robotic Princes, Universal Haters, Hawaiian Brothers, And Some Positive Soul

Jun 18th, 2008 // 6 Comments

rehabbbbb.jpgEach week, dozens of songs and albums from up-and-coming (or just plain unknown) bands debut on the world’s music charts. Some of these bands will never be heard from again; some may become the next little thing. That’s why every two weeks Chuck Eddy will be exploring the world beyond the Billboard 200, where he’ll look for diamonds in the MySpace rough. This week, his roster of up-and-comers includes some not-very-speedy Dutch “house/house/house,” a band that named itself Rehab way before the celebrity-rehab trend hit, some Vincent Price-influenced Juggalo rap, world-hating Poughkeepsie residents, and a Philly outfit who wants to stop the violence with the power of their music.

FUNKERMAN
Disappointingly, this Dutch self-proclaimed “house/house/house” superhero does not wear a cape with a big “F” on his chest. But he re-entered the Hot Dance Airplay chart at No. 25 last week anyway with a robotic-basslined, Princely falsettoed thing called “Speed Up” that never actually speeds up much. MySpace page comment, from Don: “You need to change your layout, it looks boring!” Even better one, from Audrey: “I look forward to being July 5th, to intend you to mix to the Bliss, I like very much your productions and your remixs…. But we see each other on July 5th, I am a part of some staff I would pay you a lool glass A soon!!!” As well she should.

REHAB
“Sittin’ At A Bar (Bartender Song),” a comfy honky-tonk hip-hop lament by this biracial Atlanta band about breaking parole and drunkenly crashing your pill-addict lady friend’s car in the trailer park, somehow entered the Modern Rock chart at No. 36 this week–even though it originally appeared on their debut album Southern Discomfort eight years ago, when a cross between Sublime, Kid Rock, and Fun Lovin’ Criminals didn’t seem like such a quaint proposition. (In another song, they declared female armpit hair an attractive attribute.) Now there’s a “video blast” for program directors where good-old-boy-looking bandmember Danny explains that the bar song “blew up on Internet and jukeboxes across the country” after being re-recorded in 2006, and recommends radio spin the Universal version, not the old Sony one, since Epic dropped the ball way back in 2002. Confusing!

PROZAK
In the great tradition of Boondox last column, yet more Insane Clown Posse-identified juggalo-rap: It’s an epidemic or something! Tales From The Sick, which features a guy wearing a film projector for a hat on its cover, checks in at No. 8 on the Heatseekers chart this week. Songs on MySpace, including one with Tech N9ne, sound incredibly stiff and not particularly frightening even though Prozak lists Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Price, and Stephen King among his influences. A copy-control talkover on one track indicates he comes from Saginaw, Michigan, which Lefty Frizzell did an excellent song about once. Perhaps Prozak’s dad was a hard-working Saginaw fisherman, too.

SHAI HULUD
Extreme mosh-metal tantrum horseshit from Poughkeepsie, previously famous for being the town whose name one of the lawyers on Ally McBeal used to recite to keep from stuttering. But Shai Hulud, who also call Pompano Beach home sometimes, are said to have taken their name from some sandworms in Dune instead. Their Misanthropy Pure popped into Heatseekers at No. 12 last week, but it takes five seconds watching the title track’s video or listening to any song on their merch-loaded MySpace to realize their competent guitars would sound better without some musclehead oaf puking out nonsense upfront. From hulud.com: “Kindly excuse us while we hate the world, its inhabitants, and their possessions.” If they despise people so much, here’s hoping people return the favor.

THE CHESTNUT BROTHERS
No people-hate here: Old-school soul from a Philly duo with roots in South Carolina, and embraced by the Christian-pop community for very good reasons. Physical copies of their smoothly percolating Grover Washington Jr. collaboration “Whole Lotta You In Me” re-entered the Hot Singles Sales chart at No. 43 last week; does any other chart hit this year contain the word “fruition”? Their other songs, sometimes tinged in hip-hop and reggae and gospel and jazz and frequently focused on stopping violence even when that’s not their actual title, have been used by homeless organizations, children’s crisis centers, safe street groups, and the Million Mom March, and can be heard in YouTube videos dedicated to the Jena 6 and shooting victims at Virginia Tech. I suspect they deserve our respect.

THE BROTHERS CAZIMERO
Another smiling sibling twosome, this one playing frustratingly genteel, almost light-operatic, Hawaiian tourist music. They’ve been around for three decades, and last week entered Heatseekers at No. 37 with Destiny. Their MySpace friend Lana, who on her own page brags about her “natural chest” while blasting Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child In The City,” ranks them among “my favorite of all favorites,” and “the upper echelon of Hawaiian music.” YouTube has a video where they’re performing live at Carnegie Hall, and though they give good-humored Hawaiian etiquette lessons and fans and band alike wear leis that were supposedly strung backstage before the concert, there sadly doesn’t seem to be much hula-dancing going on. Best part of the video’s narration: “6 p.m., two hours before showtime. The house is nearly sold out, despite the fact many New Yorkers thought these were the Brothers Karamazov, a Russian juggling act.”

idolator

  1. Clevertrousers

    is it okay to admit that i think female armpit hair IS kinda sexy? what can i say? my first real girlfriend was french…

  2. Al Shipley

    Phew, I thought we were in for the return of the pre-Gorillaz cartoon band Prozzäk.

  3. Maura Johnston

    @Al Shipley: If only!

  4. Captain Wrong

    Ahh…it’s like I was doing college radio again. Thanks for the memories.

  5. Anonymous

    That Rehab album is in some insane level of music industry purgatory, where it won’t fucking die, but it’s never gonna blow up either. “Storm Chaser” has the bizarre Dungeon Family cameos notable for big budget, destined for failure, crossover honky-rap albums of the early millennium, “Sittin on a Bar” has reappeared multiple times, and I believe they were on a notable video game soundtrack as well (Madden?). If anything, hopefully people buy the old one, just for a great Cee-Lo verse, since sadly most have forgotten that C.L. Green is one of the best rappers alive.

  6. Empire

    “Prozak lists Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Price, and Stephen King among his influences.”

    That’s a lie. Everyone knows juggalos can’t read.

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