December 31, 2006

Have some Psapp.

I've been listening to Psapp. I love when musicians play objects that are not musical instruments. Many years ago, I saw the Incredible String Band perform a song where instead of drums, they just had an old trunk. I can't remember if they kicked it or what, but it seems to have imprinted a lifelong love of music made with nonmusical objects. Psapp is perfect for me:
[T]heirs is a cosy, dusty, otherworldly realm -- a clutter of home-made toys, doll's house ephemera, somnolent cats, glinting laptops, and incalculable bric-a-brac of mysterious provenance. And that's not to mention the duo's veritable junkshop have of arcane musical instruments and "sound emitters" that range from gleaming pianos and pot-bellied ouds to children's xylophones, dusty retro guitars, farmyard noise-makers, mechanical ashtrays and squeaky rubber poultry...
(Oh, yeah, remember the "famous ashtray" in the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann"?)

Here, watch the video for Psapp's "About Fun." It's fun. Maybe you'll think it's twee. I like twee... sometimes.

9 comments:

David said...

One person's noise is music to the ears of another.

I always thought it interesting that I could be a music critic without the faintest idea of how to make something sound other than fingernails on a blackboard or stepping on an unfortunate goose.

peter hoh said...

I teach classes on the topic of "homemade" instruments. Over the years, I've developed a small collection of instruments made from ordinary materials. One of these days, I'll get around to making a frame from which to hang all sorts of percussive found objects.

I'm also the guy at IKEA who is always tapping the ceramic pots and glass vases looking for ones that produce a nice sound.

Unfortunately, I can't play music all that well, and I haven't found anyone who wants to give me lessons on the coffee can bass.

useless ducks said...

Are you familiar with Hurrah Torpedo?

I was uber-sad when I realized I'd missed their US tour.

Anonymous said...

You may like this rendition of the Nutcracker Suite from the folks at Specialized Bicycle. It's performed entirely on bicycle parts.

CB said...

I love when musicians play objects that are not musical instruments

You might enjoy Einsturzende Neubauten, at least for a few minutes. (The name translates roughly as "collapsing buildings," and that's pretty much what their music sounds like)

Jeff said...

If you like Psapp and homemade instruments, I highly reccomend Aphex Twin. He made a drum out of carpet!

Anonymous said...

Not to long ago Naxos had a podcast about a composer who used nuts and bolts etc placed on certain piano strings to change the sound of the piano. It was quite a good podcast and the music was delightful.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget P. D. Q. Bach and Prof Schickley. Lots of fun and entertainment there--in a non-serious way.

Sigivald said...

Naw, CB. EN's music has rhythm and the like, which collapsing buildings don't, as near as I can tell.

I was going to mention their use of construction equipment to produce music, though. On the off chance Ann's interested, probably Kollaps is the best thing to look at for it.

(And then there's early NON and the rest of the noise music genre...)