2f’s Bands: Behind the Music(tm)

8 10 2008

Stomach Contents

Left to right: Ghostwriter (Vocals), Jane Doe (Drums), Pollyanna (Guitar), Granola Rivers (Bass)

Stomach Contents was a grunge band from the early 90s northwestern pacific music scene. Its rise to the top was cut dramatically short by the suicide of its lead singer, leaving behind a wife and daughter — the wife vanished for parts unknown, the infant daughter went up for adoption with no idea of her legacy.

Once Pollyanna picked up a guitar and started working through her inherited depression via music, she launched a legal fight to regain her father’s band name, and started touring with several of his old friends acting as mentors along the way. One of them was Granola Rivers, a weirdly timeless hippie who once was arrested for teaching naked transcendentalist yoga to squirrels in the forests outside Redmond; he was the one who wrangled the revived ongoing tour of Stomach Contents.

Meanwhile, another touring band, Vagabond Days, had sputtered to a halt when lead guitarist and former street busker Wanderlust succumbed to a sudden bout of pneumonia. In grief, vocalist Ghostwriter dropped out of the music scene — only through Granola Rivers introducing him to the Stomach Contents did he regain his love for singing. Along the way they found a drummer with mild autism and little memory of her past, a Jane Doe, and despite his uneasiness over how similar she was to his former partner, Ghostwriter recommended they take her in to the fold.

Stomach Contents has found renewed success with a new swath of songs, and has over five million fans as a worldwide touring act. They’ve been inducted into the Rolling Stone Rock Immortals List, and are on their way to qualifying for the “Endless Setlist” challenge offered by Shanghai’s music scene.

Collect Call of Cthulhu

Left to right: Erzulie (Bass), Mendel Gearhaus (Vocals), Alice Crowley (Guitar), Baron Emo (Drums)

Alice Crowley and Mendel Gearhaus (known at the time as Alister Crowley, to keep the gimmick uniform) had a long running steampunk flavored goth band known as the Difference Engines, which unfortunately ended when an unspeakable accident at sea allegedly took the lives of their former drummer and bassist. (The bodies were never found and the only witnesses are in insane asylums screaming about the many-angled ones.) Fortunately for the duo, they’d come down with the flu and had to forgo the band’s planned sea voyage, allowing them to survive the experience.

Soon they connected with Baron Emo, who was having an unsuccessful solo career singing songs about how much it hurts to be in pain while suffering and feeling the agony of things that are bad. He decided he needed a change of pace, and took up drumming, to great success. As for Erzulie, she came on board at first as the band’s spiritual vodou advisor, but after watching the group perform decided she wanted a chance to be in the spotlight as well and started learning bass guitar to fill the empty slot on the band.

Right now the group is doing limited touring, showing up at various clubs to play random dire and ominous tunes. Rumors that those who hear the haunting melodies of the Collect Call of Cthulhu lose their sanity are almost entirely unfounded.

World War Four

Left to right: Roxy Ragdoll (Vocals), That Guy (Bass), Levi Warchild (Guitar), Mad Midori (Drums)

WWIV is the on-again, off-again punk-metal angry-screamo industrial-polka? musical experience founded by two street urchin runaways, Roxy and Levi. They’ve rotated the other band members so often over the years that they only bother referring to their bassist as “that guy” in interviews. (He doesn’t seem to mind, as he’s a complete mark for Levi’s style.)

Levi, the younger of the two, is known for anger management issues and poor impulse control that got her booted out of several reform schools and eventually led her to strike out on her own. Nobody knows how she got from there to here, although rumors of her being the youngest mob enforcer ever, or being a repo man’s assistant, or doing special forces recon in Afghanastan are all equally likely (see: not very).

Roxy, on the other hand, was a cheerful and aspiring model / actress / singer / entertainer who never turned down an opportunity unless she did, which was frequently, as she stuck to her steadfast avoidance of the “lecher’s casting couch” trope. When she encountered Levi smashing up a bar that wouldn’t let her in using her fake ID, she was drawn to the younger girl’s independent spirit and ability to scare people twice her size, and suggested the two form a band.

Their sound is… well. “Raw” and “animalistic” and “intense” and, to wit, “horrible” and “painful to listen to”. However, they’re a band to look towards for the future, if they can keep the ball rolling long enough to be more than just a bunch of crazy people wailing on stage.

Steel Trouser Cyclops

Left to right: Kitty Lippstikk (Bass), Kip Shredsmore (Guitar), Dirk Nightrod (Vocals), Rikki Tornado (Drums)

Steel Trouser Cyclops was one of the hottest acts of 1983, tearing it up in stadiums across the world with their neon-lit, beer-soaked, spandex-and-leather hard rocking sound. The world mourned their passing when their tour jet went down somewhere over Canada. Because there was no more specific news of where it crashed than “somewhere over Canada” the bodies and, more importantly in the label’s view, the solid gold instruments they used were never recovered.

Decades passed, and a moose herder found a strangely shaped block of ice in the frozen tundra, inside of which he found four hard rockers flawlessly preserved by cryogenics. Canada’s top scientists worked around the clock to find a way to revive the group without shattering them or melting them, and eventually, Steel Trouser Cyclops was reborn.

Hocking their gold instruments, they got enough new gear and funds to hit the road again. Of course, now their former hot groupies were all business execs and soccer moms and in some cases wearing adult diapers, but they didn’t care, as rock was rock was rock, and the audience welcomed their unlikely return with open arms.

When not busy shredding hot licks or pounding out radical beats or smokin’ a bodacious bass groove, the band can be seen promoting various products on VH1 Classics during commercial breaks. Kitty Lippstikk has her own makeup line, Dirk Nightrod sponsors a variety of pepper gas sprays (“These sure kept me off the groupies back in the day, YEEEAHHHH!!”) and Rikki Tornado would like to remind you to spay and neuter your pets.

2 Drink Minimum

Left to right: Old Blind Jimmy (Guitar), Joey Fingers (Drums), Frank Martini (Vocals), Holly Wood (Bass)

One of the lesser heard swinging lounge bands of the seventies, 2 Drink Minimum operated out of the Tangiers Casino and Hotel as their in-house bar band. They played one gig a night, without fail, until the casino was shut down in a combined FBI sting operation seeking organized crime in Las Vegas. After that, the group faded to obscurity.

The frontman was the legendary Frank Martini, known around the world for being able to carry a tune and woo a dame no matter how much hard liquor he’d poured down his throat earlier that evening.

His partner in crime was Old Blind Jimmy, a blues guitarist known for being old and blind and named Jimmy, but with little else known about him.

His partner in REAL crime was Joey Fingers, a legbreaker for the Hole in the Wall Gang, who muscled his way into the band when Frank owed him big for gambling debts and couldn’t pay. Instead, he paid it off in work… namely, letting Joey, who was an aspiring but quite terrible drummer, provide backing beats.

Joining them on bass was a waitress for the hotel, operating under the stage name Holly Wood — she collected tips for the band and managed their finances. Which explains how she managed to retire living in a luxury home on the outskirts of Vegas while the others faded into obscurity, penniless and forgotten.

BONUS PICTURE: Bear witness to the glory of Klaus Manhammer, who I use to torment homophobic little suburban white X-Box Live twits.

EDIT: Added 2 Drink Minimum, Klaus Manhammer’s solo pic, and changed WWIV’s picture to get better poses.

Also: OMGOMGOMOMG I GOT A LITTLEBIGPLANET BETA KEY excuse me while I am super busy this weekend playing yaaaaay <3 .

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23 responses

8 10 2008
ladybrick

So just how many sanity points do you lose when attending a Collect Call of Cthulhu concert?

8 10 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Probably 1d6 SAN.

8 10 2008
tozetre

Hell, I’ve got that to spare! :buys tix:

8 10 2008
jengagne

Waaahahah, I love the band descriptions and band member names. And the photos came out GREAT! :D
Gosh, lots of flu going around on these tours. ;)
(One bit I didn’t understand in context — “known at the time as Alister Crowley, to keep the gimmick uniform”? Does this mean he was called Alister first?)

8 10 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yeah. It’s my IC way of explaining I decided to rename the character on account of the original being silly. I wrote these in a hurry, so excuse sloppy grammar kplox.

8 10 2008
kamalloy

Baron Emo’s “SHIRT.” cracks me up. So does pretty much everything about Steel Trouser Cyclops, which is totally rad, natch!
Very cool to see all the bands, and I enjoyed reading about their members and histories. ^^ (Ours has no more backstory than “rotating collective of musicians gathered by my guitarist/Greg’s bassist.”)
I may upgrade my account to Gold soon; apparently there’s a really good deal available to Amazon. If I do so, I’ll send you an e-mail about potential times to get together and virtually jam.

8 10 2008
jengagne

Yeah, I first saw the “SHIRT.” in person, when I dropped by Twoflower’s a few weeks ago. I laughed rather a lot. :)
Steel Trouser Cyclops, I think they might be my faves in terms of horribly wonderful names, looks, and personas. It’s like the love children of Poison and David Lee Roth made a band.

8 10 2008
jengagne

Hey, no grammar critiques here. :D

8 10 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

You’ve got to thank for the name. We were brainstorming horrible 80s names, and together came with with Steel Trouser Cyclops, Dirk Nightrod, and several others including one I don’t have in a band yet: Klaus Manhammer.

8 10 2008
jengagne

I knew you were brainstorming with her but wasn’t sure which band. Somehow I’m totally unsurprised, though. I always love the way she thinks. :D

8 10 2008
cmdr_zoom

“Hello, Innsmouth! Ia! Ia!”

8 10 2008
cmdr_zoom

I envy your talent for coming up with the absurdly appropriate.

8 10 2008
8 10 2008
tozetre

Crowd: “Cthulu Ftaghn!”
News: “Last night 500 died in a bizarre cult suicide. Witnesses reported the sound of Things Man Should Not Know. In weather, 80% chance of raining fire, 20% chance of rivers of molten sulphur, and -i% chance of toasty frog surprise at the local pub. Over to Peter for sports.”

8 10 2008
jengagne

“OMGOMGOMOMG I GOT A LITTLEBIGPLANET BETA KEY”
8[]
I’m coming over this weekend. Just say when.

8 10 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I’m gonna hit Radio Shack tonight in hopes of finding a compatible bluetooth headset that fits my ear shape (for voice chat in LBP). Then after I get home I’ll start the download. It’ll be HUEG so it probably won’t be ready until tomorrow.
The beta expires Sunday at 4pm, so if you wanna see it this weekend, we’ll have to scope it out Friday night or Saturday after dinner. (pre-dinner I’m COHing.)
I’m buying the game, so I’ll have it anyway come the 21st, but a preview is always nice. :D

8 10 2008
jengagne

Wanna try our two bluetooth headsets on tonight too? (We’ll be there later… after 7Seas.)

8 10 2008
kamalloy

Klaus Manhammer is… is… well, frankly, I’m stunned.

8 10 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Sayyy, good idea! Better than my idea to just grab whatever I find at Radio Shack that works. Check yours against this list for me, and we’ll give it a shot tonight.
Okay, that makes my drive home a simpler affair… grab some drive-through and get home and start downloading!

8 10 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Then you have received the intended effect.
He’s also equipped with the languid, suggestive Goth animation set in-game.
It’s probably bordering on inviting the 4Chan Party Van to my house, but really, I just do it to frighten the brats who went and made “that’s so gay” a common phrase in the Merkin vernacular. I am evil.

8 10 2008
kamalloy

I fully support this brand of evil.

8 10 2008
jengagne

That’s what SHE said.
(she?)

8 10 2008
jengagne

I won’t have my hands on either headset until I get home, so I’ll just bring them over, but it could tip you off as to which to buy.
Knowing you you might be better off with an over-the-head bluetooth headset, though.

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