As a fan of good/bad puns, I can’t help but be enthralled by a video for a song called “Outta My Head,” depicting a man crawling out of a skull, wandering the earth, and encountering zebras. Also, the 7th Voyage of Sinbad-esque stop-motion Claymation is worthy of lavish praise. As are Wooden Shjips, who raise an interesting question. None of their songs are really that different, they all rely on the same bag of tricks — hypnotic groove, insistent drums, and elliptical guitars that lull you into a trance. And yet they remain one of my favorite bands.
I saw Moon Duo at SXSW — the side project of lead guitarist Ripley Johnson. Hannibal whispered in my ear that he was considering switching to the “Manson in Prison look.” And yeah, the guy sports a wizard beard and looks about 45, despite being only in his late 20s. I suppose that’s the thing — his skill at the guitar is a Mariano Rivera-type anomaly. He only needs one pitch to dominate. And presumably, a whole lot of Humboldt County Kush.