Music News

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Cheer up, kiddies, the circus is in town.

Art-rock freaks Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are coming, with their "this is what it might sound like to have an enjoyable seizure" sound. Sleepytime must be heard to begin to be truly understood, but here goes a modest attempt:

An art supergroup of sorts, San Francisco's Sleepytime Gorilla Museum features core members Nils Frykdahl and Dan Rathbun. The pair were partners in Idiot Flesh, a group known for huge theatrical shows that among other things featured simulated onstage decapitations and adult puppet shows.

Frykdahl leads the Museum with scary voice and guitar, and the rest of the band plays a huge array of largely homemade or treated instruments. Carla Kihlstedt of the bands Tin Hat Trio and Two Foot Yard plays violin and sings in the Museum, and rounding out the exhibit are Frank Grau on drums and Moe Staiano on percussion.

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, along with having arguably the best name in music, is known for its monstrous but pretty music, like the soundtrack to a troubled dream. Melding death-metal vocals, formal musical training and noise galore, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum enjoys playing with the notion of what is musical.

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Jonathan Bond