Category Archives: Weird Music
Primus has released their first new track in 5 years. It’s titled “Conspiranoia,” and it has some connections to my book American Madness. My book is about Richard McCaslin, who styled himself as a conspiracy commando called the Phantom Patriot. Inspired by Alex Jones, McCaslin fashioned himself a superhero costume and heavily armed himself. He raided a place in the forests of North California called the Bohemian Grove in 2002. Conspiracy says that the world’s most rich and powerful men sacrifice people in a Satanic ritual in front of a giant statue of an owl within the Grove. Richard had a standoff with the police and was arrested.
Les Claypool, bassist and singer for Primus, has a ranch close to the Grove in Occidental, California. Richard’s arrest did not become a huge story, but it was picked up by a couple of California newspapers. Claypool, who read the news stories and was inspired to write a song titled “Phantom Patriot,” which appeared on his solo 2006 album Of Whales and Woe album.
I thought it would be pretty great if I could interview Claypool about this, so I doggedly emailed his talent agency until they agreed to set up a short phone interview with him. He was understandably nervous talking about Richard (“is this a stable individual, would you say?” was the first thing he said to me), as he didn’t want to face violent retaliation. Richard originally liked the “Phantom Patriot” song (he described it as a “modern day folksong”) but, like everything, it soon entered the web of the conspiracy when he saw symbolism in the accompanying video (which, Claypool explained to me, had nothing to do with him– it was just a piece of animation that paired nicely with the track). Richard took his own life in 2018.
When I saw the title of the new Primus song, I remembered a quote from Claypool, which appears on page 98 of American Madness, where Claypool describes the Bohemian Grove:
“…there’s all this mystery of what happens in the Grove with the Bohemian Club, it’s a collection of the elite as well as a bunch of artists,” Claypool explained. “Actually, my old music teacher was a trombonist for the Bohemian Club way back in the day. But there is this mystery, and a bit of conspiranoia as to what goes on there and some of it is fairly extreme.”
After American Madness came out, I did try to email Claypool’s talent agency a couple times to get a copy of the book to him, but got no reply. Les, if you’re reading this, I’d love to send you a book. But maybe he ended up reading it anyhow…
When I saw the link to the video, I set aside 11 minutes 38 seconds to give it a good look. I really love it, it’s a great prog rock that sails the seas of cheese of an epic subject– the ridiculous but sad Conspiracy World.
We meet Lloyd Boyd, conspiranoid who launches himself into the sky in a lawn chair to prove the earth is flat. Ridiculous, huh? Well, no, a Flat Earther named “Mad Mike” Hughes did die in 2020 after launching himself into the skies above Barstow with a rocket for the same goal. What about Marion Barrion, contrarian, who puts cat urine in her eyes, garlic cloves in her nose, and taping dryer sheets to her head to ward off COVID? Not far fetched at all, especially considering the President of the United States of America recommended injecting bleach. That’s the real problem– not the Lloyd Boyds and the Marion Barrions with their tin foil hats, but the people like Trump and Alex Jones who exploit and profit off of their mentalities.
The video goes into a beautiful tapestry of conspiracy classics– Bigfoot, black helicopters, chemtrails, and gay frogs. Many of these topics are discussed in American Madness. My eyes widened at the 4:21 mark, where we see a quick flash of the Great Owl of Bohemia statue in the Grove.
At the 6:23 there is great conspiracy mega-list– some real, some invented for comic effect, some– who knows? It’s hard to tell what are real beliefs and what are jokes these days. Different images flash on rows of TVs, and then at the 8:45 mark, there he is– the Phantom Patriot (same photo as above). Personally, I’m thrilled to see the Phantom Patriot acknowledged. Richard, however, would have dismissed this as some kind of government psy-op program to hide the truth, part of the mass web of conspiracy orchestrated against him. Here’s the video:
I’ll give Primus the last word on this one: “Be wary of conspiranoia/ as purveyors, abound/ for an open mind too open/ spills its contents on the ground.” I couldn’t agree more. That describes exactly what happened to Richard McCaslin.
American Madness is currently being developed into a documentary and this month director Eric Hayden is filming a recreation of the Phantom Patriot’s raid into the Bohemian Grove. I’ve seen pictures of the recreation of Richard’s costume and it is a spot on duplication, down to the last stitch. I’m very excited to see his final footage.
Here is my request, if you’re reading this. Buy a copy of American Madness: Lion’s Tooth//Bookshop.org//Amazon
And please rate/ review on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or share on social media. I appreciate the support.
SEE ALSO: I wrote about the Bohemian Grove shutting down their summer encampment for the first time in 142 years (because of COVID) here: Tea’s Weird Week: Summer Plans are Canceled for the New World Order | (teakrulos.com)
Please Clap Dept.: My article from the March Milwaukee Magazine, “Visibly Indigenous,” is now online. It was a great honor to write: How Milwaukee’s Native Community Is Working to Be Un-Erased (milwaukeemag.com)
Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep10: The Big French Fry Perfume Beaver Fever Tiger Nuggets Corpse DJ Oregon Trail Charles Darwin Diary Mystery Finale: Me and Heidi talk weird news, trivia answers, closing track by The LOL, “Six Feet Under the Dance Floor.” Fun times!
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week S4 ep10: The Big French Fry Perfume Beaver Fever Tiger Nuggets Corpse DJ Oregon Trail Charles Darwin Diary Mystery Finale (podbean.com)
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On this week’s podcast episode I caught up with my old friend “Gorb.” We used to co-host a pirate radio together, called “Gorb & K-duck in the Morning.” I had previously done a couple other shows, one was called “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” The station was 104.5FM, the Wireless Virus. On our show, me and Gorb played music, made jokes, and talked about random topics. We did it early Sunday mornings (not a typical time for pirate radio broadcasters) and when the show was done, I’d walk from the Sydney Hih building (a legendary counterculture complex of apartments and studios) downtown up to the Brady Street Pharmacy to work the morning shift.
The last incarnation Wireless Virus was shut down in an FCC raid on the Sydney Hih building in 2001. Pirate radio was sort of the precursor to podcasts with the added thrill that the FCC might bust your ass and confiscate your radio broadcasting equipment. I have fond memories of being on the air with Gorb at Sydney Hih and doing my other shows in the previous station location, which was located right on Center Street in the basement of a short lived venue called Canada World. I met a lot of cool people through the station. I loved creating my own media, and I still do, I’ve just switched to blogging and podcasting rather than a pirate radio show and photocopied zines.
Thanks for joining in the adventure, Gorb!
Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep09: The World According to Gorb: I asked Gorb ten big questions, plus our Clip-O-Rama contest, weird news, trivia, and a track by Mandy Cappleman, “Spinning Wheels.”
Listen here: teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/tea-s-weird-week-s4-ep-09-the-world-according-to-gorb
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My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)
It remains a mystery to us how DJ 10-foot Tall Krampus was able to break into the Tea’s Weird Week podcast studios to record this “Radio Krampus” special, but we got to admit that hell’s bells, it’s pretty bangin’ so enjoy!
- “Dance with the Krampus,” Xposed 4heads
- “Krampusnacht!” Darkzine
- “Krampusnacht is Here,” The Courtesan & the Cabin Boy
- “I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth,” H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
- “The Krampus Song,” The Chardon Polka Band
- “American Monsters,” Sunspot
- “Krampus Redux,” Actually
- “Carol of the Bells,” ShadowFire
- “Monster Mash,” Bobby “Boris” Picket and the Crypt-Kickers
- “Day of the Ratbatspider,” Ratbatspider
- “Krampus,” Punk Freud
- “Whipping Bells,” Manuela Horn
- “Krampus is Coming…Hide ya Kids, Part 3,” Android138
- “Ra ra ra,” Zombie Carol Choir
- “Krampus is Coming,” Joe Hart
- “The Ballad of Mari Lwyd,” Frosty
- “War on Christmas,” DJ 10-foot Tall Krampus
- “Krampus Christmas,” Actually
- “A Krampus Carol,” Madame Onça & Paolo Garbanzo
- “Fan the Flame,” The Quilz
- “Twelve Nights of Krampus,” The Courtesan & the Cabin Boy
Milwaukee Krampusnacht donations: www.gofundme.com/f/milwaukee-krampusnacht-2021-costs
Listen to more Tea’s Weird Week here: Tea’s Weird Week Podcast | (teakrulos.com)
Manuela Horn is a woman of many titles. She’s known as the “Austrian Amazon” for her height (6’2″ flatfooted) the “Queen of Oktoberfest” for headlining as an Oktoberfest hostess around the world, and my favorite, the personality that has gained Manuela the most notoriety– the “Yodeling Dominatrix,” an act that shows off her ability to crack a whip and carry a tune at the same time. Manuela says she developed her yodeling talents when she was 12 and practiced while on long family road trips through Austria.
In 2009 she yodeled her way onto the stage of America’s Got Talent, where she knocked the socks off of judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff. You can witness her performance here:
Manuela has mixed her comedy and music abilities to perform with several theatrical groups, but one of her longest running associations is with Teatro Zinzanni, a dinner and theater show that’s based out of the Seattle area. They opened new shows in San Francisco and Chicago and Manuela was sent to the Midwest to perform at the new show located in the Cambria Hotel in Chicago’s Theatre District. But just as the show was starting to get rolling, the pandemic brought the curtain down. Like so many performers around the world, Manuela found herself without a live audience, so she headed home to Graz, Austria.
At home she’s found time for other projects. Manuela’s music is super fun and all gimmicks aside, she’s a great yodeler and singer. She’s been learning to master the accordion, and even participated in a special accordion performance with Puddle’s Pity Party and “Weird Al” Yankovic. She also recorded one of the kinkiest holiday albums of all time– The Naughty Christmas Album. Yodel-lay-hee-OW!
I recently spoke to Manuela to talk about her career and asked her some Valentine’s Day advice. An excerpt of the interview follows, you can hear the whole interview on this week’s Tea’s Weird Week podcast.
Tea: Is Valentine’s Day celebrated in Austria?
Manuela: It is, but it’s not as highlighted or how would you say– celebrated– as you would do in America, like in America at school you would bring cards and stuff– we don’t do that. But our industry is trying to push all the chocolates and flowers on to the guys to surprise the girls or whatever love you share, you give your love something in that direction. But it is on our calendar.
Tea: Is yodeling romantic? Is it sexy?
Manuela: Oh my God, like I said if someone pokes the right spot I would say you go (gives an orgasmic sounding yodel)! If you haven’t heard that in the bedroom, you’ve been with the wrong lover. (laughs)
Tea: What advice do you have for people who are lonely and want romance this year?
Manuela: Especially in this pandemic! I guess left hand and right hand– give them some love, lotion those hands. Be good to yourself, I would say go out there and find someone but with the pandemic it’s me, myself, and I think– fuck it, order yourself some flowers and chocolate and champagne. You don’t have to share it, this year you can drink and eat it all by yourself. Man that’s– look on the bright side!
Tea: Is there a romantic phrase in German you can teach us?
Manuela: How about…Mein schnuckiputzi ich hab dich lieb.
Tea: (Tries to say it but fumbles)
Manuela: Very close. But it means something like my pumpkin, I love you very much.
Tea: Awww that’s great. I’m going to make a Valentine card that says that.
Manuela: Yeah, Snuckiputzi is a great word. Ooh, maybe I need to write a song now!
You can find Manuela on social media and her website, www.manuelahorn.com
Tea’s Weird Week episode 05: Tea talks to Manuela Horn in a cheeky interview about her career that includes demonstrations of her yodeling ability. Tea and Heidi discuss weird news including a fetus who is about to drop an album, a French orgy bust, reality manipulating technology, and the many lives of Mothman. Miss Information reveals our first trivia winner and we close out with a special Valentine’s Day treat: Manuela Horn’s yodelfied version of “Tainted Love.”
Listen here: https://teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/teas-weird-week-episode-05-ask-a-yodeling-dominatrix/
For more podcast platforms we’re on, check out the Tea’s Weird Week page: https://teakrulos.com/teas-weird-week-podcast-4/
Check out my books:
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness: bookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book): https://www.amazon.com/Teas-Weird-Week-2020-Review-ebook/dp/B08SGL97YJ/ref=sr_1_1