That 1 Guy
It’s difficult to describe my initial reaction to That 1 Guy’s performance. If pressed, the only way that I could concisely describe it is like this: it made me smile. I stepped through the venue’s front door and into an aural and visual dreamland where a hatted man produces sound using a tricked-out steel pipe, and it actually sounds good. No, not just good–incredible. How could that not make you grin uncontrollably? I found myself irresistibly drawn to the stage, where I then stood and gawked with agape mouth, thinking, “I want to touch it”–‘it’ being The Magic Pipe that is an integral part of this one-man show. You really can’t help but stare at it–I observed several other fans gaping at the stage with the same look of dumbfounded awe on their faces that I wore on mine.
While the Pipe itself–with its two strings (low C & high G), multiple trigger buttons, and duct tape–is a marvel, the music that Mike Silverman a.k.a. That 1 Guy produces with it is even more astounding. In addition to playing the strings with his hands or a bow, he uses the pipe itself in a fantastically percussive fashion, pounding out rhythms with drumsticks or his hands. He also activates the 13 buttons located throughout his set-up; these trigger sounds from a pre-recorded bank. Not content to use only his arms, That 1 Guy’s feet are also kept quite busy tending to the three kick-drum pedals on the floor. As if all that weren’t enough, he’s well-versed in the art of playing the electric saw and the electric boot (named, appropriately, The Magic Saw and The Magic Boot). Add to all that lyrics featuring topics like weasel potpie and meat precipitation, and you have some of the most interesting music that’s being made today. It’s a sort of futuristic funk explosion with deliciously danceable beats.
The audience energy level remained high throughout the set, a testament to That 1 Guy’s ability to continuously re-invent his sound. A large portion of his live show is improvised, and the result is a fresh sound with each song. He served up several tracks from his most recent album The Moon Is Disgusting, including “Oranges”, “Bananas”, “Buttmachine”, and the title song. The 2004 release Songs in the Key of Beotch certainly wasn’t neglected–“One”, “Weasel Potpie”, and “It’s Raining Meat”, among others, all made their Continental Club debuts. And honestly? I really, really loved it all. It might sound a little (okay, a lot) weird, but we here at Breakfast On Tour welcome weird music (Ray Bong, anyone?), and weird music that’s dessert for your ears? Well, I felt like Christmas had already come! I have a feeling that many of my fellow show-goers would agree–listen for the cheers and screams heavily peppered throughout all the videos we recorded.
This was definitely the most interesting and innovative show that I’ve been to in quite some time, and I highly recommend it. I guarantee that you’ve never seen anything like it before, and unless you’re made of stone, That 1 Guy will rock your face off. Hell, he might accomplish that even if you are made of stone.
That 1 Guy, The Magic Pipe, The Magic Saw, and the Magic Boot plan on returning to Houston during their spring tour, so stay tuned for more info. We’re hoping to see them at Last Concert Cafe this time around because, well, because we want to dance in the sand, dammit. Bring your hula hoop and join us! Until then, experience the musical goodness of “Oranges” and “Bananas”:
Cereal’s rating: 9/10 bowls. Put That 1 Guy at the top of your list of must-see shows.
Mike was kind enough to chat with us after his show, so be on the lookout for a That 1 Guy artist profile by Doughnut featuring excerpts from our interview.