Friday, March 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Night Watch

And for this weekend's weirdness... audiences in plastic wrap


Let us pause and praise it.

Weird is the absence of boredom.

So many bands are so dead serious about what they're doing, and/or so very like so very many other bands ... hey, let's be the next Pixies ... No, no let's be the next Beatles! ... Well, OK, let's at least be the next Modest Mouse ... Snore.

Thank goodness — thank weirdness — there are some bands and musical acts out there that aren't trying to be like anyone else: They'd rather be unique, odd, off-the-beaten-chords.

They're not afraid to be laughed at, to be misunderstood, to have those who don't get it roll their eyes and think "what a buncha losers!" They embrace their inner freak.

Huh-Uh is weird.

Stage right, playing a keyboard, is a woman (Hailey Gaiser) who seems to be a "Saturday Night Live" sketch come to life — some sort of aerobics freak/'70s cheerleader mish-mash who can't stop moving, cheering, dancing. You get the idea she could do a dance routine to a drum solo.

Stage left, playing a keyboard, is waifish Cassie Wulff, who soon begins to resemble Audrey Hepburn on hallucinogens; she's pretty normal looking, but wait till she starts talking and singing — not of this Earth, not the stuff we normally see at this elevation.

Stage center, playing a keyboard (that's right, three keyboard players), is Tonjia Rhen, looking normal enough, and somewhat of an anchor to reality. She even sings a lovely ballad, "Castles." A little later, she plays an over-the-top retro drama queen, singing " '80s Drama."

Molly Ringwald's twisted sister, right here.

A recent show by this new band at El Corazon won converts midway into the band's second song — about when newcomers in the audience "get it." Oh yeah, they're not really serious, they're totally messing with us — and you can dance to it!

The likes of "Hair-Do Do It," "Hot Chick Physics" and "Dead Boyfriend" all have surprisingly bouncy beats, considering the songs are being played on toy keyboards and other kiddie instruments.

It soon becomes clear that this is one of the weirdest — and funniest, by far — bands to hit Seattle in quite some time.

Rhen, the master of the deadpan and master of ceremonies, answers an e-mail by saying, "we came together over a mutual love of horror movies, Crispin Glover and quantum physics," and "We like unitards, unicorns, but not unibrows."

Get on the Huh-Uh weirdness, and hear them play new songs "Like a Ferret" and "Graveyard Girlfriend" 5 p.m. Sunday at the Funhouse ($5).

• Super Geek League?

Super weird.

What's so odd about this band? "Well, for one thing we have about 40-50 people in our 'band,' " says a band member, who goes by the weird name Floyd McFeely. "Each song has its own character and performance which follows an elaborate mythology and storyline."

Typical — atypically typical? — song: "Jesus in Clown Shoes" (fromthebigtoptotheburningbush... ). Mildly irreverent and a merry good beat.

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Not unlike an under-the-table circus, SGL plays the all-ages Ballard club Paradox at 8 tonight ($7).

Mr. McFeely promises the live show will be "the likes of wrapping audience members up in plastic wrap, a creepy old priest offering crackers in a mock sacrament offering while smacking audience members in the head with a dead fish, stripping nuns, animatronics." Et cetera, et cetera.

Tim Basaraba is weird-o-rama.

He's in Wolf Cougar, a relatively straightforward three-piece rock band from Idaho, and really gets his weird on as TBASA, a beyond-the-pale one-man-band.

"I hate snow, hate it hate it hate it," he sings, oh, about three or four hundred times, on one song.

As the goggled TBASA, "I usually cover Bell Biv Devoe, Nirvana, Paula Abdul and the Pixies with my own special flair." BBD's "Poison" on acoustic guitar is a special treat. "The weirdest project I am involved in is TiNTiN were myself & Noah Parriot dress up as robots from the future and sing with our band, which is an iPod mini connected to the PA."

He was Idaho-weird long before Napoleon Dynamite, and that's good for Seattle. TBASA and Wolf Cougar share a bill at Belltown's oddball Mecca the Rendezvous on Saturday. Visit for a strange preview.

• For more mainstream weirdness (contradiction in terms?), Reggie Watts — that slacker-era Jonathan Winters — and the Degenerate Art Ensemble music-art-butoh reach deep into their respective weirdosity at 10 tonight at Chop Suey ($5). It's a multimedia birthday party for DJ Tamara.

• She's no longer "weird," but she's good: Sera Cahoone — former Carissa's Wierd drummer — plays from her dazzling debut record at 8 tonight at Neumos ($8). It's a terrific local bill, also featuring Slender Means and Panda and Angel. (Ask Josh Wackerly how the latter band got its name; weird story ... )

Tom Scanlon:

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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