There is something charming in a grizzled group of well-dressed ruffians - the type of people that will just as easily bang on a hanging set of pots and pans, as walk down a crowded street grinding away on the banjo and accordion. And so it is that The Peculiar Pretzelmen charmed One Night Music in the Santa Barbara's bastard sibling town of Isla Vista by grinding, banging, shredding, stomping, and hollering their unique blend of old-timey, bluesy, jug music.
Resembling something of a mix between Tom Waits, polka, glass shards and cement, the band played four tunes amidst the colorful backdrop of Biko Garage and finished with a musical stroll down the Pardall Road (the main drag of the gritty college town) evoking strange stares from unsuspecting coeds. And why not? Feather caps, pocket watches, and the general 1930s well-dressed bohemian vibe is bound to turn a few heads amidst the normal blondes and board-shorts that decorate the town.
The Peculiar Pretzelman is Kevin Lacey (a.k.a M. Incroyable) on banjo, mandocello, and vocals; Deacon on percussion and drums; Party Paul Pate on bass clarinet and baritone sax; and Flip Cassidy (of the band Weasels Exist) on accordion. Dr. Rando of the infamous Brooklyn Nightrats describes The Peculiar Pretzelmen quite succinctly: "To witness The Peculiar Pretzelmen in a live setting, you'll find their peculiar brew equal parts barn-burning gospel revival and punk rock (read: more Screamin' Jay Hawkins than Johnny Rotten), with a spirit both terrifying and simultaneously life-affirming, the yin to the yang of a carnival spookhouse someplace miles away from nowhere you've ever been."
The band lays claim to a treasure of four out of print albums and an album that is only available at their shows. Their most recent album Uncanny Eyes (2007) is available at CDBaby.com and their forthcoming album Innumerable Seeds of Calamity sits on the horizon with a scheduled release of March 2010. The band can be found performing their monthly gig at the Foundry on Melrose in Hollywood and a U.S. tour to support the new record will kick off in April.
This was another one of those sessions that came together because of the wonderful SBDIY, which brings much unique music to Santa Barbara. One Night Music has many friends at Biko and SBDIY and was able to use the space for a bit. That's what the garage is there for, lucky us.
Recorded in Biko Garage, Santa Barbara, CA on May 02, 2009.