Sleepytime, eh? We don't really see how anyone could sleep through such music as this. The quintet's songs are thunderous, theatric, and almost prog-ish with their varied rhythms and dynamics. Band members stalk the stage, costumed in tunics and occasional splotches of chalky makeup, looking simultaneously enchanting and downright terrifying. The setlist bounces between avant-garde freakouts, heavy metal moments, and experimental passages. Granted, the red-tinted lights are turned down waaay low during this Bowery Ballroom performance, and the nighttime is a common setting for many of Nils Frykdahl's eerie lyrics. But sleepytime? When this band is on stage? We think not.
The Sleepytime Gorilla Museum opened its doors to the public in 1916, only to show them a well-managed fire. Its doors were closed shortly thereafter and remained so for the rest of the century. Almost. The last year of the 20th century found the improbable trio of words once again adorning a placard posted outside a derelict urban building, with the addendum- "No Humans Allowed." Indeed, the awkward re-inaugural movements were witnessed by a lone banana slug (Ariolimax dolichophallus)-- a suitable beginning for a group that would soon shelter Oakland California's hindmost interpreters of Anti-Humanist literature. Their incessant travels since 2001 have brought new life to the Movement. Like their namesake and its instigators (Futurist Lala Rolo and Black-Mathematician John Kane) the new museum embraces the essential weakness of the Movement. But also like their predecessors they reject the elitism of the avant-garde in favor of a reckless populism: They are entertainers. Though not without humor, their often wide-ranging musical and theatrical choices are rarely ironic.