Skip

Brainless Barnyard Keyboards: The Short Saga of Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band
August 2, 2008 6:55 PM   Subscribe

[via MetaFilter Music] "This is a live recording of Royal Quiet Deluxe, my band from 1998. The track features manipulated drum machines and vocals, bass, and two chickens playing keyboards. The band was short-lived and a (very) minor local legend in Virginia in the late 1990s. This is our story."

MeFi's Own™ chinese_fashion's blog at andiamnotlying.com has been featured on no fewer than three other FPP's previously:
- Bacon Cookies
- McDonald's as Pizza Toppings
- The battle of who could care freakin' less Espresso on Ice!
posted by not_on_display (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
two chickens playing keyboards

I approve of this post.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:13 PM on August 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd pay to watch it.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:18 PM on August 2, 2008


that's a casio sk-1 - i used to have one of those - it's the sort of instrument a chicken could play - they were sold as children's toys, but they were far more interesting than that - aside from being able to hook it up to a cheap cassette and sample various things - one of those bell sounds is someone loading a sample onto the keyboard

i would sing into them and the results were interesting - full of aliasing and other sampling glitches that gave them a unique personality

they stopped making them - they were too damned useful for 60 buck toys
posted by pyramid termite at 7:47 PM on August 2, 2008


The critters can dance pretty well, too....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:50 PM on August 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


they stopped making them - they were too damned useful for 60 buck toys

Casio SK-1s, and similar models like the SK-5, are extremely popular targets for circuit bending, and at the height of circuit bending's popularity they were going for up to $100 unmodified on eBay. I wrote a widely read tutorial on circuit bending them on my old website, but personally I feel they are overrated and prefer the Yamaha VSS-30 for my bent toy sampler needs.

Also, a lot of the incidental music for Homestar Runner is done on an SK-1 or a similar model.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:59 PM on August 2, 2008


That was a great story, thanks!
posted by interrobang at 8:46 PM on August 2, 2008


Wow! Thanks for the post, not_on_display ... and I'm really glad y'all enjoyed this. I'd like to clarify for pyramid termite and the rest of you, though -- that "bell sound" is actually from a toddler's toy piano that we also had the girls play. Photo here and here. If we had known we could load samples onto that SK-1, God only knows what we'd have done with it. Something to keep in mind in case we ever have a reunion show.

I'm so glad you guys enjoyed this, though. The whole thing was so frustrating when it petered out and I was afraid the band or concept would never find a real audience. This really, really means a lot to me to have it on the blue -- and hopefully pushing the "espresso incident" aside for something a lot more meaningful to me.
posted by chinese_fashion at 9:16 PM on August 2, 2008


chinese_fashion: "Wow! Thanks for the post, not_on_display ... "

Yeah, well, I heard the song first on the RSS Feed, and I thought, "Wow, I like the crazy weirdness, like the Butthole Surfers mushed with minimalist Bauhaus!" So then I read the thread for the comments, which heartily endorsed clicking the story link, and I was like, "damn, I wish I was there!"

Excellent story. Thanks for contributing to the history of music and the possibilities of future musics!

With chickens! Dag, Gonzo would be proud.
posted by not_on_display at 10:19 PM on August 2, 2008


...And, no shit, here's my blog, written using an old Royal typewriter... I can't figure out how old it is, or what model, or anything. But I LOVE the sound the keys make.
posted by not_on_display at 10:59 PM on August 2, 2008


Why oh why did I dispose of my Casio SK-1 in favor of something polyphonic? WHY!!?!?!
posted by davejay at 11:36 PM on August 2, 2008


Way cool post, n_o_d.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:41 AM on August 3, 2008


We kept playing until we saw a little chicken blood hit the keyboards, at which point we each grabbed a bird and jammed her head under our armpit and took a bow.

What an absolutely brilliant mental image.
posted by Spatch at 6:02 AM on August 3, 2008


I'm very glad that this made it to the front page of the blue. It is a great story. Good call, not_on_display.
posted by micayetoca at 7:40 AM on August 3, 2008


This is the money quote, in my opinion:

"I can remember being enamored with Ministry, Sun Ra, King Tubby and Nation of Ulysses at the time, and I think those influences are pretty clear here. I can also remember being fairly full of myself as an art student, and that’s more than apparent."

I LOLed.
posted by dammitjim at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2008


*looks at fluffy no-talent chucklehead scratching around back yard*

Sigh ... yet another reason to be disappointed in my hens. I never pushed them to go to law school, but couldn't they at least play in a band? Slackers.

Never heard of that head-in-the-armpit trick, though it sounds like something a chicken would totally fall for. I'd try it, but the only thing my hens are good at is evading capture. Friggin' ninja chickens.
posted by Quietgal at 12:22 PM on August 3, 2008


This is the best of the web.
posted by popechunk at 3:27 PM on August 3, 2008


"We kept playing until we saw a little chicken blood hit the keyboards, at which point we each grabbed a bird and jammed her head under our armpit and took a bow."

*scratches head*

....I don't get it. Why the blood? Why the armpit? I cry fowl.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:37 PM on August 4, 2008


ZachsMind: "...I don't get it. Why the blood? Why the armpit? I cry fowl."

from the article:
"We’d done this when they got to fighting too much, and we started doing it during breakfast and dinner rehearsals. It worked a treat, too: The armpit trick performed a ctrl-alt-delete on the chickens’ brains, and they woke up every time thinking it was a brand-new day."

Still, keep crying fowl. I'll egg you on.
posted by not_on_display at 7:09 PM on August 4, 2008


If that was my story, I'd tell it to everybody who'd listen. When they stopped listening I'd keep saying it until they ran away, then I'd follow them, still telling that story. After that I'd write it on walls and tell it to bugs and fire hydrants. When I finally died, I'd ensure, somehow, that it was written on my tombstone.

That's an awesome story.

The music's remarkably good, too.
posted by lekvar at 7:31 PM on August 4, 2008


« Older "They'll have their diamonds, and we'll have our...   |   The sound of close harmony Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post