A circus parade passing through a cemetery
April 19, 2012 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Described as a circus parade passing through a cemetery, One Ring Zero is a musical group known for its use of unusual instruments, and musical collaborations with typically non-musical people and concepts. As Smart As We Are is an album of music by ORZ, with lyrics supplied by well-known fiction writers (tracklist after the fold). More recently, One Ring Zero teamed with 'celebrity' chefs for the Recipe Project (previously), setting their favorite recipes (word for word) to music. Planets, their newest album, is "an album of new compositions to capture the splendor and complexity of our celestial neighbors."

One Ring Zero is Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp and a rotating cast of other collaborators. A formidable musician in his own right, Hearst gained notoriety for his update/revival of suburban ubiquity, the ice cream truck song. Typically "more annoying than brain freeze," Hearst took the challenge to release an album of artful ice cream truck songs, and was soon contacted by interested ice cream truck drivers. Thus emerged Songs for Ice Cream Trucks (Wired profile/review)

Hearst and Camp met while working together at the Hohner Musical Instrument factory in Virginia. Their songs contain many Hohner instruments, including familiar ones like the accordion and less-known instruments like the Claviola.


As Smart As We Are - The Author Project
Natty Man Blues (Paul Auster/ORZ)
Radio (Daniel Handler/ORZ)
We Both Have A Feeling That You Still Want Me (Darin Strauss/ORZ)
Kiss Me, You Brat (Rick Moody/ORZ)
Deposition Disposition (Lawrence Krauser/ORZ)
Half And Half (Clay McLeod Chapman/ORZ)
The Ghost Of Rita Gonzalo (Dave Eggers/ORZ)
Frankenstein Monster Song video content unrelated (Margaret Atwood/ORZ)
Honku (Aaron Naparstek/ORZ)
Blessing (Denis Johnson/ORZ)
On The Wall (Neil Gaiman/ORZ)
All About House Plants (Amy Fusselman/ORZ)
Golem (Myla Goldberg/ORZ)
Snow (A.M. Homes/ORZ)
Nothing Else Is Happening (Ben Greenman/ORZ)
The Story Of The Hairy Call (Jonathan Ames/ORZ)
Water (Jonathan Lethem/ORZ)

The Recipe Project
Selected videos:
Spaghetti with Sweet 100 Tomatoes (Mario Batali/ORZ)
Brains and Eggs (Chris Cosentino/ORZ)

Track listing/lyrics
posted by obscurator (4 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The TV clip is like Balkan dance music being played very very slowly with rock'n'roll drums (the original rhythm is kept, but with a rockified beat). The beat seems the only rock influence, the harmonies and melodies seem to be from some Balkan source.
posted by idiopath at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2012

Well hello there ORZ. These guys used to play fairly regularly at the Brooklyn performance space I TDed in the early aughts. Immensely talented, though in true Brooklyn fashion, never really got the audiences they deserved. I'm really glad to see they persevered.

I may be misremembering this, but I seem to recall them live-scoring an episode of (mefite) Jon Hodgman's Little Gray Book Lectures. Which, if it happened, was a tremendously entertaining evening. Though it may not have happened, in which case my fried memory apologizes to all parties.
posted by milquetoast at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2012

Their live accompaniment to Yidishe Glikn (1925) (also notable for its comic treatment of the Odessa Steps) was one of the last straws in convincing a guy in my band to start playing melodica.
posted by nonane at 10:17 AM on April 19, 2012

I honestly came in here to make a joke about the other Orz, but as it happens these guys' music would make perfect accompaniment for the Star Control Orz, with its careful combination of whimsy and vague unease. Does that make them *campers*?
posted by JHarris at 10:20 AM on April 19, 2012

« Older "the mobile social fin de siècle"   |   "Best spring break ever, bro." Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments