Just Tiger Lillies
December 19, 2009 7:13 PM   Subscribe

Just Tiger Lillies is a YouTube Channel devoted to three-piece band The Tiger Lillies, whose music style the band members describe as either satanic folk or death oompah, though they are usually considered a cabaret band. On the YouTube Channel there are uploads from fan collections and links to most every Tiger Lillies video on YouTube, from blasphemous appearances on radio shows to MeFi's own Amanda Palmer covering their song Flying Robert to a collection of hamster images accompanied by The Tiger Lillies ode to the activity Richard Gere is purported to enjoy. If you are not familiar with the band the best place to start is probably the Official Videos playlist. Or you could check out these three songs: Mountains of Madness, Bully Boys and Lily Marlene. [A large percentage of The Tiger Lillies' material is NSFW, though the last three links aren't]
posted by Kattullus (18 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
What's Up with that?
posted by neuron at 7:25 PM on December 19, 2009

I should've mentioned that Just Tiger Lillies is run by fan discussion board The Forum of The Tiger Lillies.
posted by Kattullus at 7:37 PM on December 19, 2009

The Tiger Lillies have a collaboration with the Kronos Quartet in which they turn a bunch of Edward Gorey poems into songs (Gorey sent a sheaf of poems to the Lillies before his death in hopes of collaborating).

It's exactly what it sounds like, but more.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:58 PM on December 19, 2009

In London one weekend with the kids, I was stuck for something to do, and someone suggested we see Struwelpeter, which was nearing the end of it's West End run. I knew nothing at all about the production, or about the Tiger Lillies and really went along simply because the tickets were reasonably priced and I always liked to submit my children to horrible cautionary tales for their education and edification.

We were all totally blown away. Fantastic band, phenomenal show. All theatre should be as good as that was.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:09 PM on December 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I considered doing a [more inside] specifically about Struwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter) but I figured there was more than enough in the post already and that it probably would get brought up in-thread. Here's footage from the show set to Bully Boys.
posted by Kattullus at 8:16 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Shockheaded Peter
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:19 PM on December 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ah, should have previewed. Curse you, Kattullus.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:20 PM on December 19, 2009

Heh, well, in my haste to comment I forgot that the video also includes Snip Snip.
posted by Kattullus at 8:22 PM on December 19, 2009

I saw their H.P. Lovecraft inspired production a few years ago and it was just stunning. Say what you will about accordions, but when it comes to evoking the squamous and the gibbering, there's nothing better.
posted by atrazine at 8:24 PM on December 19, 2009

I saw "Bully Boys" on Ovation one night a couple of years ago and was stopped cold. They're amazing - a perfect mix of cabaret, horror, nightmare, fairy tale and folk music. Thanks for this.
posted by mediareport at 8:27 PM on December 19, 2009

The Tiger Lillies have a collaboration with the Kronos Quartet in which they turn a bunch of Edward Gorey poems into songs (Gorey sent a sheaf of poems to the Lillies before his death in hopes of collaborating).

The best Gorey-themed album is Max Nagl's The Evil Garden.
posted by kenko at 9:30 PM on December 19, 2009

I wish they'd release Shockheaded Peter on DVD (the version out there is, as far as I can tell, just a musical concert.)

Related, I just saw another fun theatre piece, Aurélia's Oratorio, which is in the Bill Irwin circus/new vaudeville style and she used a Tiger Lillies number for one of the acts.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:18 PM on December 19, 2009

I too, saw Struwelpeter and was utterly amazed. I had some idea what to expect, but not quite so much of it.

I would love to see The Tiger Lillies again, hopefully with some squeamish or very easily offended people in the audience. A few people huffing out angrily seems to subtly enhance the experience.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:45 PM on December 19, 2009

I'm pretty sure that my wife and one of my daughters caught them again in London a couple of weeks ago, performing songs from Shockheaded Peter, though having seen the full production, I'm not sure that I could take the disappointment that would come from not seeing that magnificent set, or Julian Bleach's fabulous narrator whose intro to the performance was the funniest and most remarkable thing I've seen in years.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:34 AM on December 20, 2009

The first time I saw the Lillies was in the late lamented Bunjies in 1997 - it was already too small a club for them and I had the bass resting on my knees. I was sitting next to a nice Spanish man, whose catholic upbringing led him to stiffen with shock, especially when they launched into Banging in the Nails.

I also saw them a few times at The King's Head in Islington, which was kind of an ideal venue for them - Martin Jacques' voice cut through the fug of chatter and cigarette smoke, occasionally someone would look up in shock, obviously thinking "What did he just sing?". On one occasion I was sitting at the same table as some TV types, who were impressed but also couldn't see what they could do with them. Good thing too, in the long run.

It's good to see that three gentlemen so obsessed with puerile obscenity can become so well-loved.
posted by Grangousier at 2:12 AM on December 20, 2009

I've seen Shockheaded Peter twice, once when it opened in New York, and a second time on tour in Minneapolis. I interviewed Martin Jacques via telephone for the Minneapolis production, and then ran into the entire band bowling after the show. Well, not all of them; percussionist Adrian Huge was watching the bowling with enormous boredom. I introduced myself to him and offered to buy him a drink, and he seemed terrifically relieved to have somebody to talk to, so we ended up having a very nice few drinks.

I enjoy the band a great deal, but think they're best in collaboration. Martin Jacques' lyrics can be surprisingly awkward, which sometimes seems appropriate for the sort of music he's making, and sometimes seems like he never bothered to write a second draft, and the naughtier they try to be (such as in "Banging in the Nails"), the brattier they sound; it's a sort of forced devilishness that, for my tastes, is overstated and obvious. But put them in collaboration and have Jacques draw from somebody like Gorey, or Lovecraft, or Hoffman?

posted by Astro Zombie at 7:57 AM on December 20, 2009

Eh, Mefi's own. That thread was a trainwreck.

Tiger Lillies are delectable.
posted by ersatz at 12:59 PM on December 20, 2009

I also saw Shockheaded Peter and had a great time
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 3:16 AM on December 21, 2009

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