I am not a clown person per se. At least not the circus version of clowns. However, the historical evolution of the clown, particularly by Joseph Grimaldi and his innovations at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane of British pantomime’s rendition of “the Clown” part in the harlequinade and it’s influence of ever more complex characters eventually leading eventually to the literary spoof into one of the most dynamically effed characters in comics Harley Quinn as well as many more subtle derivatives of similar characters in literature taking on the Clown’s embodying its anarchic fun, and no longer simply a servant of Pantaloon as merely a sidecar joke into a critique of society at large and authority in specific.
Today marks the passing of Grimaldi and we celebrate his life by remembering his passing on the KAOS radio Austin edition of the Most Pit Hell show with an entire set of clowning, mocking and laughter. I dedicated the set to him because of my love of comics and metal but because as I was researching I learned about Clowns Not Bombs circus out of the Bay Area and they seemed perfect. While I normally try to focus on tri-staters since that’s my home market to promote, I have a secondary love of the Bay Area and since the description inferred they’d travel if given the opportunity, perhaps this is an opportunity to help them expand.
One might thing a show in humor would pose an inordinate challenge within the likes of the metal community but between some of the social critiques and satirical evil is a vein that runs pure though the genres and honestly, I just went off the top of my head for the most obvious and likely pics mostly off song titles and theatrical concepts that I could remember. Part of the problem with doing the show part-time in my always short free time has always been not being able to research fully enough. I am positive I missed some obvious ones both superficially and substantially but because I was able to also run the gammet on the show from listener shouts for In Flames, Lifetime, UnSun, the Dillinger Escape Plan and classic cuts including Opeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Between the Buried & Me, East of the Wall, Therapy?, NoFX, Lethergy, Nightrage, KoRn and much more. Personally, the ending the show on the double shot of Faith No More seemed brilliant. Their sound seems to be as impeach ably clownish as everything else about them including perhaps their careers trajectory to that of Grimaldi himself at times.
Below are my notes from programming the show itself as always. And, as always I wish I had more on the why and how, but I take most of them so much in passing, sometimes on paper and I’m already way behind that I can transcribe everything. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the insights and get a laugh out of any mistakes I might make.
KoRn “Clown” KoRn (cue :44)
Lethargy “Humor Me” 93 (cue :18)
Whitechapel “Prayer of Mockery” a New Era of Corruption (end 3:20)
Chimaira “Painting the White to Grey” This Present Darkness (fade into next song)
Nightrage “Mocking Modesty” Wearing a Martyr’s Crown
In Flames “the Jester Race” tJR #ByRequest
NoFX “Cokie the Clown” CtC-EP
A Wilhelm Scream “the Last Laugh” Partycrasher
Lifetime “Rodeo Clown” Hello Bastards #ByRequest
Minor Threat “Look Back & Laugh” MT
Therapy? “Die Laughing” Troublegum
Against Me! “we laugh at danger” Reinventing Axl Rose
Between the Buried & Me “Coulrophobia” the Silent Circus (long intro)
Anata “Die Laughing” Dreams of Death
East of the Wall “Clowning Achievement” Farmer’s Almanac (fade after 5:35)
UneXpect “a Clown’s Mishap” in a Flesh Aquarium
the Dillinger Escape Plan “Nothing’s Funny” One of Us is the Killer #ByRequest
UnSun “Mockers” Clinic for Dolls #ByRequest
Deliverance “What a Joke” WaJ
Suicidal Tendencies “How Will I Laugh…” HWIL
Porcupine Tree “the Joke’s on You” Up the Downstair #By Request
Opeth “Harlequin Forest” Ghost Riveries
Faith No More “Superhero” Sol Invictus #NewMusic
Faith No More “I Started a Joke” King for a Day