that-1-guy-featured

Buttmachine ~ That 1 Guy

that-1-guyMike Silverman, better known as That 1 Guy, is an American musician based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He frequently performs and records as a one-man band, singing and using a variety of homemade musical instruments.

Silverman is a classically trained double bass player who attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and developed a career in the progressive jazz scene in the 1990s, performing live and as a studio musician. He started out in a funk, rockabilly, jazz band called “The Fabulous Hedgehogs” before he developed his own style of solo playing and gained a reputation as a one-man rhythm section, incorporating traditional and slap-bass playing with percussive elements using the body of the instrument. When he began to feel limited by his instrument and a heavy schedule of playing and recording for other people, he started to devise a new instrument that would allow him the range to create his own music. At first he sought out professional help in building his instrument, but decided to make it himself because of the projected cost. The end result was the Magic Pipe, a 7-foot-tall (2.1 m) collection of steel plumbing pipes and joints, orchestral bass strings, and electronics

 

Since then, Silverman has developed a career as a one-man band under the stage name That 1 Guy, first playing his upright bass, and later singing and beatboxing while playing his Magic Pipe, musical saw, various percussive elements, and utilizing digital looping and sampling to perform his songs.  His musical influences include Drums and Tuba, Rush, Frank Zappa,Captain Beefheart, and Dr. Seuss, both in terms of his lyrics and his quirky homemade instruments. He has also been influenced by Tom Waits, and was invited to play saw (and subsequently bass) on tracks for Waits’ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards album.  He has a cult following in the United States of America, as well as in Australia, which he has toured several times, including performances at major festivals such as Big Day Out, Pyramid Rock Festival, and Woodford Folk Festival. He has also played many shows alongside avant-garde guitarist Buckethead, with whom he released a collaborative album under the name Frankenstein Brothers in 2008. He has received little mainstream recognition, but did garner attention after the use of his song “Buttmachine” (from his second album, The Moon is Disgusting) on Showtime’s original comedy series Weeds, season 3, episode 9.  He started a tour throughout the United States of America in early 2009, and is scheduled to perform at festivals in Canada and France later in 2009.

Instruments:

The Magic Pipe

The Magic Pipe, also known by his close friends as ‘The Broken Bowflex’, is a homemade, electronically rigged pair of machined aluminum pipes (previously steel in its first incarnation), connected by adjustable phosphorus bronze joints, with each pipe hosting an orchestral bass string. The harp-shaped instrument is roughly seven feet tall and features 13 trigger points, which can be mapped to various musical sound effects or samples. The front pipe uses a low C string, while the rear pipe’s string is used to achieve more tenor ranged notes. The pipes themselves are employed to produce various percussive sounds while That 1 Guy slaps, plucks, or bows the strings, as well as occasionally utilizing a drum stick to sound the strings and the pipes at the same time. The creation of the Magic Pipe was based on Silverman’s double bass experience, as well as borrowing from the concepts of the gutbucket and the diddley bow

 

The Magic Boot

The Magic Boot is a scorpion-emblazoned cowboy boot, which is wired and fed through the Magic Pipe’s audio lines. It is then played as a percussive instrument by tapping on the sole while pinching the boot’s opening to achieve different sounds, similar to an African talking drum.

The Magic Saw

The Magic Saw is a musical saw, which is wired into the main effects box. It utilizes a small adhesive speaker and is played percussively as well as with a violin bow. It sounds similar to a theremin when played and renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” have been performed on numerous occasions.

Buttmachine

What more can be said about the song, other than the name?  It is the eighth cut off his 2007 album, “The Moon is Disgusting”.

Buttmachine – Silverman

Just ’cause it’s cracked,
doesn’t mean that it’s broke
Just ’cause it’s a butt
doesn’t mean it’s a joke

With a heart like an apple
butt hard like a stone
stuck in the mud
’cause it stuck to the bone

… and this is how it starts
and this is what it seems
and this is who we are
and this is what will be

The future is all planned
and now comes to pass
artificial men
artificial…

End of the line
look at the time
time ticking
and you tell me
that you think it’s clean

Where there’s a way
there’s is a lie
everybody
we trusted
not to be
so mean

What we discussed
was so disgusting
filling it up
and busting
at the seams

Putting the peas
out with the pies
everybody combusting
but the buttmachine

Cracked like a bell
but don’t mean that it rings
and just ’cause it’s shiny
don’t mean that it’s clean

The movement is over
the flush has begun
and just ’cause it’s ugly
don’t mean it’s no fun

… and just because we can
it don’t mean
that we should
and just ’cause it’s modern
don’t mean
it smells good

Function over form
fiction over pain
and just because
it’s chrome
don’t mean
it won’t stain
[lyrics from www.djallyn.org/archives/9568]
Single the word
double the talk talk
triple the babble
to tell me
what they say

Jingle the bell
held up in the heck well
only the funny one
kind’a knows
the way

Putting the peas
out with the pies
everbody’s combusting
butt the butt
it seems

End of the days
and so abrupt
everybody’s corrupted
but the buttmachine

buttmachine… buttmachine (X4)

Buttmachine
.. just like I told ya
sold your soul
… they said it for ya
hold your own
… don’t let them scold ya
hold your nose
… they’ll blow it for ya

Half of the work
all of the class
can you show us
the reason
that it works
so well

Give it a jerk
spilling the gas
and I betcha
it’s silent
but it just might smell

Half of the will
some of the time
all of the reasons
we left it
in the kitchen sink

Shining it up
another butt
more than half
of the battle
is that it
just might stink

Quick and the fast
gelatinous mass
so soft was the goo
and so we
poked right through it.

Tree in the woods
making a sound
no one around
and so we
just say screw it

End of the line
look at the time
time ticking
and you tell me
that you think
it’s clean

Follow your nose
and get the joke
now that nobody’s laughing
but the buttmachine

  • Audio from the 2007 album, The Moon is Disgusting:

The Moon is Disgusting

Play Buttmachine - by That 1 Guy