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Weekend Earworms: Grand Buffet

Weekend Earworms: Grand Buffet

An estimated 98% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times that we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things ever.

We here at Nerdist are dead-set on bringing you those types of songs, if only for the weekend. We’ll be scouring the internet for the best earworms we can shove into your meaty brains!

For the last couple weeks, I’ve kind of gotten a kick out of bringing my adoring fan (there’s gotta be at least one, right?) music that wouldn’t necessarily make it into regular rotation in their own libraries. After featuring a band last week that no one can see anymore, it got me thinking about other music that should be praised even though the artists might not be active. This week, I went a bit deep into the musical malarkey that is my iTunes account and brought back a doozy. This week’s earwormy group: Grand Buffet. Things are gonna get a little weird. Hold tight.

Dark Autumn

So, now you know of a hip-hop duo from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Grand Buffet is one of the strangest acts I’ve ever had the immense joy to see on multiple occasions over the years. Their sound and style is divisive and I understand they are not for everybody, but even if you don’t like them, you really can’t say they aren’t fantastically original.

While they don’t appear to be touring any longer, their music lives on and should be celebrated for how awesomely weird and original it is. The duo, made up of Jarrod “Lord Grunge” Weeks and Jackson “Mr. Pennsylvania” O’Connell-Barlow, served up their special brand of hip-hop that feels more “stream of consciousness” slam poetry than anything else over the better part of the last 20 years. Oh man, that makes me feel incredibly old. While not a household name, there’s a fair chance you know someone who’s at least seen them perform as they’ve toured with some notable acts over the years including Sage Francis, Streetlight Manifesto, Wesley Willis, MGMT, Girl Talk, and even Third Eye Blind.

Cool As Hell (feat Girl Talk)

Yup, Gregg Michael Gillis, Pittsburgh native otherwise known as Girl Talk, produced that track way back in 2003. Now, I understand that Grand Buffet is an acquired taste and they are one of those groups that you either absolutely love or couldn’t care less about. I’ve tried and failed to make friends listen to and love them, but it really has nothing to do with how much I want someone to listen to them. Instead, the liking of Grand Buffet seems to be almost genetic or predetermined. The best thing to do is just make it available and the people who will be fans for life will find their own way. The one fan who reads my article. Derrick. I’m going to call you Derrick. Derrick the Fan. Listen to this, Derrick.

Cream Cheese Money

As I said earlier, it doesn’t appear Grand Buffet is touring any longer (although if I’m wrong, please come to Chicago!) but the guys appear to be putting out solo stuff every now and then on their Facebook page.

If I haven’t given you enough reason to love these guys yet (Sheesh. Derrick, you’re so hard to please) it occurs to me that part of their appeal was their live performances. The stage presence is something I’ve rarely ever seen before or since. There were weekends in the early 2000s where I’d go see these guys on a Friday night in a shitty club in Providence, RI only to drive to Boston the next night to see them again. The same set 24 hours later, but drastically different because of the energy they brought to their shows. Plus, it was always awesome to hear them refer to the mini-disc player they used on stage as “DJ Discman” (or something of that sort; it was years ago, there was a lot of beer, and I’m an old forgetful fart now.) The thing is, seeing these guys perform in their weird way was part of what made them so great to me and thanks to the powers of YouTube…

I know it’s a 50/50 shot whether or not you’re a fan now, but man, I miss these shows.

What are your thoughts on Grand Buffet? Let me know in the comments below!

Image: Facebook: GrandBuffet

Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

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