Little Ricky's House of Chankletas
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Little Ricky's House of Chankletas


Band Comedy Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"27 New York Anti Sonnets"

Being a DJ primarily involved with experimental music, I have the opportunity to hear a lot of strange recordings. I'm not so full of myself that I will say "I've heard it all," but I will admit that as I move forward, it gets more difficult to hear something new. Thankfully, there are discs like the Little Ricky's House of Chankletas release "27 New York Antisonnets," that remind me of how incredibly weird music can be.

In fact, "weird" is the best description I can come up with at the moment. I can imagine this even being the guiding principle– "Hey guys? Let's make a disc that is just completely WEIRD, okay?" Seriously, I doubt it was anywhere near this simple– the worthless results of self-consciously weird musicians litter the experimental landscape. No, Little Ricky's is more than just weird; they're marvelously original, seriously talented, and delightfully comic to boot.

Let me stop here for a moment, and make a small announcement. I don't generally like "funny" music. For all his talent and intelligence, every Zappa album I've heard leaves me cold. In other words, I won't forgive silliness for talent– if anything, it just makes me more turned-off. So although I'll use a word like "comic" to describe "27 New York Antisonnets," I want to remind you that it is not a silly album.

Starting off with some Debussey-ish keyboard work, and Stefan Paolini operatically exclaiming "preek preek preek" over and over, it's definitely a jarring effect when suddenly listeners find themselves in black metal drum-land– and just as quickly, launching over into layers of squished vocal mutterings that wouldn't be out of place in the "Weeping Demon" portion of Akira Kurosawa's film "Dreams."

With crashing percussion and tortured howling, scat vocals and something like the "Brazil" bassline propels listeners headlong into the Super Mario Brothers theme. It's unexpected, to put it lightly– especially given the belches, sax skronk, and warped trumpet noises forming the background. "Mushrooms," someone exclaims, which is as much an explanation of events as it is perfectly appropriate for this videogame hero overdose scenario.

For nearly 30 minutes, "27 New York Antisonnets" follows this form, moving quickly from one eyebrow-raising idea to another, acrobatic enough to walk the thin line between Zappa-foolery and a needlessly-lurching prog exercise. After this the album changes, shifting from the more live feel of the first portion (called "Dinner") to the more cut-up, electroacoustic studio work of "Movie," which incorporates samples of live performances to create a more polished, jazzy spin on the Little Ricky's aesthetic. Although this section of the album is well-constructed and enjoyable, it seems unnecessary and disjointed in relation to the bulk of the album, creating an ironic end to such a kaleidoscopic work. - Dave X-Startling Monkier


Bb Cat- Sachimay Interventions released 2003
27 New York Antisonnets- OKS Recordings of North America released 2007



A scenario:
May 20th, 2007. Brooklyn, NY. A well dressed man sits at a piano and plays the opening strains of Puccini’s Recondita armonia. Santa Claus sits in the audience, yells epithets at unsuspecting spectators. When the pianist has finished the introduction of the aria, his supple, effortless classical tenor voice wafts through the room:


Santa makes his way to a guitar. Just before the heartrending aria’s final cadence, a cacophony of sound erupts like of shopping carts colliding in the produce section, unleashing the fury of a hundred repressed housewives. Triumphantly enter Undead Hot Dog and Undead Banana. Cheers erupt from the audience. Finally, The Prick enters, guiding the ensemble to the next set of uncharted musical territory.

Circa 1993, a young Joe Mapplebeck began recording a passion for the unpredictable. Initial experiments ensued with comedy troupe Cheese Theatre, including Joe, Aramis Sartorio, Conrad Stojak, and Eric Terzo. The first CD was a soundtrack to one of their videos, but was too experimental for its time and was shelved. Joe continued composing and recording alone until bassist Carlos Alvarado; highly humored by the music; inspired him to fill out the project with other members. Enter Barry Seroff and Kurt Nepogoda, and the compositionColostrom was introduced to the public.

Barry and Joe soon found that their passions were quite similar. The presence of the unpredictable in the music of John Cage, Frank Zappa and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, as well as the philosophic influence of Zen, had already guided his compositional style. Add to this mixture gifted engineer and creative spirit Kurt Nepogoda, and Little Ricky’s House of Chankletas was out and about gigging.

Since this early period, the ensemble has become more of a collective of musicians with Joe and Barry at the helm. The music is defined by the musicians playing it, leading to drastic shifts of the mood and texture of each piece depending on the players involved at the time. This aspect heightens the primary concept of the band, which is rooted in creating an atmosphere in which anything can happen. To create this environment, they take influence from Zen teachings as much as from Western influences. The idea is that of a Zen koan: to create a situation in which the mind, trying to relate the most unrelated ideas, is shocked into a state of enlightenment. While this is all well and good, the idea of enlightenment may be a little out of their league, so they settle for comedy. The resulting comedy, however, is unlike anything seen before.

These ideas are also pervasive through the music. Since the observer cannot be prepared for the performance, each performance is an original composition. Furthermore, these compositions are improvisatory, leading to open-ended ideas often directed by the reaction from the audience. The instrumentation also reflects this—they frequently focus on ethnic instruments as well as found objects (often donated or annexed from audience members), leading to surprisingly original tone colors and melodic concepts.

Aside from unforgettable concerts, the band has released two acclaimed studio releases; Bb Cat on Sachimay Interventions (with drummer Gerry Tuohy) and 27 New York Antisonnets on OKS Recordings of North America (with pianist/vocalist Stefan Paolini). More info, contact, recordings and live video can be found at Words cannot do justice, it must be experienced. Consider yourself invited to go sandal shopping at Little Ricky’s House of Chankletas.