Quantcast
metroactive logo

Strange and Ambitious, Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits Are Back

In Music

But then, even their goofiest and most outrageous songs have always stemmed from vulnerable parts of themselves. Take “Hermie Halbert.” It is on the surface a tale about a fish with Tourette syndrome (giving them ample opportunity to swear gratuitously throughout). According to Redford, the song was inspired by his family, who were often vulgar and angry when he was growing up, something that was hard on him.

“I listen to it now, and there’s so much release of pain,” Redford says.

Another song, “I Wish I Were Special,” is about a person pretending to have Down syndrome in order to receive government benefits. (“I get federal grants for shitting my pants/The life of a retard is good.”) They don’t play the song anymore, because it seems too offensive even to them. But even that song has a deeper meaning.

“It comes from growing up in the suburbs, being uneducated and feeling like I had no future. It’s a strangely personal song,” Redford says.

They dove back into touring and released a full-length (titled F) in 2009, along with several singles and splits. By the following year they played even more shows and were doing more projects. So far their plans for the first half of 2012 include two full-length albums (one will come with a story book), several EPs, three months of touring and a DVD with music videos for every song off of F.

One number, “Life Is Excellent,” even has an optimistic edge to it that has touched their fans. (“I know that talk is cheap/I know that I am weak/But I’d like to be around next week.”). They’ve received emails and letters from people telling them that the song cheered them up.

“Maybe people need a song that reminds them that for all the bullshit in their lives, life is worth living,” says guitarist Dan Abbot.

They plan to shoot their most elaborate video ever for “Life is Excellent.” The budget is a whopping $12,000. Among other things, they will have a cast of more than 200 and will be renting a bear.

They’re as ambitious, it turns out, as they are strange. “My ambition is borderline obsession,” Redford says. “I’m noted as being a ‘no gray’ kind of person.”

Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
Sun. Jan. 8
SLG Art Boutiki
7pm; $10

Back to top