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the players

Ken Cornelius -
      4 string bass guitar
Rob Gray -
      voice of God, theramin and chutzpah
Rick Lopez -
      skin bats expertice
J.A.Popp -
      guitars, poppsickle stick M.B., devices


All Songs copyright 2003/2004
Weirdo Theatre Music?
Cornelius Gray Lopez Popp
Recorded by
      Randy Hetherington of
      Midtown Recording LIVE at
      Forward Hall.
Cover Art Design by
      Joseph Allen Popp ©2004

thanks also to
      the Erie Art Museum

Printing by Diane @PIP

Album list

i spy the hootzpah
Weirdo Theatre


5 live originals

JOSEPH ALLEN POPP'S WEIRDO THEATRE is experimental music with voice-over; it is soaring electric guitar over jazz drums and funky bass; it is theramin and story-telling; spacey jams and dense ensemble blowing; 'sixties free jazz and futuristic sonorities. In short, it is hard to pin down when describing it.

Musicians Rick Lopez on drums and Kenny Cornelius on bass make up the rhythm section. These two keep the foundation rock solid for guitarist Joe Popp and theramin/vocalist Rob Gray, who take the band in a number of directions throughout a set and throughout this recording.

Created from a series of live concerts at the Forward Hall Concert Club, recorded by the attached Midtown Recording Studio, the band assembled their choices to represent the various titled theme-pieces the band performs.

The Album begins with the title track, a free-form rhythm with ethereal lines in which the theme of "I Spy" is used to thread the vocal poetics of Gray. Michelle [Death Crib] shows off the softer side of the theramin as the band moves from a rubato, lightly played introduction into more and more intense sounds, including siren-like effects and bubbling bass. Gray contributes to the intensity in the spoken insertions between theramin playing.

FLAME begins with Lopez featured on drums in an upbeat percussive rhythm, joined quickly by Cornelius and then vocals and guitar. Leader Joe Popp keeps a Frisell/Fripp-like texture throughout much of the music, as he does in FLAME. The complimentary pairing of the guitar stylings with the sounds of the theramin carries through the Benedictines VS. the Snakes, with the bass taking a more melodic tack and the drums in double-time fervor.

Jack the Cat finds the band locked together in 7/4 time, jamming over the groove in a festival-rock flavor. A quick vocal "head" opens into a three-peice jam with guitar solos framed by vocal "choruses". Showing the band's roots in American music, Jack the Cat manages to remain pure Weirdo Theatre.

Acid-jazz on the rocks; free jazz-fusion; beatnik-hardcore; spoken-word metal; call it what you will, Weirdo Theatre is a unique experience. See for yourself on I SPY THE HOOTZPAH - Live at Forward Hall.

I Spy The Hootzpah, 5 tracks of music.

disk 1

I Spy the Hootzpah
Michelle [Death Crib]
the Benedictines VS. the Snakes
Jack the Cat



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