Joseph Allen Popp's WEIRDO THEATRE | I Spy The Hootzpah - Live at Forward Hall

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Spoken Word: With Music Jazz: Weird Jazz Moods: Type: Experimental
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I Spy The Hootzpah - Live at Forward Hall

by Joseph Allen Popp's WEIRDO THEATRE

Weirdo Theatre is an inderdisciplinary performance troup
Genre: Spoken Word: With Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Spy The Hootzpah
8:05 $0.99
2. Michelle [Death Crib]
7:45 $0.99
3. Flame
7:25 $0.99
4. the Benedictines vs. the Snakes
7:48 $0.99
5. Jack the Cat
6:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Live at Forward Hall


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 gigs 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 CD 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.

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

see and hear more of us at
contact us at

thanks also to
the Erie Art Museum

Printing by Diane @PIP
CD Duplication by FAR



to write a review

Lon Withrow

I made my friend with amputated hands listen to it and he gave it two thumbs up!
BUY IT! The endless number of textures, tones, colors and spontaneously layered contortions that these guys can pull off on their instruments is mind bleeding. The only thing that can possibly top this CD is seeing these guys live. If you have the budget, I would highly recommend flying these guys into your town and asking them perform.