Monday, January 08, 2007

Beef Jerky

Song: Beef Jerky
Artist: Cibo Matto
Album: Viva! La Woman

A few months ago I posted about the great Richard Thompson whom I discovered while falling in love with the production of Mitchell Froom whom had at the time worked with (and later married and had a child) with Suzanne Vega. Another new band that was getting buzz at the time was Cibo Matto and their debut album “Viva! La Woman,” also produced by Mr. Froom.

Formed in New York in 2004, Cibo Matto was comprised of vocalist Miho Hatori and keyboardist/sampler Yuka Honda. Both came independently from Japan getting different gigs in other bands before forming Leitoh Lychee. After that band disbanded, they formed Cibo Matto (Italian for “food madness”) and recorded “Viva! La Woman” in 1996. The album was about their love of food or food as metaphor. It’s fun, funky, brilliant, and was one of my absolute favorite records in college. They had alternative rock hits with “Know Your Chicken” and “Sugar Water” following up the album with the “Super Relax EP” which included remixes, and early version of “Spoon,” and a cover of the Rolling Stones “Sing This All Together.”

In 1999 they released the follow up, “Stereotype A” which included new full-time members Sean Lennon, Duma Love, and Timo Ellis. The album is not without its highlights but it is a mess compared to their debut. They wisely chose not to repeat the food analogies for the sophomore album, but forgot to incorporate the memorable songs. Again it is not a bad album, just doesn’t come close to the highs and brilliance of “La Woman.”

Cibo Matto broke up shortly afterward. Miho has recently released a solo album here which I have not heard, but also contributed vocals to the first Gorillaz record, as well as the Beastie Boys’ “Hello Nasty.”

It’s hard for me to pick a song to highlight as the album is so good. “Beef Jerky” has a great title, a great beat, and shows their off-the-wall musical palette rather well. To hear more from the album, here are two videos:


“Know Your Chicken”

“Sugar Water”

This video is directed by Michel Gondry of “Eternal Sunshine” and “Science of Sleep” fame.

1 comment:

John said...

One of my favorite bands of the 90s. Miho's got an amazing solo record out now, too. Here's the video for the single.