The Hand to Man Band, “The Down Moveables”

The Hand to Man Band is a new project by Tim Barnes (Silver Jews), John Dieterich (Deerhoof), Thollem (solo pianist, epic), and Mike Watt (yes, that Mike Watt), who got together and made an album in Austin, Texas, for shits and giggles over three days in 2010. Finally seeing release, we get to see these tunes play out. "The Down Moveables" has a lot of the experimentation you would expect from this crew, pushing through without standard structure or refrain but still, with some sort of oblique catchiness. It's a mildly disturbing track, even with such cheery elements as handclaps and shakers, but the piano line is of the haunted house variety and the various samples and digital additions only serve to creep the listener out more, begging the question, "What lies around the corner of this song?" The video is similarly engaging, with selection of haunting black-and-white found footage being animated on top of with what seems like cheery flowers, except these flowers grow like tumors over bodies, up legs, spreading through each frame under their own compunction.