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That 1 Guy
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That 1 Guy Biography

"The honey tastes sweeter when you anger the bees." The Moon is Disgusting.

For Berkeley, CA-based Mike Silverman, better known by his alter ego That 1 Guy, when it comes to making music, necessity is the mother of invention. A classically trained upright bassist who won several jazz scholarships and competitions, Mike became one of the most original and in-demand upright bass players in the 90's progressive jazz scene. At the peak of his powers, Mike was developing and utilizing techniques that were previously thought impossible on the upright bass. Often getting hired as a one-man-rhythm-section, he would function as a bassist, drummer, and entire mini orchestra simultaneously.

His resume included studio and live work with jazz tenor legend Dewey Redman and another one of his heroes, Buddy Collette (of Charles Mingus fame). Silverman's selftaught percussive technique"banging the strings and the instrument's body"led him to develop the Magic Pipe. Eventually frustrated by the inability to get all the sounds in his head from the upright bass, he built a system of electronically wired, steel plumbing, shaped somewhat like a harp, with a thick bass string wired from top to bottom and a hole that billows smoke during the climax of his live shows. Adding an electric cowboy boot plugged in and played like an African talking drum and an electrified musical handsaw, Silverman evolved into That 1 Guy, playing everything with his hands and feet while incorporating such disparate influences as Dr. Seuss, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Rube Goldberg and Stanley Kubrick. He would never play a conventional bass in concert again.

That 1 Guy's music travels a similar evolutionary path on his second album, The Moon is Disgusting, from the primitiveness of the Mississippi Delta in the title track to the farthest reaches of outer space in the 14-minute-plus closing aural soundscape, "Rainbow," offering a microcosm best described as more songs about the moon, fruit and transcendence. The result transcends the novelty of its origin, and succeeds on its own terms. As Silverman sings in "Butt Machine," the Magic Pipe, and what it creates, is all a matter of "function over form," which parallels our own evolution as a species, from monkeys grabbing bananas in the trees to a cosmic voyage over the "Rainbow.

With the release of The Moon is Disgusting, Silverman continues to consolidate his gains as a live performer. With an audience that ranges from psychedelic warriors to families and folks of all ages, he has played the Magic Pipe in locales as exotic as Istanbul, Scotland and Australia, where he is celebrated as a modern folk hero, selling out theatres, with residents comparing his instrument to the native didgeridoo. At last year's prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he was presented with the Tapwater Award for Best Musical Act. That 1 Guy has also opened for artists as disparate as Soul Coughing, Saul Williams, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Yo La Tengo, Fabolous, Naughty by Nature and, most memorably, Guns N' Roses guitarist Buckethead, with whom he collaborated on an acclaimed series of shows last year. With his new album, The Moon is Disgusting, That 1 Guy is taking his music and art to the next step, choosing to release it on his own, just as he creates it. The Moon may be Disgusting, but That 1 Guy's music is anything but.


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