Andrew Rieger of Elf Power carries a torch for Tonetta

Andrew Rieger of Elf Power and Tonetta

Andrew Rieger and Tonetta

Andrew Rieger’s recommendation: “Tonetta is a mysterious character, only recently emerging from the shadows after home recording some truly bizarre music since 1983. All that is known of the man is that he is in his fifties and lives in Toronto, and has never played a live show. His music is a blown out lo fi mix of extremely funky basslines and distorted drum machines, accompanied by sometimes sinister, sometimes explicitly sexual vocal delivery and lyrics. In 2008, he began posting videos of himself dancing wonderfully strange dances, sometimes in women’s clothing, or very little clothing at all, while lip syncing to these brilliant songs. There’s hundreds of these videos on Youtube. He was banned by YouTube briefly for explicit lyrics, but now he’s returned.

The thing is, the guy’s a great songwriter, sometimes singing quite beautifully, other time utilizing a husky, deep and very creepy sounding voice. And it’s not a gimmicky delivery, he’s a genuinely strange freak who has labored in obscurity for many years, with no commercial aspirations or any interest of presenting his music to the world at large until very recently.

New to Tonetta? Andrew Rieger recommends you start here: His first album, “777″ recently was released on Black Tent Press Records, and it is a masterwork of sleazy genius, and truly unlike any record i’ve ever heard. The recordings span from 1983-2009,yet the album stands as a cohesive whole. I think the U.K. paper the Guardian summed Tonetta up well when they wrote recently, ‘Punk lives, and it’s wearing a thong on YouTube’.”

Andrew RiegerAbout the guest author, Andrew Rieger: Andrew is the leader of Georgia based pop band, Elf Power. You may have been lucky enough to see these guys open for the likes of R.E.M or Wilco in the early 2000s. More recently, they collaborated with the late Vic Chestnut (see video below). Their new self titled album comes out on September 14th (pre-order here) and was initially tracked by Andy LeMaster (REM, Bright Eyes, Drive By Truckers). The songs were then tweaked in a home studio where the band could take the proper care without having to worry about expenses. Tour dates are on the horizon so be sure to check their MySpace page for dates.