The Story Behind Those Mysterious ‘Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band’ Signs
You've probably seen the signs for "Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band" scattered all over the Hudson Valley and wondered what they were all about.
Well, so did I.
But just like everyone else, my curiosity always seemed to disappear by the time I stopped driving and was able to look them up online, so the mystery continued to build. Every time I saw one of the signs I kept wondering what the story behind it was.
Is the Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band a real band who are marketing themselves with road signs? Is it some sort of viral corporate advertising campaign? Maybe it's a religious cult that's hoping to trick me into visiting their website?
Well, after finally getting the chance to discover what the Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band is all about, I can honestly say that I'm even more confused than before.
At first look, it seems that the band is, in fact, an actual band. However, after listening to their "music" I began scratching my head. As someone with very little musical talent myself, I'm certainly in no position to critique anyone else's skills. But still, I was confounded.
The super-low-budget website kicks off with a warning that should have tipped me off from the beginning. It states,
The Hazy rhythm WONDER band
will not concern itself with conforming to excepted norms,
or compromising it’s content in order to appeal to
the lowest common denominator
the largest possible audience.
If this bothers you…
If "expected norms" are songs that aren't off key and make sense, than this is pretty accurate.
I listened to tracks from the band's older albums and it sounded as though some were recorded on an old cassette tape recorder, while others were possibly recordings of other songs with someone singing over them.
Their newest album is called Hope and starts with a song titled "Closing In," which is their most polished song to date. It begins with a toy xylophone that builds as the singer, who is identified on the website as Brucey Bruce, starts to sing over it. Again, I'm certainly in no position to critique anyone's music ability, so you'll have to give it a listen and judge for yourself.
The very best part of my Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band experience, however, came as I mistakenly discovered their videos.
Oh, the videos.
The first is a full-length feature film called Falls Sky Blue The Movie. In the year it's been posted to YouTube it's only been viewed 134 times. And that's a shame because this film is to The Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band what A Hard Day's Night was to the Beatles. Just randomly click on any moment of the film's 1 hour and 30 minutes and you'll see what I mean.
You'll either land on a paper mache business man talking in a deep voice, a melting icicle, someone playing the piano in a basement or video of the parking lot of Home Depot in Poughkeepsie. This masterpiece is something that makes even less sense than David Lynch's reboot of Twin Peaks. And I was captivated.
Another shorter film called Show on Mars features the finest talking furnace to ever hit the big screen (It's at 7:40 in the video below if you can't wait to see it yourself).
So there you have it. While we've solved the mystery of the Hazy Rhythm Wonder Band, we've actually unleashed thousands upon thousands of other questions that we really don't know if we ever truly want answered.
Kudos to whoever Brucey Bruce is for getting the whole Hudson Valley to talk about his band. We certainly wish him and his xylophone all the best luck in the world.