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10 Bands that like to play Dress Up

XylopholksFinal.jpg The caption competition I posted a couple weeks ago featured a photo of The Xylopholks, a band appearing in subway stations across the city, The band includes, among other creatures, a pink gorilla, Cookie Monster and a big, yellow chicken. This made me think of other costumed bands I've known, and that made me want to put together another fairly useless list...bands that like to play dress up.

10) Banana Splits
BananaSplitsFinal.jpg
Of course, there's an obvious connection to Fleegle, Drooper, Bingo and Snork. I used to love these guys. I loved the whole show, really. including Danger Island.

(Side note for the reggae lovers in the crowd: Ever notice how Tra la la, la la la la sounds like Woy yoy yoy, yoy yoy-yoy yoy)


9) Slipknot
SlipKnotFinal.jpg
With each new album, changes to their masks are meant to symbolize growth. That, and the fact that the old masks were probably really sweaty. These guys have had run-ins with a band called Mushroomhead, who claim they stole their image, and a fictional Burger King band called Coq Roq, who members of Slipknot say stole their own. That's called costume kharma.


8) The Residents
ResidentsFinal.jpg
I only know the Residents because a few Deadhead friends at school listened to them. Weird stuff...and their videos, even weirder.


7) Daft Punk
DaftFinal.jpg
These French electronica robots played a show at Coney Island a couple years back. It looked amazing. I've read that when not wearing costumes, they occasionally prefer to be replaced by animation. Very cool, but that's a whole other list.


6) The Moulin Rouge Ladies
MarmaladePartridgeFinal.jpg
Halfway through the list, and I realized there were no women, so I'm including the Lady Marmalade singers to add a little balance. That, and they remind me of a Partridge Family episode.


5) Marilyn Manson
MarilynFinal.jpg
Marilyn's a bit of a stretch for this list. It's more makeup than costume. And when you go there, you could start incluing dozens of other acts. But he's also very creepy, so I took that into consideration. Also, Johnny Depp used him as inspiration for his Willy Wonka, and the TIm Burton conection also added some points.


4) Gwar
GwarFinal.jpg
I know absolutely nothing about these guys, except that they make Alice Cooper look like Debbie Boone. But they obviously needed to be included.


3) Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band
BeatlesRomanceFinal.jpg
Couldn't have a Costume Rock list without John, Paul, George and Ringo. Not only are the Sgt Pepper outfits classic, but they've inspired many others to join the costume movement.


2) The Village People
villageFinal.jpg
This is the only list I will ever create where the Village People are ahead of the Beatles. But it was only a phase for the lads from Liverpool, but it's a lifestyle decision for the Cowboy, Indian, Biker, et al.


1) KISS
KissFinal.jpg
And obviously, KISS top the list for their legendary outfits, which you can pick up at any participating KISS retailer. And coming soon, the KISS cane, walker and wheelchair set, because you can only rock & roll all night for so long.


(honorary mention: David Byrne in the big, white suit)

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21 Comments

Dude! You forgot The Flaming Lips!

said Bigus Dickus on May 21, 2009 3:18 PM.

What do you say about The Rolling Stones?
I could swear that they were wearing masks...

said Leonardo Carvalho on May 21, 2009 3:48 PM.

Though very old. KISS is awesome!

You forgot Johnny's favorite band: Insane Clown Posse.

Johnny actually has an ICP tramp stamp tatoo.

said Dave on May 21, 2009 4:55 PM.

Dammit Dave.

said Johnny Wright on May 21, 2009 5:26 PM.

Johnny, you don't know how much a good "Dammit Dave" brightens my day.

said Dave on May 21, 2009 5:51 PM.

The Tubes and Devo...

said binne on May 21, 2009 5:52 PM.

Great list (especially the Banana Splits/Bob Marley connection, which I've wondered about myself), but I gotta say it: there would've been no KISS, GWAR, Marilyn Manson or Slipknot without Alice Cooper.

said Jeem on May 21, 2009 6:32 PM.

you forgot the Mummies, the all-time kings of budget rock!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXmLsdajYow

Jeem is right, we need to travell back in time to kill Alice Cooper to prevent the crap that followed.

said Bob Lablaw on May 21, 2009 8:03 PM.

"But where are The Spiders?"

said Scaramouch on May 22, 2009 1:44 AM.

Also, don't Gnarls Barkley dress up as characters from movies every time they play live?

said Scaramouch on May 22, 2009 1:45 AM.

All great additions! Alice and ICP were definite oversights. Didn't know about the rest. And the mummies video is bizarre. Must've taken a while before each show to suit up.

said Jellio on May 22, 2009 5:22 AM.

What about the "Teddybears?"

said substudio on May 22, 2009 5:27 AM.

Oh, great one!

said Jellio on May 22, 2009 5:39 AM.

There was a Brazilian band "Secos e Molhados"--the name comes from small groceries stores--that made a huge success down here in the 70's. They were one of the first dress-up bands, and the former lead singer, Ney Matogrosso, has done most of his solo career singing dressed up too.

For those who like different sounds, I recommend them. Good stuff.

said Leonardo Carvalho on May 22, 2009 5:47 AM.

Forgot posting the link:
http://www.last.fm/music/Secos%2B%2526%2BMolhados

said Leonardo Carvalho on May 22, 2009 5:52 AM.

Lordi - Hard Rock Hallelujah.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5ZfQMOHB5k

said E on May 22, 2009 12:05 PM.

Amazing E... take a look at this version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2roPaSJdk

It was crazy to see the kids in the audience shaking their heads and their hands with "the sign"... ha ha ha

Looks like there's a emo band or something (around 2:30) watching them get crazy with awe... like "how can they like it and not us? gonna cut myself to death"

said Leonardo Carvalho on May 22, 2009 12:44 PM.

A list such as this couldn't possibly omit Lost Staitjackets! They're an instrumental "surf" combo that performs in luchador (Mexican wrestler) masks.

http://www.straitjackets.com/

said PJ on May 22, 2009 3:06 PM.

A list such as this couldn't possibly omit Lost Staitjackets! They're an instrumental "surf" combo that performs in luchador (Mexican wrestler) masks.

http://www.straitjackets.com/

said PJ on May 22, 2009 8:36 PM.

Oops -- typo: I mean "Los Straitjackets"...

But while I'm on the subject, what about Devo?

said PJ on May 22, 2009 8:38 PM.

New York Dolls
Blue Man Group
The Baja Marimba Band
The Boogaloos!!!!

said G on July 21, 2009 6:49 AM.
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