Music and comedy have crossed paths in the past and had some amazing results. Bands like Tenacious D, Flight of the Conchords, Weird Al and The Lonely Island all garnered commercial success due both to their hysterical lyrics and tight musical chops. It’s rare that a comedic musician can “make it” on four chords alone, leading to many of these acts being masters of their instruments, and a great with a punchline too.
Touchpants is NOT one of these bands.
Touchpants is the vulgar, crass, comedy-rock trope comprised of band members Touchpants Prime (Colby Dix), Touchpants Lube (Chris Friday), Don Hellmann (Jon Fishman), and Pounder Charbonneau (Aram Bedrosian). I’m going to say that again because I don’t think you heard me – Jon Fishman of Phish, moonlights as the mayonnaise-guzzling drummer for Touchpants.
Touchpants isn’t supposed to be good at first listen, in fact, it’s supposed to be cringe-worthy and juvenile. With songs like “Pedro Peed in the Ravioli Bucket” and “Mushroom Tattoo” from their only album Straight Outta Cumpton it’s easy to see they are scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to song subject matter. Yet much like Ween, the musicians in Touchpants are so technically sound that they can get away with ridiculous songs like “Give Mom an S&M Surprise” as long as they shred afterwards…and shred they do!
With their only tour date of 2016 at Bonnaroo, Touchpants is a rare get for a festival, or anywhere for that matter. And I’m going to let you in on a secret, Touchpants is going to crush it on The Farm. Their presence is going to be similar to last year’s little-known act Atomic Bomb! Who is William Onyeabor? Not that the music is anything close to the Onyeabor set, but in that those in the know will be at this show, and those who don’t are going to realize what they missed a couple months down the road and kick themselves for seeing, oh I don’t know, X Ambassadors instead.
Case in point, check out this mini doc on the making of Straight Outta Cumpton. With antics like your typical intra-band bickering, Touchpants Prime taking calls from his cell in the middle of a jam, Don Hellman literally shoving fists of Hellman’s Mayonnaise in his mouth, and interviews given while sitting on toilets, this band is comedy gold! But make sure to stick around for the redemption when the band finally meshes and lays down face-melting, guitar-wailing jams that Jack White would be proud of.
Touchpants is intended to be one big joke, and give household names like Fishman some anonymity. Yet the band succeeds in making terribly-written, incredibly-performed songs. They have an avid following, and are guaranteed to sell out shows whenever they play, which is rare.
I’m telling you, DO NOT miss Touchpants’ only show this Summer which takes place on The Farm, and for more about this year’s Bonnaroo, check out our take on the lineup.