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Arrogant Worms


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Comedy

Status:

Most recent release, SPACE (2014)

See also:

The Official Arrogant Worms site

Wikipedia's Arrogant Worms page

Comparisons:

Moxy Fruvous at their silliest. (kamesan@geocities.com)

i've heard them compared to they might be giants, but they're not nearly so random. they remind me a bit of Moxy Fruvous' sillier moments, though that's probably simply because they're both very very canadian :). (damon)

If folk like Moxy Fruvous, they might like the Arrogant Worms as well. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Covers/own material:

Own material

General comments:

The worms will make you laugh until soymilk comes out your nose. (damon)

This is the only group discussed on the ecto list (albeit rarely) that I can claim to have found out about by coming across them busking on the sidewalk quite literally in front of my apartment. It seems they've peaked at headlining busker festivals and the occasional folk festival; although long favourites of CBC radio, they unfortunately haven't seemed to garner much success on commercial radio. It's a huge shame because these guys put on an incredibly entertaining show. They were a comedy troupe that did skits and songs, but people kept requesting their songs over and over so gradually the skits got phased out. They remain firmly rooted in comedy, however, and are the funniest musical group around, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, they are consummate showmen, and if you are ever fortunate enough to have the Arrogant Worms come to your town, don't miss the show on pain of death. They still play a lot of busker festivals and the like so keep an eye out for them!
     Certainly fans of Moxy Fruvous should check them out. They're a lot folkier than Moxy Fruvous and are relentlessly silly...but like them they are consummate showmen—Canuck comedic folk at its best. (kamesan@geocities.com)

Comments about live performance:

they put on an excellent show...i saw them in vancouver a few years back, and it was one of the most purely entertaining shows i've been to.... (1996)
     when i saw them two years ago, the crowd was decently large and quite enthusiastic—though i got the definite impression that a great number of the people there hadn't really known about the worms previously. and the enthusiasm was, i think, stirred by the worms' incredible stage presence. *this* time around, the place was *packed*, all the tickets were sold out (i barely got mine) and the crowd was cheering its collective head off from the time they walked out on the stage. it seems the worms are becoming something of a phenomenon. and they certainly lived up to my expectations from two years ago.
     wonderful stage presence, again, and they are among the funniest people i've ever seen. being on stage seems to make mike and chris extremely...*frenetic* (in the liner notes for live bait they "appear courtesy of medical science and non-alcoholic beer" respectively), while trevor tends to appear a little more collected ("appears dishevelled") which offsets them well. which is not to say trevor isn't perfectly capable of being rather frenetic too :)
     i was pleased with the amount of new material in the show—one thing that sometimes bugs me is when someone plays *nothing* new at a live concert...i mean, it's still great to see them live, but part of the fun is hearing something you've never heard before (sometimes it's just the way an old song is presented, even). they did a *wonderful* song about having a crush on celine dion (yes, it was extremely sarcastic, for those of you not able to infer that :), a very short one along the lines of "i am cow, hear me moo" which i think took everyone rather by surprise, and several others i'm waiting to hear on their next album.
     they also did a lot of stuff off live bait and a few from christmas turkey, as well as some of their traditional crowd-pleasers like "jesus' brother bob" and "rippy the gator", their classic sing-along and make-gestures-along-with song (i think one of the things i like best about the worms is the way they constantly go on (*mostly* jokingly, i think) about hating children—which, paradoxically, is probably part of what makes them so popular with little kids ;) (1998, damon)

Recommended first album:

all definitely recommended for those of you who like silly, comedic, fun and often insightful music. live bait is, i think, probably the best album to buy if you've never heard the worms before. (damon)

Recordings:


The Arrogant Worms

Release info:

1995—AW-444

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

A must for those fond of silly male voices and funny, distinctly canadian comedy

Group members:

Mike McCormick
Trevor Strong
John Whytock
Steve Wood

Produced by:

Andy Thompson

Comments:

classic worms; i.e. distinctly canadian and side-splittingly funny. "the last saskatchewan pirate" is one of my all-time favourites. "arrrrr, matey. get it? metis?—oh hey, that's rielly funny. you know, louis riel?" "jesus' brother bob" is one of their biggest crowd-pleasers. and "don't go into politics" is irresistable in its unrelenting logic. (damon)

Russell's Shorts

Release info:

1992—AW-555

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

A must for those fond of silly male voices and funny, distinctly canadian comedy

Group members:

Mike McCormick
Trevor Strong
John Whytock

Guest artists

John Loughrey—drums, percussion
Gord Thompson—bass, electric guitar, backup vocals
Codrington Philharmonic Orchestra and Hard Cheese Appreciation Society, founded by Andy Thompson—keyboards, strings

Produced by:

Andy Thompson

Comments:

a strong follow-up album to the worms' first album. contains such favourites as "tokyo love song" (beatles rip-off), "carrot juice is murder" (V8's genocide... their torch song), "rippy the gator" (the worm's own unique approach to children's songs; the one you always have to make chomping motions for when you see them live :), "losing hair under god" (gospel for bald men), and many other classics (including my little-known favourite, "a night on dildo", a tribute to newfoundland place names. contains the infamous drinking verse: "aaaaaa-aaagh-arrarrrrr-aaaaa-gggggh"). (damon)

C'est Cheese

Release info:

1995—AW-777

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

A must for those fond of silly male voices and funny, distinctly canadian comedy

Group members:

Mike McCormick
Chris Patterson
Trevor Strong
John Whytock

Guest artists

Tom Barnes—pedal steel
Barry Hagarty—electric and acoustic guitars
Steve Smith—drumms
Andy Thompson—keyboards, fromage

Produced by:

Andy Thompson

Comments:

this group has a talent for folksy music and smile-inducing humour, particularly that very canadian brand of humour. songs like "the mountie song" not to mention the very timely song about gun control (those of you not clear on canadian politics this last year may not understand ;), "let there be guns". based on "a real letter from a real yahoo" in florida, no less. "we'd all feel safe! 'cause everybody'd have a gun!" This is chris patterson's debut with the group, and he is a worm, indeed! (damon)

Live Bait

Release info:

1997—AW-1225

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

A must for those fond of silly male voices and funny, distinctly canadian comedy

Group members:

Mike McCormick—vocals, guitar; appears courtesy of medical science
Chris Patterson—vocals, bass; appears courtesy of non-alcoholic beer
Trevor Strong—vocals, things; appears dishevelled

Guest artists

Andy Thompson—does everything; appears after dark
Andrew Affleck—takes bass cues from chris; appears in the studio

Produced by:

Andy Thompson

Comments:

it is, unlike a lot of live albums, a wonderful one to buy even if you have everything else they've done already. it's seven old songs plus five new ones, and even the old songs are redone differently enough to be worth it. plus it does capture a bit of their stage energy, and as i've mentioned they're one of the best live acts i've seen. and the old songs are all classics—"jesus' brother bob", "the mountie song", "the ballad of dan", "carfull of pain", "mounted animal nature trail", "carrot juice is murder", and my all-time favourite, "the last saskatchewan pirate".
     this is also probably their most extremely canadian album to date, which is saying a lot. the new songs mostly centre around that: "canada's really big" ("we'd like to sing our national anthem...that we made up" :) "we're bigger than australia, and it's a continent!"; "me like hockey"—the anthem of the beer-swilling, tv sports watching, bob and doug mckenzie style of canadian. wonderfully executed. "proud to be canadian"—as they described when they did it live, they tried to do something "we are the world"ish...and succeeded marvelously. (damon)

Christmas Turkey

Release info:

1997—AW-888

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Worms fans or those who want a depressing, unusual christmas album...

Group members:

Mike McCormick—vocals, acoustic guitar, glue gun
Chris Patterson—vocals, toilet plunger
Trevor Strong—vocals, chain saw

Guest artists

Andy Thompson—keyboards, vocals, stomach pump
Andrew Affleck—basses, rock riffs
Ken Post—drums, vacuum cleaner
Jon Park-Wheeler—guitars, mandolin, pliers
Don Reed—violin, stapler
Doug Banwell—saxes, club

Comments:

christmas turkey is an entire album (15) tracks of worms-style christmas songs. *every* single song has either "christmas" or "santa" in the title, which i think must be very intentional. :) this is perfect if you're really sick of all the happy christmas schlock you hear every year around this time, and i think will make a wonderful "retaliation" album when i go home for christmas. some of these songs are downright dismal, like "dad threw up on christmas day" and "vincent the christmas virus"...as well as the worms' classic christmas song, "the christmas song" ;). of course, like any christmas album, no matter how original, it does have limited application...but i'd definitely recommend it for those sick of the usual christmas fare. (damon)

Dirt!

Release info:

1999—AW-999

Availability:

Wide in Canada

Ecto priority:

A must for those fond of silly male voices and funny, distinctly canadian comedy

Group members:

Mike McCormick
Chris Patterson
Trevor Strong

Guest artists

Andy Thompson—keyboards
Terry Tufts—electric guitar
Andrew Affleck—bass, accordion
Jon Park-Wheeler—guitars, mandolin
Al Cross—drums
Craig Bignell—drums, percussion, banjo
Don Reed—fiddle

Produced by:

Andy Thompson

Comments:

once again incredibly funny... i'm not certain how the worms manage to remain refreshingly funny now that they've become an outright institution! ...but they do it. some distinctly canadian songs, as usual, like "celine dion" (the canadian we all love to hate), "rocks and trees" (the natural beauty of our country), steel drivin' man (the story of the other railroad worker). plenty that will appeal internationally, like "the gaelic song" and "log in to you" (their incredibly well-done '80s power rock ballad, updated for the modern day). the CD bonus track, "winnebago", is hilarious and gives you a really good feel for the worms' live persona. (damon)

Further info:

Email the Arrogant Worms at aworms@arrogant-worms.com

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Entry last updated 2015-04-19 20:49:06.
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