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That 1 Guy

As the one-man band known as That 1 Guy, Mike Silverman plays an instrument of his own invention, which he calls "the magic pipe." After growing frustrated with other instruments, he designed it over the course of a month spent haunting hardware stores, collecting odd lengths of pipe and tools with the manic fervor of Richard Dreyfuss' character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Despite never having designed or built an instrument before, at the end of the process he had created something that was surprisingly tuneful, despite resembling a cross between a harp, a bass, a set of bathroom pipes, and drug paraphernalia. Two strings of differing pitches are attached to the pipes, one set firmly grounded and the other able to be maneuvered as it is played. Trigger points all over the piping play prerecorded samples when struck. There's also an electric saw, and a kick drum made from a cowboy boot is attached to the bottom. The effect is something like a washtub bass redesigned by Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits. Also, as the high point of his live show, smoke blows out of the top.

Silverman was originally a classically trained double bass player who had been a member of a California jazz band called the Fabulous Hedgehogs. Realizing that the small fees they were being paid for their performances would stretch further if he didn't have to share them, he booked a show on his own and asked to be billed as just That 1 Guy. At the time he was growing frustrated with the traditional style of double bass playing and took to setting up drums and drum machines that he could kick while he played and removing all but one of his bass strings, playing the instrument like another piece of percussion. Still dissatisfied with the sound he was getting, he began dreaming of "the magic pipe."

The bizarre instrument, the skill with which he played it, and the humor he brought to his performances earned Silverman enough accolades to come to the attention of Ani DiFranco, who signed him to her Righteous Babe label in 2004. That year he re-released his debut album, Songs in the Key of Beotch, through the label -- it had previously been available through his website, where it had sold thousands of copies.

Engineer Karl Derfler recommended that Silverman play musical saw on two tracks of Tom Waits' Orphans, but he ended up playing bass on them instead. Derfler then agreed to record Silverman's second That 1 Guy album, The Moon Is Disgusting. Released in 2007, it was a concept album based on an idea for an animated film Silverman had, exploring the entirety of human evolution. That year he also released a live DVD filmed in Australia, where he enjoyed a dedicated cult following. ~ Jody Macgregor, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Saw this guy at stone pony a few years back, I was floored, an unforgettabl e experience!
A Freind turned me on to this Guy about a year or so ago love his style/swagge r listen to him all the time wish there was more to enjoy. Here's to hopeing and waiting on anything new!
He's fantastic live
1st I've heard of him/music. GR8!
Butt Machine. YES.
I love that one guy! He is the s**t and going to be at Bella!!!
That One Guy is the bomb I like Butt machine
I saw That One Guy and Buckethead together this past weekend. Together they're The Frankenstein Brothers. Best show I've ever been to!!!
wherenext247
he started out with a band called the Fabulous Hedgehogs. i saw them many times in the SF Bay Area back in the early to mid 90s. the Fabulous Hedgehogs album was called Dig. i'd love to find it again.

going to also be looking for the next That 1 Guy show. haven't seen Mike on his own yet!
It's hard enough to learn how to play an instrument but making your own! That's gotta be tough! He's amazing though and sounds like something that I have never heard.
justinmonthi e
Saw That 1 Guy with Buckethead in Cincy, That 1 Guy first, then Buckethead.. . Then they jammed together. Quite possibly one of the best shows ive EVER been to.
I've seen him in Denver twice and he wows the crowd with great tunes, driving energy, and wit. Want to experience a truly unique and exciting musical event? Catch That 1 Guy live.
I saw this guy on a Local PBS show. The station posted a Live performance. Check it out here.
http://video . w p t 2 . o r g / v i d e o / 1 4 9 3 0 7 7 8 9 6 /
This 1 guy is really cool to see live. Seen him at the Porcupine Music Festival in Silver City, MI. He rocked the ski hills!
brent-tay
ive seen him twice at the mcdonald theater hes insane!
"we love you guy!"-crowd

"thank you friend."-tha t 1 guy
davygrvy
messed up in that good way
I saw him the other night here in Denver, CO and it was crazy! He appreciates live music, his fans, and has no concern for time like most artists today. I am tired of artists that stick to the three minute song and the hour and a half show limit. Who the hell puts limits on art, that is like telling Da Vinci to paint The Last Supper in less than 10 minutes. Boycott clear channel and all other corporate radio, and the tools associated with them. Long live good, live music!
veliawa
Australisans love him. He played at the Woodford Festival, which is an amazing great time (near Brisbane). I heard about him from my friends down there.
He has another album. The one that Radvoices mentioned earlier. Guess it wasn't on iTunes.
It should be stated that The Midwest has fallen in love with That 1 Guy, and have shown him that their aint no party like a Midwest party. Through endless festival opportunitie s , they have accepted him into the loving down home family caught between the coasts.
he has a better album called "the moon is discusting" check it out is the most amazing album ever!
to J. Harral....th i s music is not for the close minded and people who have an IQ of -2...
Amazing!! seen him @ bella sol..
Seen him with buckethead and he is an amazing one man band!
gregon3000
I saw him open for and then play with Buckethead. An awesome match! The only criticism I have is with his stupid boot and saw instruments. they get old and repetitive really fast but the magic pipe rules
zyotich
Dark. 21st century cabaret. Weasel Pot Pie...
E P I C
Sounds like he is playing on nursery toys with special f*rt effects. What a load of crap and sorry excuse for music.
bugboyblack
his new cd, "the moon is disgusting" is awesome!
I watche him at Langrado '08 in the Everglades and he has a stage prescence that is hard to match, he blew my mind!!!

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