Concerts

That 1 Guy

When Bay-area avant-garde funkateer Mike Silverman, AKA That 1 Guy, hits the stage, even the most jaded music fan needs a double take to discern what in the hell is going on. Just when you've recovered from the visual freak-out of Silverman's invention, the Magic Pipe — a two-stringed, 13-trigger device with a snare drum wired in that looks like a giant shower fixture freshly yanked out of the wall — you have to brace yourself for his musical wizardry. Silverman is surely one the most original acts touring today. He simultaneously plays melodies on the strings and whacks beats out of the percussion triggers on the pipe, like a gut-bucket in an intergalactic jug band. To push it to 11, Silverman effortlessly throws in his side arms "The Magic Saw" (an amplified saw) and "The Magic Boot" (an ice skate with a string where the blade should be). The resulting space funk and Silverman's gravelly voice are perfect for his odes to birds, moon cheese, and butt machines. While normally anything this cool would be forced to the margins, That 1 Guy is breaking out worldwide. Already a sensation in Australia, where he plays giant outdoor festivals, his profile in the USA has recently gotten a huge boost both from his appearance on the Weeds season-three soundtrack — which forced Ryan Seacrest to utter the words "Butt Machine" on his E! Network news show — and his association with guitar shred monster Buckethead, who has exposed That 1 Guy to a legion of young fans dying for something new to call their own.

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Tom Bowker