Matthew Thurber’s “Hong Kong Bong”
Comic book artist Matthew Thurber is a man of many talents. In addition to his cartooning and painting (see my post on the Hope Gallery’s Male Odor Monsters show for some of his canvas work and his comic 1-800-Mice), he’s also a multi-talented musical savant. Perhaps best known for playing saxaphone in Soiled Mattress and the Springs (which, sadly, has recently disbanded), Thurber’s currently concentrating on a solo project called Ambergris, which sounds something like Captian Beefheart and Steve Buscemi getting funky in a sea of broken glass, and sometimes reminds me of early Of Montreal records, and sometimes sounds like the video game score for a dangerously jocular trek through a demonic Eastern European elementary school.
I’m not sure if this will help clarify what the project is all about, but here’s how Thurber describes the latest Ambergris release, a cassette tape entitled “Anti-Matter Alma Matter.”
Wormholes and Sperm Whales aside, I’m in love with the prolific artist’s latest comic book. The final Soiled Mattress album, entitled Honk Honk Bonk!, was recently released on vinyl, accompanied (for a limited time) by complimentary copies of Thurber’s Hong Kong Bong.
It’s a story of intrigue and betrayal, taking place in the near future ( “Filmed in front of a live audience at Family Bookstore, Los Angeles © MCMXI” ), when a string of Kombucha overdoses leads notorious police detective Serpico into the seedy underbelly of “The Smell” — a 2000s-themed animal-only nightclub in Upper Bed-Stuy Heights, New York, full of shape-shifting spies and sinister scenesters covering up a horrible secret! It’s worth the cost of a useless vinyl disc (JK, analog-lovers) for the hilarious puns, fedoras, and psychedelic non sequiturs alone.
+ Video interview of Soiled Mattress and The Springs from The Fader