If you don’t already know Primus, then there is no easy way to describe them. When they were an active band, Primus was one of my daughter’s favorites. She was around 15 at the time of Pork Soda. The single from Pork, “Mr. Krinkle,” never ceased to amuse us, if only for the pure flatulent qualities of the bass performance and the Mr. Limpet vocals, both delivered by Les Claypool. She and I would mimic Claypool’s bovine bass lines to each other long after hearing Primus on the radio — which is itself kind of strange, that this sort of musical weirdness actually went mainstream. To wit, “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” from the next album, almost won them a Grammy. Maybe Primus worked so well because they did not violate a cardinal rule put forth by Sly Stone years earlier: You can do whatever you want to an audience, as long as you make them dance.
Les Claypool, a musician-singer-songwriter-novelist from Sonoma, California, and now a solo act, would probably not object to being called rock and roll’s sideshow. It is easy to be distracted by his dark comedies and nerd singing, but his music always rocks, even when layered under gobsof freakish bass-guitar buffoonery.
Planned craziness, after all, requires an order of brilliance, and for my money Claypool took that notion to the outer limits when he teamed up post-Primus with Parliament’s Bernie Worrell and a guitarist who wears an empty Kentucky Fried Chicken carton for a hat and calls himself Buckethead. They did not compose songs, nor did they practice; C2B3 was improv with a heavy groove. On tour (“The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini-Fest”), Claypool brings with him various musicians who, like him, think outside of the box and understand that comedy is a serious thing.
LES CLAYPOOL, House of Blues, Wednesday, March 4, 7:30 p.m. 619-299-2583. $25 to $45.