Is karaoke the new folk? Yes it is. Is Canned Hamm the
new Bob Dylan? Of course.
HAMM: The New Dylans
by Reggie Queequeg
know how music writers are always going off about how some
new singer is the new Dylan, and it’s always bullshit?
Even someone as awesome as Will Oldham, people say he’s
the new Dylan, and I have to admit that if I am super drunk
I may be all “Yeah, I can totally see it.” But
then when I am sober I say “He’s not the new
Dylan, he’s just Will Oldham. Besides, Bright Eyes
is the new Dylan.” But all joking about emo bands
aside (seriously, it’s not really funny anymore, and
I feel bad that I did it) there is definitely a new Dylan
in town, and his names are Little “Dylan” Hamm
and Big “Dylan” Hamm. Without a doubt, their
powerful brand of protest karaoke is taking the world by
storm…Canadian Storm that is! But how could I possibly
come up with any intelligent questions for such visionaries?
Plagiarism, gentle reader. I took questions that the Brittish
Music Press asked Bob Dylan in Don’t Look Back.
“My” questions are in italics, and LH stands
for Little Hamm and BH stands for Big Hamm. And the word
“folk” has been replaced with “karaoke,”
which everyone knows is the new folk. Seriously. Be sure
to check out their fabulous web site, www.cannedhamm.tv.
It’s the living end.
Why are you so big this time, what do you think?
I don't think this question really pertains to me because
I am Lil' Hamm so, i'll just pass this one over to Big Hamm.
BH: I'm always big but bigger than ever since this new Barbeque
place opened up in town I've been getting bigger and bigger
and Li'l Hamm, well in some circles we refer to him as Li'l
BIG Hamm, if you get my drift.
LH: Yeah, in naturalist colonies. I keep getting all this
spam on my e-mail and I wish they'd just leave me alone
because any bigger would be too painful for the ladies.
I don't want to have to resort to livestock. Then again,
you can take the boy out of the country but you can't take
the country out of the boy. Yup, I come from good country
BH: When it comes to country, well, I'd rather listen to
the lightbulb for?
LH: Uhhhh, it's
just a prop.
BH: We don't get much sunlight up here in Canada. Light
bulbs help. Uh, yeah.
that, I didn't catch the answer...
Alright, you got me. Due to certain follicles in my upper
regions we have requested that we only have soft focus lighting
from now on. It's more flattering. Are you happy to know
the real story? Happy? We do like to keep some things private.
BH: Are you picking on us?
BH & LH:
BH: Karaoke is one of our many lovers.
LH: It is but one facet of our being. We can't call it karaoke
anymore because it cheapens us.
is your real message?
There are many answering machine messages on our CD Karazma.
If you buy it you can decide for yourself what our real
LH: Yeah, there's a few to choose from to put on your answering
machine. Choose your favourite real message!
you think a lot of the young people who buy your
records understand a word of what you're singing?
Our third album will be a children's album because they
do understand! So do seniors who will be up for reincarnation
as young people soon. So do newlyweds who will be making
young people of their own soon. We will play any wedding,
rest home, or children's birthday party for a reasonable
fee. Would you say you care about people particularly?
BH: We care about the young people at heart and try to bring
out the young person in the most cynical of souls.
you protesting against certain things you're angry about?
an unspoken way, yes, becuase we praise what we love! We
have been known to complain but that's what we pay Analyst
Hamm for. Analyst Hamm is a very good listener with a comfortable
couch. Hey, we did it to ourselves, okay?
BH: Performing live helps us to be happy and make others
happy. Our sessions with Analyst Hamm have made us happy.
But this is a very unrealistic way to go through life so
we have our pal Hamster Hamm handle the anger in our camp.
He calls us on all the slovenly habits we developed since
becoming so happy. He's angry about a lot of things and
is kind of becoming a drag, for a puppet.
LH: Yeah, he yells at us alot for a hamster!
in a semi-flirtatious way) Do you read the Bible? Because
you see, a lot of the things you say...
I've just started reading it again and inbetween alot of
begetting and brimstone and stuff, i've found it to be really
hot! It can be quite sexy!
BH: If you think what we've been saying in our songs is
sexy then hot damn yeah we've been reading the Bible!
LH: Song of Solomon has been on my night table right next
to two glasses of red wine.
how do you see the art of the karaoke song in contemporary
society, has it any real social impact?
Karaoke is for everyone. It is the great equalizer. Does
this sort of compassion on your part present any problems
Now more than ever America needs us. America you need a
hug! and you need to give hugs in return! Become a hug country!
you religious? Are you cynical?
LH: Only on Sunday.
in charge? Are you Canned Hamm's manager?
BH: Why? Are
you busy? What's your schedule like?