Ted Nguyent, we barely knew ye

John Ambrosio

After a long and spirited battle with the legacy of America’s 43rd President, George W. Bush, Philadelphia’s kings of weird-alt-rock Ted Nguyent broke up this month after one final show at the Golden Tea House. If none of that makes sense to you, I’ll back up for a second.

For those unfamiliar, Ted Nguyent is, or was, an indie band—not to be confused with the gun-toting, right wing whackjob from Damn Yankees—that after only two wonderfully bizarre, math-rock-ish albums has now officially called it quits after a final gig with Mumblr, Albondigas, and Humanshapes. As with all things in Ted Nguyent’s world, their tragic decision to break up can be blamed on the least likable President (besides maybe Andrew Johnson) in American history:

“WELL GUYS WE PLAYED OUR BEST SET FIRST AT OUR LAST SHOW SORRY WE HAD TO DO IT LIKE THAT BUT IF IT’S ANY CONSOLATION MATT KLEIN FILMED THE WHOLE THING SO YOU CAN MAYBE WATCH IT IT’S BEEN WHAT IT’S BEEN AND WE’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED EVERYONE’S SUPPORT SO SORRY BUSH IS STILL PULLING THE STRINGS BUT THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS FUCKED UP WORLD WITH ROCK MUSIC”

Aside from their apparent hatred of Bush, the band had been known for their eclectic sound and absurd songwriting style, which produced songs like “¿Adonde Vas?“—a post hardcore song with dizzying, interlocking rhythms and lyrics about a roommate slowly turning Hispanic. They’ve written songs about Dave Grohl being behind the death of Kurt Cobain, the Philadelphia Parking Authority arresting their child, and songs comparing their bodies to Indiana Jones movies. Truly they were among the best, or at least most varied, lyricists of our time.

Their final show also served as the official record release for their most recent, and last, album, Don’t Vote, which had its physical release only a few months prior. Fortunately, the show was also recorded—no doubt so it can be placed in the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas—and is available now on YouTube.

If by this point you’re still able to read these words through the stream of tears that you’re no doubt shedding at the loss of some of America’s greatest heroes, then you can also check out the first, and now only, interview that Ted Nguyent ever gave. Otherwise, let the tears flow friends.

Here’s Ted Nguyent’s final set from Aug 8:

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