Everybody who knows about Cibo Matto knows that when it comes to the weird and wild, Cibo has it covered. They sing songs about topics ranging from chicken to beef jerky, and everything in between.
Their run in the ’90s was one of the strangest and era-appropriate instances of fame I had ever seen before. I mean, it’s two Japanese girls and John Lennon’s son for Christ’s sake – it’s going to get a little strange.
“Know Your Chicken” – Squirt TV
In 1996 MTV was blowing the hell up. Artists from all over the world would kill for a spot on almost any show, just for that chance at fame.
On a show called Squirt TV, Cibo Matto showed up for a live performance of their song “Know Your Chicken,” which is a song about a chicken. That’s it – just chicken. Now, I’m not one to say it’s a bad song, but if you were going to perform on live television for the very first time, wouldn’t you want to perform something a little more catchy?
It starts out with this goofy-looking 1990’s kid with a bowl cut introducing the three band members. They appear to be in some kind of garage or something, but it’s MTV, so you don’t really know where they are until you get to the set. Sean Lennon looks like a spitting image of his dad in this recording and I don’t think that was an accident. Go check it out!
Sci-Fi Wasabi – Earth Threat
“Sci-Fi Wasabi” was one of Cibo Matto’s most popular (yet strange) songs they ever recorded, so it only makes sense that it’s the song they’d play for their second live recording. Granted, it is at one of their concerts, but even the crowd is being broadcast across the airwaves in this one.
It’s a multi-camera shoot, and it honestly looks pretty well done. The song, however, is kind of meh. At least, in my opinion; you shouldn’t be rapping if you can’t speak the language well and after a while it just kind of ends up sounding like noise. Now, I still like Cibo Matto, but after seeing this performance, you start to appreciate their weirdness factor a little more.
It’s just so interesting that they knew how strange their music was, but at the end of the day – they didn’t really give a shit. They had John Lennon’s son at their side so there was no way they could fail. Not to mention new forms of art and music were being experimented with in the ’90s that actually changed the way we listen to music today.
Birthday Cake – 1997
Being easily one of the best Cibo Matto songs of all time, Birthday Cake was the obvious choice for their 1997 live performance on comedy central. It’s a funky little rap song featuring Sean Lennon and some dancers that are dressed up as Charlie Brown characters. It’s pretty weird, but I dig it.
While I’d say it’s not as strong of a performance as some of their previous work, it shows a lot of growth within the band to see them perform live somewhere other than a basement. They all seem to have recognized how low-energy they were in previous performances and kicked it up a notch for this one.
I’ve got to say – not bad Cibo Matto. Not bad at all.