That 1 Guy to bring magical funk to NoHo

By Tappan Parker

Mike Silverman, better known as That 1 Guy, is somewhat of a mad scientist-turned musician. But instead of inventing crazy doomsday devices, he invents crazy doomsday instruments.

That 1 Guy will be performing at the Iron Horse tonight at 10 p.m.

That 1 Guy’s music combines jazz, funk, and rock with looping and sampling effects, creating some of the most unique music in this day and age. Besides just playing the “magic pipe,” Silverman includes various forms of percussion in his sound while also singing. His lyrics are just as eccentric as his instruments, with songs about weasel potpies, mustaches, and the moon being made out of cheese.

Mike Silverman is a classically trained double bass player who began adding percussive elements to his playing by slapping his bass between plucks of the strings. But for Silverman, the double bass became too limiting, so he went out and invented something a little more musically liberating. After a few trips to the hardware store and some engineering in his basement, That 1 Guy and the Magic Pipe were born.

Standing roughly seven feet tall, the Magic Pipe is two steel pipes connected with an adjustable set of joints with a double bass string on the front pipe and a cello string on the back pipe. With electronic rigging and 13 trigger points that can be mapped to various effects and samples, the pipe is capable of making a large variety of sounds.

The Pipe is something one would except to see in a Dr. Seuss story. Silverman plays his homemade instrument with slaps, plucks, a violin bow, a drumstick, and even the occasional credit card. He hits various buttons on the Pipe between notes to create other sampled sounds, as well.

But the Pipe is not the only thing he has invented. There are also Saw and the Magic Boot, two other instruments straight out of Silverman’s imagination. The Saw is just that, a saw. Except it has been electronically wired to sound similar to a theremin. The Magic Boot is a cowboy boot which has been similarly wired, and is played with various slaps and hits of the sole of the boot.

Somehow That 1 Guy has managed to stay out of the mainstream focus, but he has managed to play alongside Buckethead, who wears a bucket and mask wherever he goes.

With three albums to date, including “Songs in the Key of Beotch” and his newest album, “Packs a Wallop!” That 1 Guy has developed a devoted fan-base which has fallen in love with his oddball antics and crazy instruments. His shows combine humor and magic to create a must-see-it-to-believe-it experience. That 1 Guy has a heavy touring schedule, consisting of around 150-200 shows a year to support his albums.

That 1 Guy will be joined by Matt Lorenz, another one-man-band which goes by the moniker The Suitcase Junket, at the Iron Horse tonight. Lorenz plays a suitcase bass drum with an underfoot washboard, hi-hat, and a junker guitar. His street performer setup fits well with That 1 Guy’s musical circus.

The concert is the day before spring break starts and it promises to be an experience to tell your friends back home about. Grab a ticket and check out one of the coolest and most interesting shows taking place this year.

That 1 Guy will be playing tonight at the Iron Horse in Northampton. The show starts at 10 p.m., and tickets are $10 when purchased online and $13 when purchased at the door. Tickets are still available on the Iron Horse Entertainment Group’s website, Iheg.com.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected]