“OK, don’t hold us to this, but it looks like those rumors and innuendo about the Unicorns’ demise have not been greatly exaggerated. A history lesson, if you will: it all started with reports that the band’s December 21 show in Houston, Texas was their last. The early days of 2005 saw the seemingly straightforward message “THE UNICORNS ARE DEAD, (R.I.P.)” posted on the band’s official website, with the Latin postmortem sic transit gloria (“thus passes the glory”) appended thereon.
And that should’ve been that. But that is never that with the Unicorns– the inevitable Chinese whispers started wafting through the zeitgeist, claiming that the breakup was just another Andy Kaufmanesque prank along the lines of that wrestling thing the ‘Corns did last year. Mere days later, the web obituary was replaced with a cryptic call from “HALIBUT CORN HORN” to “GET READY TO DANCE,” among other nonsense. The band’s publicist stayed as vague and tight-lipped as a North Korean apparatchik– maybe he just wasn’t in on the joke.
Then just last week, a post on the band’s online guestbook led us to believe that the breakup was for real. Signed “Alden and Diamonds,” presumably guitarist Alden Ginger and singer/keyboarder Nicholas Diamonds, the post verified that the band has indeed bought the indie-pop farm. Quoth they: “Thanks for all the support but the Unicorns are Dead… Sorry to say it but you all have to understand that touring and trying to produce a new album has taken its toll on our lives and the band. We want to enjoy making music but this process has made it impossible to do so. We are glad you guys love the music but we have a life too and being a Unicorn makes a ‘normal’ life impossible.”
Plebes like us can only wonder at lives of such richness and depth that mere music-making cannot be allowed to disrupt them, but that’s what they said. The message continues: “On the bright side there will be some new material forthcoming. Take it sleazy, th’ corns.” The rest of the site was, of course, absolutely no help, offering only a risible maze-game in which we are exhorted to rescue the boys from some sort of ransom kidnap situation. Every bit as tangled, maddening, and pointless as the band’s long breakup tease, the maze makes a surprisingly suitable postmortem.
But it’s been said that if you wait long enough, a light will shine through. And lo, a recent missive from the band’s PR confirms that the band has in fact broken up and that two of its former members will continue on as Th’ Corn Gangg– the hip-hop side-project the Unicorns announced last year. What this means for lovers of the band’s debut LP/swan song Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? is still up for interpretation, but for once the Gangg seems to be shooting straight– the message says the band will soon be making mp3s available to the public (“w/ some very special guests”), touring the U.S. in April, playing SXSW, and presumably making a record sometime here. And we’re not sure we believe it, but we do have one live date. L.A., they love you:
03-12 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo