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See Gwar ‘Wreck’ NPR During Tiny Desk Concert

The Scumdogs of the Universe made it through a 20-minute set, and somehow everyone surivived

Gwar know their own legend. When the self-professed Scumdogs of the Universe dipped through NPR for a Tiny Desk Concert recently, frontman Blöthar the Berserker admitted, “Let’s face it, Gwar’s a little bit lowbrow … sub-brow maybe.” But nevertheless, they performed a four-song, 20-minute set of their special brand of intergalactic dreck for the highbrow, nonprofit news network.

Although they abstained from their usual antics — celebrity murders, spraying everyone with fake semen — the costumed headbangers still brought along beloved maestro Willhelm Fartwrangler to conduct “Sex Cow in G-flat Minor,” a song off their 1997 album, Carnival of Chaos. They do-si-do and embrace the tune’s country vibe, not sparing NPR lyrics like, “Licking and sticking and piercing the pud/Blowing and hoeing and covered in mud.”

In between songs, Blöthar bloviates about listening to Terry Gross talk about the late Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak, before introducing a song he says Sendak inspired: “I’ll Be Your Monster,” from their 2017 album, The Blood of Gods. The set list also includes “Ratcatcher” from last year’s The New Dark Ages and another Blood of Gods track, “Phantom Limb.”


“We did it; I’m gonna wreck the joint,” Blöthar says as the last note rings out of the guitars. He simply wads up a piece of paper. They wave goodbye, and guitarist Balsac, the Jaws of Death, says, “And you all thought this was a joke.”

In 2020, just before pandemic lockdowns, punk news spoof site The Hard Times published a parody article titled, “Gwar asks NPR’s Tiny Desk Staff if They’re Ready to Get Their Assholes Ripped Open.” Although NPR reports that they’d been trying to get Gwar to the studio a year before that, finally the Scumdogs were able to test NPR’s readiness in person.  

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