KARAZMA on Pro-Am Entainment international is the debut release from CANNED HAMM two ‘entainers’ who's mandate is to bring good times, fun and laughter, with just a sprinkle of life’s harsh realities to all the peoples of the world.
Big Hamm (Stephen Hamm, Slow, Tankhog and Jungle) and Lil’ Hamm
(Robert Dayton, July Fourth Toilet and Aids) burst onto the Vancouver scene two years ago with their outrageous show: a mix of vaudeville, karaoke and burlesque. Heavy on audience participation, humour and catchy pop melody, the two Hamm’s will sing their way into your hearts and the backing band never misses a beat because all the music is on tape thus the ‘CANNED’ in CANNED HAMM!
We’re so proud about the release of KARAZMA we could talk about it for hours. But instead here’s what one of our fans, Carl Newman of the Juno (Canadian version of the Grammys) award winning New Pornographers has to say:
At first, one is struck by the shapes of their bodies. Someone has obviously put some time into designing the cover, a good cover, but the art, the purest art, is in the human subjects. A compelling collection of curves, but not feminine curves, not altogether attractive curves. Masculine curves. Yet they wear scarves. Like women. If their pants were any tighter they'd be too tight, they show just enough of these moustached men: Canned Hamm. Sure, you could laugh at this album, and the world may laugh with you. It's funny. The obvious reaction would be to laugh, and it may be the best reaction, just like the obvious joke is often the best joke. The thing is, to listen to songs like "Platonic Friend" or "I Kissed All The Girls at the Party", with its gang vocals (always a good idea) and its sterling keyboard work, you are struck by something deeper, somehow holier. Red Skelton said something once about the clown being the saddest person because he takes other peoples pain and he turns it into laughter. How, I don't know. Canned Hamm take your pain and turn it into laughter. That's easy. Then they take your laughter and they turn it into pain. That's a hard thing to do, my friend, a hard thing to do.
Canned Hamm is a two-man, dance party machine.
“We specialize in happy music incorporating both elements of song and dance,” said Big Hamm.
“But the music truly comes from our souls, from our emotional scars,” interjects Lil Hamm. “It's just that our scars are shaped like happy smiles.”
By fusing together elements of gum-snapping pop, electronic dance beats, and thoughtfully selected fashion, Big Hamm (Stephen Hamm of Copyright) and Lil Hamm (Robert Dayton of July Fourth Toilet) have toured the world for the last three years. From New York City to Sydney, Australia, Montreal and Los Angeles, Canned Hamm have been bringing down the house with their pointed lyrics and urban glam rump shakers.
To date, the Vancouver legend that is Canned Hamm has released two ass shakin’ albums. Karazma! (2001) was crowned with five stars by Canada’s main industry rag Chart magazine. The tribute album, Karazma!:Reimagined (2003) featured a glut of extraordinary talent including Carolyn Mark, Destroyer, The New Pornographers, Frenzal Rhomb and Neil Hamburger.
Their first music video, “Father and Son”, hit #2 on the national music television network Musique Plus show DollaraClip and was also voted the "Best Video of 2002" by Nardwuar the Human Serviette on MuchMusic’s Going Coastal. Down under, it received medium rotation on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s weekly video show Fly T.V.
Throughout their illustrious career, Canned Hamm have shared the stage with such luminary acts as Canada's very own Peaches, The New Pornographers and most loyally alongside Neil Hamburger. After storming the City of Angels, the normally verbose L.A Weekly could only mumble: “(It was) something.”
Armed with two microphones, pre-recorded backing tracks, a razor sharp sense of humour and the infectious beats of Erotic Thriller, Canned Hamm are destined to be crowned the Clown Prince’s of Electronic Dance Music. Watch for Canned Hamm on tour nationwide throughout Spring 2005.
"God bless Canned Hamm." ~ Chartattack.com
The history of Canned Hamm is routed in Vancouver's heady and very competitive Karaoke circuit where Big Hamm and Lil' Hamm first got their start. Back then Lil' Hamm was a well-loved champion crooner. Under the moniker 'Barry Benetar' his renditions of 'Foot Loose' and 'Word Up' were bringing the house down from Vancouver's famous Duffrin hotel to New Westminster's beloved Eagles Hall. Big Hamm who at the time was known on the scene simply as 'Salt Loaf' was favored for his visceral delivery of such crowd pleasers as 'Burnin' Love' and 'Smoke on the Water'. The inevitable meeting of the two Hamm's strangely enough did not occur at any number of Vancouver's Karaoke venues they both frequented but aboard the cruise ship 'Paradise Princess'. As fate would have it both Big and Lil' Hamm each needing a break from the grueling night club scene while perusing price Line for some great travel deals had come across cheap passage on a one week Alaska cruise. Aboard the ship their state rooms were practically adjoining but the twos paths had yet to cross. It wasn't til the third night of the voyage when our heroes both signed up for the 'Captains Challenge Karaoke Competion' that the fateful meeting took place. To say the first meeting of Big and Lil' started out friendly would be a fallacy. The meeting was more like a locking of horns as both parties had signed up to sing Prince's 'Kiss'. A cruise director doing double duty as Karaoke host had unwittingly put the two back to back. Lil' Hamm who had done a remarkable rendition of the Purple ones original performance, hitting the near impossible falsetto with steely prescion could not contain his outrage as he was followed by Big Hamm's Tom Jones inspired performance of the same song delivered with the sexy soul zest that had rocketed Wale's favorite son to the top of the charts. The ship's captain who was judging the contests was dumfounded. Obviously these two competitors were by far the best performers of the evening. Even after another round of singing, (Lil' Hamm's stirring rendition of 'Lets Get Physical' countered by big Hamm's barrage of 'Mississippi Queen') the Captain could do nothing but declare a draw. It seemed the two would have to share that night's grand prize; shore leave for two the next day to tour the sites of the historic gold rush town of Skagway Alaska. Though both very competitive by nature big Hamm and Lil' Hamm knew there and then that they had something very special in common and not just the same last name! They decided to join forces and end the evening with a jubilant duet of the Ohio Players 'Fire'. Later that evening after the exhausted but happy crowd had cleared the lounge the two were left to relax with a bottle of champagne and talk about their hopes and dreams. Noticing the dolphins frolicking near the ships bow Big Hamm bought up his love of animals. Lil' Hamm related that he too felt a special kinship to the beasts of the earth. They were awestruck at the realization that they were both fascinated by magic! The nights biggest revelation that sealed the two Hamm's fate was the idea to combine their love of Karaoke with original lyrics and prerecorded backing tracks to create an act unlike anything seen or heard before. Thus Canned Hamm was born.