Tuesday, 9 June 2009


The other day, one of my favourite music blogs - WFMU's Beware of the Blog - linked to another wacky youtube video, something I can usually give or take.

This one however was pretty incredible: a guy going by the handle of tonetta777 who records his own songs, and then films himself - in what appears to be a very small room - dancing & frequently lip-syncing to his own recordings.

Sometimes he is wearing a suit, sometimes he is dressed in drag. Sometimes he pretends to be a little girl, sometimes he wears warpaint. Sometimes he wears a skull mask, sometimes pumps. And sometimes he wears next to nothing at all.

For some, the appeal of his home-recorded songs may be elusive; the single-shot videos may suggest nothing so much as Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs; the lyrics, mostly *extremely* sexual but also on occasion quite sweet (or even political), will certainly be a stumbling block for many - but for those with whom it clicks, it really, really clicks. And I am such a one.

Simply put, I am now addicted to tonetta777. And there's a lot of tonetta to get addicted to - to date, he has posted 66 songs, tunes which he records alone, and which he is apparently too shy to perform live. How great would it be to see tonetta play a set somewhere?

If all this were was just another youtube freakshow, I wouldn't be so evangelistic. tonetta though, beyond the memorable performance, has that rarest of things - tons of great songs which seem to come very naturally, and a knack for arranging these catchy songs in unique albeit simple ways.

His voice, his picking style, his back-ups, his basslines & drum machine beats - it all works in sync beautifully. I'm crazy about his lyrics too. The costumes and sexy dancing are the icing on the cake. He also plays a mean $10 axe and wrote a love song to Karla Homolka. It's actually kind of ridiculous how great tonetta is.

The requests from his fans for a CD release are gathering force. My own efforts to comb the web & learn more about this rather mysterious wunderkind have met with precious little reward: some lyrics, a brief interview, an entry on a motorbike forum of all things.

His youtube profile tells us he lives in Toronto (!!!) and enjoys watching westerns. His favourite video picks suggest a predilection for ladies with the large posterior. He has another youtube account under the name tj1749, and this account gives his name as toni. Whence sprung the awesomeness? Details are few.

Let's hope $ucce$$ locates tonetta777 before he ODs on the drugs drugs drugs, allowing him to release these amazing jams for posterity and sweaty dancefloors everywhere. Songs these amazing are too good to disappear, and I can't figure out how to download them.

***Aug.25/09 - Youtube has removed all tonetta777's videos and says his account is suspended!!! Nooooooo!!! Please post anything you find relating to the man below. The world must have more tonetta777!!!!***

***Sept.1/09 - Hurray! For anyone that missed it in the comments, tonetta/Tony has a new Youtube account up under the name tj1749! Thanks, Brad Farless!***

***Sept.5/09 - I'm an idiot. I actually mentioned that other account in the original post. Oh well. There has really been a wellspring of support on Youtube since August's suspension of his main account, which is nice to see. If you're a fan, subscribe to TonettaShock's account as well.***


Anonymous said...

This guy is brilliant! Just saw his videos for the first time. My husband made me turn him off. Yeah, he's creepy but he's damn good.

displayname said...

I love tonetta777, and I'm addicted to him too! He is my drug of choice.

in order to download youtube vids, you can go to...


Its free and it doesn't take that long (5 min max for me, and I just steal wi-fi from one of my giving neighbors!) The only catch is that you have to be able to play .FLV files, there is a link to another free site were you can download a player. :-D

Pius said...

Thanks displayname, I will have to try that out!

i love myself said...

I love tonetta too man! im glad i found your site! fantastic Review. iwas kinda disturbed however to hear she had a song about Karla H. I fucking hate that killer..But I love tonetta.

TalesOC said...

There are a lot of Firefox extensions for downloading YouTube videos as well.

The first video by tonetta777 I saw was Two Annas and a Bri Bri. Now I'm addicted to it. My wife is too. We watch Two Annas and a Bri Bri damn near every day and keep checking out his other vids too.

I just watched Maria for the first time and was laughing because I know a gay girl named Maria. I posted the video to her Facebook wall. I hope she enjoys it! ^_^

missarahjessica said...

i, too, share a LOVE for Tonetta. The music is GOOD - for me, it evokes sentiments of Richard Hell, Tom Waits, NY Dolls, and Lou Reed. It's freakin Brilliant.

BUT TONETTAS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED - do you have any info on where I can find more?!

stephanie said...

i miss toneta so much :(

Anonymous said...

Figures. I go on vacation to Thailand and when I get back YouTube has done something stupid.

I knew I should've downloaded the videos before I left...

What was so bad about it anyway? Was it suspended because he didn't add content warnings or what?

This is what happens when some homophobe has a problem with free speech.

Brad Farless said...

tj1749 on YouTube.

Pius said...

I've re-upped some videos here and would echo that tonetta is posting stuff under the YT handle of tj1749. tonettashock is another account with tonetta vids available.

Anonymous said...

here's a little collection of 19 of his songs ripped from YT


still waiting for the Box Set though.

Pius said...

Amazing! Thank you so much! At 320, even, wow. I think this deserves its own post in fact --


Pius said...

Box Set!

Anonymous said...

He's got a new vid and it's up there with his best work.


d f k said...