Wednesday, August 22, 2007


The Aquabats!

In elementary school, I was absent the day they started teaching us long division. For years, I felt like I was one day behind everyone else in my grade.

I know I'm seldom ahead of the curve, but I like to think that I'm sometimes on the curve, and at worst following right behind. So imagine my disappointment to discover that I'm way behind the curve when it comes to the Aquabats.

See, this week saw the premier of the new children's show, Yo Gabba Gabba, which I've blogged about before. I've known for some time now that the show was co-created, written, and directed by one of the guys behind the California band, the Aquabats. But until last night I never bothered to check to see what the Aquabats were all about. Considering that Yo Gabba Gabba has proved to be just about the most perfect thing I've ever seen (and both Georgia and Allison agree with me on this), I was motivated to see what else these Aquabats folks had done.

Here's a demo they made back in 1999 to try to pitch a tv series based on their band's "mythology."

And here's the video for their track "Fashion Zombies."

Um, oh... It turns out that they are made of 100% awesome, and are the perfect band for me. A post-punk superhero ska band who uses music to fight supervillains and giant monsters. Who knew?

Well, I should have known, for one. In my defense, they were just getting started in Southern California at the time that I was obsessed with ska back in the 90s, and by the time they started gigging and showing up on ska compilations and the like, I was about to head back to Texas and lose touch with the whole ska scene. Now, they appear to have toured quite a bit in the last ten or so years, and released several albums, so why did it take me this long to check them out? My only defense is that I thought for some reason that I'd heard them before and not clicked with them, but now it seems like I was confusing them with someone else. (Some other post-punk superhero ska band, I'm sure...)

But look, they have their own t-shirts...

And action figures...

And, um, pudding dispenser belts...

Okay, I'm now totally ashamed that I'm just now discovering these guys. I'll cling to whatever geek cred I have left, and go looking for more of their music now. Be sure to check out Yo Gabba Gabba, though. You won't be sorry. It's intentionally as mental as Sid & Marty Krofft's stuff was unintentionally, spiced with 70s fashions, early 80s video games, Japanese junk culture, dance, monsters and magic robots, and celebrity guest appearances (including a drawing segment with Mark Mothersbaugh). Honestly, it's one of the best things in the history of ever.

I don't know what I find more disturbing: The fact that they chopped up Mazinga and Raydeen Shogun Warriors for their custom built action figures, or the certain knowledge that they have the lyrics of every Devo song ever recorded committed to memory.

Actually, the fact that I was able to post the above with a straight face is probably the most frightening of all.

But yeah, they are pretty groovy.
Oh, Jayme, you're my kind of geek.
You and me both - although, I discovered them last year, but yeah… way late. The 1990s would have been so much better. Sigh…
It's not the first time I've been behind, of course. If I'd known about ska in high school I never would have given up the trumpet, which I played in the school band from middle school through high school graduation. If I'd known that there was actually something cool that could be done with a horn, I might still be playing it now.
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