Friday, February 22, 2008

That question mark goes operative

There are three Mountain Goats shows here in SF next weekend, and they all sold out weeks ago. I haven't missed a Mountain Goats swing through town in a loooong time, and I've been thinking tonight about various strategies for showing up at the Sunday afternoon BBQ show and getting in. Leading plan so far involves bribing someone with vegan cupcakes. But in getting to that, I was thinking back to the last time I went over to a too-popular/too sold-out show at the same venue [Bottom Of The Hill] and stood in line until enough people left. Man Or Astro-Man? clone tour. In 1998 the band [MOAM?] sent not one, but three groups of stand-ins on tour, playing MOAM? sets, with some prerecorded dialogue bits explaining how the clones were remotely controlled by the actual band, blah blah further elaborating the sci-fi schtick. Arum can probably explain how this all got conceived (I can't), but whatever - Has there ever been a more brazen indie rock stunt? (Don't tell me) You've got three cover bands touring the country at the same time, handpicked by the actual band,and they're selling out shows while the actual band kicks back in their orbital platform and lights cigars with hundred dollar packets of astronaut ice cream candy. Supposedly clone group B was all female, and you'd think there would have been some Woman Or Astro-Woman? shirts, because why not, except to stick with the clone story. Chutzpah! Anyway, I was on a bus from Oregon to SF and I met these three German girls, and the most incredibly cute of them was so excited about the chance to see Man Or Astro-Man? the next night. Do I explain that it's not the real band she's crossing traveling paths with, and suck a little bit of magic out of her 2 days in SF? I do, because this is a ridiculous hoax, these are tourists on a budget, and I really thought Birdstuff was a better man. Astro-man. I'm smitten, I try to explain it sympathetically. But the whole clone concept doesn't translate at all. Her English is good, but not up to taking in improbable meta-schemes, and we all go to the show and stand in line and get in and she sits on the edge of the stage and loves it, and y'know, the clones are pretty good. I can't even remember if they did or didn't have a Tesla coil or if that was the show where Jello Biafra stepped up and sang improvised lyrics to "Destination Venus." It was a stunt, and I'm still impressed.
OK, if you can think of a comparable stunt, tell me.


Revenant said...

I think I'm in love, but it makes me kind of nervous to say so.

Come on over to my blog role.

SMSorrow said...

Clone Project Beta were men, but they never managed to tour successfully (PR at the time claimed that they were "Put down Logan's Run style"--I heard this tale from our gracious host himself). Clone Project Gamma, whom I saw in Chicago at the time, were in fact women.

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