I hope you are a geek. I hope you appreciate overt and subtle geekery on multiple levels. I hope you like incredible, highly energetic live music. I hope you are still reading this because I’ve got something to share with you about a band. Actually, that’s kind of misleading because the group of individuals I am referring to isn’t just a band; I’m talking about the Sci-Fi Surf Rock juggernaut otherwise known as Man Or Astro-Man?
Man or Astro-Man? arrived/crash landed (whatever you wish to call it) in a small college town in Alabama some years ago. Realizing that in order to integrate into human society, they would have to downplay their true identities and take on aliases, most conveniently in the form as students. Studying industrial design and film, the group began formulating a mode in which to learn more about their new earthly environment. They soon became attracted to pop culture, they decided that the cliche of a being a rock band would provide a perfect vehicle in which to traverse the globe and further their research. Full integration into Earth society would thus commence for what was soon to become known to the world as Man or Astro-Man?
Now they have reunited after ten(ish) years in cryogenic hibernation and they are going to blow the pressure-suits off of Portland later this month. Clearly, I am excited for this show. When I moved to Portland, they were the first band I saw when they played at Satyricon back in 1996. The combination of the small venue, jam-packed crowd and the explosive action of what was happening on that tiny stage hooked me right then and there. It isn’t just a show about music, it’s a visual and aural treat as they streak through their original songs and covered material set to imagery and video clips from classic and obscure science fiction films. So outside of backstory, outside of the scifi audio tidbits tossed into their albums, how do I convey to you that these guys crank their geek knob up to eleven?
When they returned to Portland the following year to play at La Luna. Their stage show started with a visual presentation. Did anyone out there have those Read Along Book-And-Record sets? The ones that say “You’ll know it is time to turn the page when you hear the chime, like this” (insert wind chime sound)? The audience that evening was treated to the audio from the Star Wars book set to a hilarious video of the original 3 3/4″ action figures acting out the condensed version of the first film. Man Or Astro-Man? immediately appeared afterward and cleaned house. It was so amazing that when I found out they were coming back to PDX, I couldn’t NOT spread the word.
If you haven’t heard of this band before, you really owe it to your inner geek to check them out. What better way to do that than by joining the ranks of astro-heads at the Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday, February 23rd for what is sure to be an amazing show. I hope you go, I hope you enjoy it and just make sure you stick around for the Tesla Coil.
The Doug Fir Lounge is located at the northeast corner of the Jupiter Hotel property at the intersection of East Burnside & 9th Avenue. The doors open at 8pm and the show starts at 9pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $16 on the day of the show.
CONTRIBUTOR: Kyle hosts a bi-monthly podcast about giant rubber monster movies from Japan called the Kaijucast, and that’s pretty damned nerdy.