Man or Astro-Man? | Concert preview
A rare opportunity to see humanoids who can tickle your funny bone, teach you circuitry and drop your jaw.
Extraterrestrial surf-rock band Man or Astro-Man? hailed from either Alabama or Venus. Answering only to bizarre pseudonyms, sampling oodles of B-grade sci-fi flicks, and performing on stages overrun with walls of monitors, Tesla coils and more vacuum tubes and cables than a Radio Shack Dumpster, Astro-Man proved to be one of the most powerful live acts in its ’90s heyday.
It would be easy to dismiss the (mostly) instrumental act as a joke or novelty if not for its magnificent music. Surf rock split the difference between the most evocative film soundtracks and the most damaging teenage guitar freak-outs of the 1960s. Peers like the spellbinding Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and genuine novelty the Phantom Surfers (and Quentin Tarantino) revived the sound in the ’90s, yet no band in the genre left a more impressive body of recorded work. Guitarist Star Crunch rocketed his licks from Hawaii to the stratosphere, as Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard toyed with antique electronics. Your Weight on the Moon (1994) was recently reissued in England, where the band was apparently huge. The booklet features glowing reviews from Melody Maker, NME and, believe it or not, Metal Hammer.
In 2006, the quartet reunited for the 25th anniversary of its label, bygone local stalwart Touch & Go. Only a handful of gigs have been staged since. This is a rare opportunity to see humanoids who can tickle your funny bone, teach you circuitry and drop your jaw.