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Thematic Grooving

Oh. Hey! Long time since I did a stand alone article. You know how it is, you get the idea to do a vlog show while balancing novel work and putting out biweekly short stories of strange adventures, and before you know it you’ve managed to summon one of the Great Old Ones who wants to play a game or two of Small World, and then—

What? Just me? Fair enough.

Let’s talk music. Music fuels everything I do from work to relaxation, and I love sharing my ever growing jukebox (herein referred to as JUKE PRIME) with family, friends, and you lovely folks out there. Today, I thought I’d narrow that focus to one of my favorite kitsch slices of musical acts: the themed band.

Here are some of my favorite examples of those bands that freely dance to the left of normalcy center. Maybe you’ve heard of some of these. Maybe you haven’t. Either way, enjoy a trip into the world of sight, sound, and killer get-ups.

DOCTOR STEEL

Victorian era-esque Mad Science meets hip hop and vicious rock. I absolutely adore this entire enterprise. Unfortunately, the good doctor has since stepped away from the stage. however, one will be pleased to note that his army of Toy Soldiers are still working hard to fulfill the Doctor’s dream of building a Utopian Playland.

STEAM POWERED GIRAFFE

I’ve followed this group’s antics from the bygone days where they were a quartet busking for live audiences. They’re now a powerhouse trio of automatons that seamlessly blend beautiful harmonies, showmanship, and comedy. They’re always  a treat to watch, and there have been more than a few books I’ve worked on where their music was my background.

THE PROTOMEN

This group’s appeared both in and out of costume on stage, but the genius of their initial concept is undeniable. Take a direct concept such as the video game, Mega Man, and turn what is otherwise a straightforward and simplistic story into a multi-album sprawling Rock Opera that is packed with emotion and real gravitas. also, bonus points for the delicious infusion of 80’s synth sensibilities.

GWAR

You should know this one. If you don’t, you’ve none but yourself to blame when these conquerors from outer space show up and start dancing in your ribcage. The Scumdogs are still kicking ass and testing the outer boundaries of taste. RIP Oderus, you’ll forever be missed.
(Honorable mention for Lordi.)

THE AQUABATS

A team of superheroes  saving the world through the power of punk, ska, and whimsy? Sign me up. This band’s been a staple of mine for years, particularly their track “Super Rad”. Check ’em out.

ALESTORM

Pirate. Metal. PIRATE. METAL. If I have to really explain myself beyond those two words, then there’s simply no hope for our fledgling human race.

HONORABLE MENTION: IRON HORSE

Iron Horse gets a nod, though aesthetically they don’t fit the bill, and they’re far more of a concept band than the full production of the previous entries. But come on, they managed to cover rock and metal staples with Bluegrass sensibilities and make them kick ass in an entirely new fashion. You owe it to yourself to check them out.

And there you have it. I’ll try to be more Johnny on the spot with fun little asides like this when I’m not cranking out the other projects. Speaking of which, you can look forward to a brand new Ground Xero vlog this Friday, and some announcements next week.

Until then, Horns up.

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