SXSW Profiles

Playing Tonight

SXSW Profiles

Tenacious D, La Zona Rosa, 1am

It's all about the D. Tenacious D, that is, the self-proclaimed "Greatest Band on Earth" -- a "band" consists only of best buddies Jack Black (vocals/guitar) and Kyle Gass (guitar/vocals).

Together, the duo are akin to Hamell on Trial as seen through the eyes of Spinal Tap director Marty DiBergi; a pair of wailing souls with acoustic instruments blasting through such masterpieces as "The Greatest Song in the World" (which itself is not the greatest song, but is about the greatest song, which Jack and K.G. wrote but forgot) and self-explanatory, self-referential classics like, "Kyle Quit the Band" and "Kyle Took a Bullet For Me."

Their fame has spread from the tiny dives they used to play to opening gigs for Pearl Jam, appearing in videos by Beck and the Foo Fighters, and an upcoming Ten-D feature film; Black also has a role in High Fidelity, playing at SXSW Film Fest, and he's quick to assert that the band is real, and has existed since 1994, long before the HBO series.

"If the show had come first, we'd be the Monkees," he explains plaintively. He also says that the shows are almost completely autobiographical, which is pretty amazing considering that in the course of the series, Jack and K.G. have thwarted robberies, stopped bullets, and even befriended the elusive Sasquatch.

Rumors have it that Sasquatch has showed up at some of the band's recent live shows, but Jack pooh-poohs the notion that the hairy beast might make an appearance at their SXSW showcase. Since it was the idea of John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights' Reed Rothschild) to be Sasquatch, "we can't go and recast it," Black points out. However, he admits to thinking about getting some local guy to be the Yeti, so then Reilly couldn't say that they stole the idea.

"But the truth is," intones Black seriously, "if people come to see Sasquatch, they should just stay at home, because the D is the fuckin' show! And anyone who says it's Spiderman or Sasquatch, I'm gonna have to ask them to step outside and go toe to toe -- with, uh, Kyle."

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