Man or Astro-Man?

12:30am, Club de Ville

Man or Astro-Man?

Rejoice, puny humans, rejoice! Sci-fi surf guitar originators Man or Astro-Man? have returned to this dimension. The Tesla coil-loving, theremin-zapping, Z-movie sampling quartet, which first crashed its flying saucer into Auburn, Ala., in 1992, disappeared in 2006 after appearing at Touch and Go Records' 25th anniversary show. What have they been doing since then, and why reform now?

"You have to keep in mind," explains CoCo the Electronic Monkey Wizard (bass, percussion, and VCR ignition), "that because we're from outer space and can warp time, this whole concept of 'reforming' doesn't really apply."

No, really. What happened?

"The short story is that I just wanted to get an ice-cold drink," CoCo contends. "We were having a problem with the equivalent of our ice maker in the lab. I was futzing around with it, and the next thing we were in a cryogenic deep freeze."

Three-fourths of the original interstellar delegation – CoCo, drummer Birdstuff, and guitarist Star Crunch – plus "new lab specimen" Victor Vector have been rehearsing and reconstructing the mobile research facility. ("We'll only have about 80 percent of what we want to have onstage, which is still about 400 percent of what we should have.") They have already perfected some new technology.

"We went to the painstaking detail of projecting what we might have looked like if we were Earthlings and stopped playing for years," CoCo boasts. "Look for some beer bellies and some additional body hair."

With a few warm-up gigs scheduled to burn the rust off the booster rockets, CoCo expects all systems go when they reach Austin: "We can always fall back on the idea that there's no such thing as a failed experiment."

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