Amplifly Aerial Band

Amplifly Aerial Band

Remember that scene in Up in the Air where George Clooney and Anna Kendrick and that other lady whose name I forget all crash a corporate conference party? And in the middle of the party, Young MC comes out and does “Bust a Move” and the crowd goes wild and starts bumpin’ name tags and sweatin’ through their white dress shirts? Looked pretty fun, right? Especially because George Clooney was there.

Now imagine that same scene, except this time…well, OK, this time George Clooney isn’t there, but this time, Young MC flies out over the crowd doing a Britney Spears cover. I just blew your mind, didn’t I?

This is what Amplifly Aerial Band does: Blow minds at corporate events. They’re a “high end corporate event band” from Utah that straps their singers and guitar players into harnesses and flies them around the room, Cirque du Soleil style. They also sometimes dress them up Daft Punk-style in motorcycle helmets with blinky raver lights on them. They call their performers…wait for it…”Flyborgs.” I could never think this shit up, could you?

I assume the only reason Amplifly Aerial Band is not already the biggest corporate event band on the planet is because they’re from Utah. Do they have corporations there? I always thought it was all just Mormons and ski resorts, but then again I don’t travel much.

Anyway, Amplifly Aerial Band crushed the competition in our latest Weird Band Poll, which can only mean that global domination is not far behind. Congrats, guys! If we ever decide to incorporate, we are totally booking you for our IPO party.

Here’s what I believe is known in the biz as a “sizzle reel” showing the Amplifly kids in action. Oh, yeah, did I mention they also play some dubstep? I bet if Skrillex flew around during his shows, he wouldn’t suck nearly so hard.

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Vocal Trash touring their cans off for the rest of 2012

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(Photo swiped from Vinton Today)

Summer’s almost here, and you know what they means: Time to grab the kids, strap on the feed bag, and head on down to the county fair to ogle the livestock and scarf down anything that can be cooked in a deep frier. It’s also time for America’s No. 1 detritus-based county-fair-circuit entertainment crew, Vocal Trash, to bring their Glee/Stomp/junkyard song-and-dance extravaganza back on the road.

Actually, judging from their website, Vocal Trash never leave the road these days. They’ve got tour dates for all of 2012 currently posted, from January through November, and they’ll be covering pretty much every corner of America, both literally and figuratively: everything from the 20th annual trade show of the U.S. Composting Council in Austin, Texas, to the Schuylkill County Fair in Summit Haven, Pennsylvania, to the Fairmont Opera House in Fairmont, Minnesota. They don’t list any weddings and bar mitzvahs, but we bet they’re available for those, too, if the price is right.

Here are their remaining 2012 dates (so far) for public events; we omitted the private dates because, as awesome as the can-banging, breakdancing, headset-mic-harmonizing spectacle of a fully operational Vocal Trash show can be, we assume you’re probably not interested in crashing any corporate events Up in the Air-style to see them in action. But hey, if you’re gonna be at WASTECON 2012, Aug. 13-14 in Washington, DC, we can confidently predict that they will be one of the conference highlights.

May 18 – Westlake, TX – Westlake MasterWorks Concert
May 19 – Kaufman, TX – Lost Treasure Found Art, Kaufman Heritage Garden
May 24 – Roanoke, TX – Masterworks Series, at Austin Street Plaza
May 26 – Moses Lake, WA – McCosh Park (Free)
May 27 – Moses Lake, WA – McCosh Park (Free)

June 16 – Council Grove, KS – “Washunga Days Celebration 2012” Council Grove High School Auditorium
June 23 – Vinton, IA – “Party In The Park”, Riverside Park
June 29 – Killeen, TX – Hot Summer Nights Concert Series Killeen Community Center

July 4 – Joshua, TX – Joshua July 4th Celebration 2012 Owl Stadium
July 12 – Plano, TX – Summer Fun Thursday’s The Shops at Willow Bend – Grand Court
July 13 – Cuba, MO – Crawford County Fair Hood Park
July 18 – Chautauqua, NY – Chautauqua Amphitheatre
July 27 – 31 – Cobleskill, NY – Sunshine Fair

Aug 4 – Summit Haven, PA – Schuylkill County Fair
Aug 10-12 – Sioux Falls, SD – Sioux Empire Fair
Aug 21-26 – Rhinebeck, NY – Dutchess County Fair

Sept 6-8 – Hebron, CT – Hebron Harvest Fair

Oct 6 – Dallas, TX – Reverchon Park, 5K Run and Walk One Run: Cancer Support Community
Oct 10-14 – Perry, GA – Georgia National Fair

Nov 9 – Lubbock, TX – Young Leader’s Society Fundraiser Louise Hopkins Underwood Center Firehouse Theater
Nov 10 – Fairmont, MN – Fairmont Opera House

Vocal Trash

What do you get when you cross Stomp, Rockapella, and the kind of highly enthusiastic but somewhat amateurish cover bands you see at B-list state fairs in places like Iowa and Delaware? You get Vocal Trash, a band that combines a cappella, found-object percussion, tap dancing, trumpet solos and, oh, let’s just throw a little break-dancing in there, shall we? I mean, why the hell not?

Vocal Trash was started about 10 years by a guy from West Texas named Steve Linder, who judging from the amount of eyeliner he wears probably did not fit in with the other kids in the Lone Star State. The group was originally pretty much just a cross between show choir and banging on trash cans—”Glee with a kick!” as the press materials proclaim. There was something goofy and white-trash but undeniably awesome about them, especially when they unleashed their junkyard swag on the confused but obviously entranced masses on the state and county fair circuit:

More recently, the band has slicked up its stage show by adding more instruments, choreographed dance moves and a very Stomp-like stage set—all of which can seen in this somewhat depressing promotional video. Apparently they do lots of corporate events and theme parks and such these days, which explains the snazzier production values and the inclusion of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” in their set list.

And hey, we get it—they’ve been doing this for 10 years, and at a certain point, if the quirky junkyard show band shtick isn’t landing you those major corporate gigs, you lose the fat dude with the biker mustache and bring in the break-dancers. But we still shed a tear for the demise of the rag-tag group in this no-budget video, which looks like it was shot in haste before they were chased off by the scrapyard Rottweilers:

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Rick K. & The Allnighters

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I never thought I’d say this, but I envy the folks in Keshena, Wisconsin right now. Not because I have any great burning desire to escape the big city for the simple life of a podunk small town that’s frozen tundra nine months of the year and a mosquito-infested armpit the other three. No, I envy the cheese-eating yokels of Keshena because starting tomorrow night, for three amazing nights, they are going to get treated to the awesome rock ‘n’ sequins spectacle that is Rick K. & The Allnighters—American’s Most Exciting Show Band!

Now let’s face it: cheesy cover bands are as American as deep-fried Twinkies, and about half as cheap. And Rick K and his little band of classic-song-murdering stage bandits are about as cheesy as they come. So why, you may ask, are we gracing them with a place in our hallowed shrine to Weird Bands? One reason and one reason only: they have a drummer named Steve Moore, and the guy is a fucking madman.

If Steve were poundng the skins in say, Iron Maiden, he’d actually fit right in, and we’d just be all, “You totally crushed it, dude” and move on. But because he’s in this cheesy…no, let’s be honest here…fucking terrible “show band,” he sticks out like Keith Moon at my Aunt Trudy’s needlepoint club. Someone please rescue this man, shave his head, give him some tatts and a sleeveless Motorhead tee and at least find him a nice ’80s metal cover band to bash away in. Right now, it’s like watching a Rottweiler at the chihauhua kennel.

By the way, those June 3-5 shows in Keshena will be at the Menominee Casino-Bingo-Hotel. After that RK&tAN will be truckin’ on to Hinckley, Minnesota; Carmel, Indiana; and West Milford, West Virginia. Fucking L.A….we never get the good shows.

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