This weekend, The Phenomenauts, a self-described “Rocket Roll” band from Oakland, California (which they dub “Earth’s Capital”), plays three shows in the Tri-Counties area, courtesy of Guardsmen Productions: on Friday, January 3rd, at O’Sullivan’s Pub in Santa Maria (with The Triggers and The Luck); Saturday, January 4th, at Billy O’s in Ventura (also with The Triggers, plus The Loads and The Cigaratz); and Sunday, January 5th, at Manny’s in Paso Robles (with Mother F Bomb and Dead Zed’s Chopper). (All shows are 21+.)

Photo Courtesy The Phenomenauts.

The Phenomenauts (Leftenant AR7 [helmeted], 3rd from the right) – Photo Credit: Dino Graniello.

On Monday’s edition of “The Freak Power Ticket,” producer/host Ted Coe interviewed Leftenent AR7, the helmeted “robot crewmember who’s ‘programmed’ to do vocals and guitars” for the high-energy sextet (Huffington Post).

Their conversation came at the end of a radio special that called attention to the historical connection between Science Fiction and popular music: from the first rock’n’roll record, “Rocket 88,” to glam rock’s “men who fell to earth” (David Bowie, T. Rex, Zolar X, etc.), from Parliament’s Mothership Connection to the futuristic New Wave music of Kraftwerk, Devo, Gary Numan‘s Tubeway Army, and beyond.

The segment followed a radio debut of a “rough mix” of The Phenomenauts song “Rocket Soul,” set to appear on their forthcoming album, Escape Velocity. The two discussed the range of musical styles to be heard on Escape Velocity; AR7’s take on the relationship between the sci-fi genre and contemporary popular music; a brief history of the band; and their song, “I’m With Neil,” which pays tribute to the best-selling astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

To hear an edited version of this interview, click on the podcast links below. Links to the Huffington Post connect to the “Rocket Soul” mix (CLICK HERE).