On August 15th, 2015, at the annual Tiki Oasis gathering in San Diego, California, Ted Coe, producer / host of “The Freak Power Ticket” conducted a lengthy interview with 4/5ths of the “space rock ’n’ roll” band, The Phenomenauts, a group in synch with the “retro-futurist” sub-theme of this year’s gathering:
Commander Angel Nova (guitar / vocals),
Chief Engineer Atom Bomb (bass),
Lunar Captain Ripley Clipse (keyboards, effects, & guitar), and
Leftenant AR7 (guitar / vocals, and a guest on “The Freak Power Ticket” in January of 2014 – for a podcast of that, CLICK HERE).
This new band interview aired during the show’s Monday, August 24th broadcast, a two-hour Phenomenauts special. That conversation, and an edited sampling of The Phenomenauts’ music, plus other selections, is now streaming online and downloadable below!
The Italian music blog Corner Soul says of The Phenomenauts: “Combined with compelling antics and theatrics, the group’s message is a call to arms to defenders of science and honor across the galaxy, dealing with the serious implications of science fiction, science fact, and offering new perspectives on Earth life as we know it.”
Coe and the group discussed the following topics:
- Their commitment to creating appreciation for science, consistent with the band’s motto, “Science and Honor.”
- Filmmaker Alex Cox’s punk-rock / science-fiction cult satire Repo Man (and its connection to author Isaac Asimov).
- The Phenomenauts’ origins as Space Patrol, punks busking for money on East Bay city streets, and their ongoing career evolution (plus Angel Nova’s + AR7’s current lounge-music side-project, The Angel & Robot Show).
- The legend and influence of the rock band Devo, plus connections to They Might Be Giants and Kepi Ghoulie (of The Groovie Ghoulies).
- The satisfaction that comes from doing what you love, flying to the farthest reaches of space in the face of “grinding poverty.”
- Thoughts on the nature of Tiki fan culture, and concerns about cultural appropriation.
- The inspiration of figures in popular science such as Neil de Grasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Carl Sagan, and Bill Nye “The Science Guy.”
- Their regional novelty song “Theme for Oakland” and the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball organization.
- The attraction (and gentrification) of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the populist US Senator from the State of Vermont.
The edited podcast touches on the humor and brilliant ideas of this group of space cadets from the capital of Earth: Oakland, California (plus samples of their music and of their friends and inspirations).
To experience most of this playlist on YouTube (sans interview) click on THIS LINK HERE!
“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the summer from 11am-1pm PDT on KCSB-FM 91.9.