N.A.S.A @ RnR: Grooves and Alien Go Go Dancers

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Here is a review from Veronica, who checked out the N.A.S.A show last weekend while I was on a snowboarding trip in Colorado. As you will soon find out in seems I missed out on an intergalactic musical adventure. Video for Money featuring David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge and & Z-Trip with the artwork of Shepard Fairey at the end of the post.

I’m not 100% sure, but I’d take a guess that if you gave Alice In Wonderland a Quaalude directly after a day-long Futurama marathon, her next trip down the rabbit hole would be a lot like last Saturday night’s N.A.S.A. show at the Rock & Roll Hotel. Or at least that’s how I feel about it.

I’d been anticipating this show for several months now on a tip from Wix—who knows a thing or two about Getting Real on the music “steez.” And even more so since the release of the duos 5-years-in-the-making The Spirit of Apollo album a month back. Boasting artistic collaborations with the likes of David Byrne, Tom Waits, RZA and the late/great Ol’ Dirty Bastard (among others), Squeak E. Clean (DJ Sam Spiegel & brother to Spike Jonze) and DJ Zegon’s (Brazilian pro skater Ze Gonzalez) musical mastery is nothing to shake a stick–or light saber– at. Set to Brazilian Funk and old-school beats, these hip-hop magicians put together a set list of mashups to make any hipster put down their PBR tall-boy and embrace their inner extraterrestrial on the dance floor. And I’m not kidding. That’s exactly what I did.

Although the N.A.S.A. acronym stands for North America South America– and more specifically the convergence of musical influence and art across styles, genres and borders– the space connotation was not spared in the least. I must admit I was skeptical at first, wondering how the two masters of coalescence would pull off a show without the help of the albums revered artists. But they pulled into town on a spaceship, and the outcome was beyond STELLAR—chock full of one-eyed break dancing aliens, orange space jumpsuits and jumbo visuals of galactic imagery. It may have been the full day of preemptive Irish car bombs and bar-crawling leading up to the show, but one thing is for certain, two tracks into the gig and I was already seeing green– pig-tailed, body-painted, silver-bikini-clad, stripper-esque alien/go-go dancers– that is. In fact, these guys stage presence earned them a spot on the space-meets-music themed line-up right next to George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars (circa Smokin’ Grooves 1997) and the Beastie Boys 1998 Grammy winning “Intergalactic” (a track that was melded into the show seamlessly).

The album tracks were sprinkled throughout the non-stop set of hip-hop’s finest lyricists and a menagerie of influences– ranging from the playful “Whatchadoin” (with M.I.A., Santigold and Spank Rock) to the more serious and prophetic “Money” track (with Talking Heads very own David Byrne, Chuck D, and Ras Congo). The album staples however were only a catalyst for further mixing of each track, leading to their ultimate re-invention within each songs transition (aided by the four on-stage turntables). Laced with the crowds high energy (and no doubt altered states of consciousness) and surprise material from the aforementioned Beasties, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O (a personal favorite) and Kanye West– my appetite for euphoria through music was not completely satiated– leaving me with a craving for more of N.A.S.A.’s creative interpretations, and out-of-this-world beats and imagery. In fact, nothing N.A.S.A. put together was by accident. Each track was fully thought out and executed and in sync with the visuals, increasingly mesmerizing with each flick of the wrist on the turntable.

In retrospect, had I any foreshadowing of the evenings events, I definitely would’ve opted for the glow-in-the-dark cast for my broken wrist a few weeks back, just to fit in with the theme of the night. Looking forward– I won’t be sleeping on any follow-up shows from this duo. The boy’s M.O. seems simple– give the kids what they want, add some sexy aliens and funk-heavy Brazilian break beats, and get ready to travel through Technicolor galaxies. These guys reached for the stars and didn’t land short of the moon. In brief, it was just another 187 on the dance floor for Alice in Outer Space aka no-hypnotics-necessary RoniDrama.

Highlights: The energetic crowd as a replacement for David Byrne on the “Money” track– coupled with Shepherd Fairey-themed visuals and gig poster. PBR tall-boys, a perfect companion for a night of booty-shaking break beats (and an RRH standard).

Lowlights: Besides the glare reflecting off of the pseudo-alien’s silver-bikini and go-go boots, absolutely none. At least not that I noticed. As my good friend and Grim-Reaper-style-dance-partner Rybo pointed out, “the only thing that stood out for me from that show was the fact that I think they were on their 8th show in a row on tour without a break. The go-go dancers looked like they had gotten tired of washing the paint off them every night and have just decided to eat, shake, sleep, and dance in their painted bodies the past week, looking to just get through that last evening.”


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4 Responses to “N.A.S.A @ RnR: Grooves and Alien Go Go Dancers”

  1. “…in this article, Ronidrama drops knowledge about N.A.S.A as unprecedented as Obama’s rage over AIG’s exec bonuses. The picture she unfolds in euphuisms are in some senses as vivid as the show itself. Alice in Space has done it again…” – Nizzletwist Digest

  2. Greenhouse Says:

    where the heck is roni D’s blog? ( the d stands for Dee’s Nut’s ) Yo V sites like this suck! get off the net and read a book damn it! and send me a letter!

  3. Annie Nomous Says:

    Out of this world review!lyrical beauty a la RoniD..I think you have found your calling ! Next time take me…alien babes and hiphop beats killer combo 🙂

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