That all started to change with bands like Devo and The Cramps — they knew that rock ’n’ roll, at its core, wasn’t no high-falutin’ music, so if you were going to mix in science fiction, why not go for the pulpy exploitation strain — Arthur C. Clarke and rock operas, no; Roger Corman and rock 'n' roll, yes!
That brings me to the New Orleans band/multimedia traveling show known as the Consortium of Genius, or C.O.G. for short. This motley crew has been making mad-scientist rock since 1996 with a revolving crew of misfits with names like Dr. Milo Thaddeus Pinkerton III, drumbot, Dr. Ivan Stroganoff, Experiment F13, Lab Tech Remy Dee and Dr. Zaemon Abdul Siddhartha Mohammad Achmell Tutmos Abram Ali Hermes Odin Mahatma Dahali Martin Luther Hussein Kali Rocka Babu Haghighi III (but he’ll answer to “Dr. Z”).
C.O.G. will be bringing their latest attempt at world conquest and unholy fusion of punk, jazz, metal, industrial, gospel and more to the soon-to-be-departed Muse for an all-ages show tonight, starting at 8 p.m. Opening for them will be Nashville’s own sci-fi-horror-comic book-rockabilly-garage-surf-punk favs The Exotic Ones, who will debut their new lineup after being MIA for the past year. Rumor has it they were busy growing their new drummer, The Question Mark, from radioactive sea monkey eggs. Also on the bill is Dirty Dee and the Sweaty Meat, a self-described Dirty South meat-punx band that performs high-energy, fast-paced, sing-along songs.
Local horror host and mad scientist supreme (and Scene cover model) Dr. Gangrene will be on hand to host the event. Only $8.
And speaking of other-worldly rock 'n' roll, one of the most exciting developments in the last year for Music City lovers of the Big Beat is the reunion of the original Planet Rockers. The quartet’s original run was from approximately 1989 to 1992. Valuing function over fashion (a rare commodity for many well-intentioned rockabilly revivalists), the Planet Rockers lived up to their name by simply being one of the best rockabilly bands to ever rock the Earth. Since January, the original lineup has been playing various dates around town, and conquered Spain with an appearance at the 2012 Rockin’ Race Festival in February.
They’re playing tomorrow night, May 23, from 8 to 10 p.m. downtown at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn, no cover. Rumor has it they’re planning a bigger show for later in the year, but don’t miss any chance to hear 100 percent Tennessee rock ’n’ roll as it was meant to be.