This week, we reach the milestone I assume you’ve all been waiting for: this column finally breaks the surly bonds of Earth and gets some perspective from the rest of the universe.
Zoink Zulag and the Galactic Shag
The Galactic Shag are a “rogue band of troubadour aliens from universes outside of our own” that have it their mission here on Earth to put on a great show. The band has gained local attention for fun-filled concerts and their brand of quirky, funky space jams, and they’re bringing their talents to The Narrows Center for the Arts on Thursday, February 7.
The band is made up of a diverse group led by Zoink Zulag, a secretive character whose backstory is largely unknown, though there has been much speculation. The lineup also includes bass player Squeeb Lou, who runs an interstellar fuel station and garage in Space Sector Nine on the comet with Jelf Pikkens’ Hoppin’ Clam Shack. Drummer Ninictus ran away from his home on the militant planet of Kreplon in the galaxy of Kreplose.
I spoke to two representatives from the band about their cosmic sound and the tribulations of trying to relate to life on this planet.
Jake Bissaro: Space is a big place; how did you guys end up coming together?
ZZ&GS: We’re all from a different planet and area of space, and pretty much just happened to come together after gallivanting around space for many years. The band converged at Area Fifty Fun, the hottest nightclub in Roswell, New Mexico.
JB: Do you have any recorded music?
ZZ&GS: We do have a few songs on YouTube that we recorded ourselves. We’re hoping to release an official EP or album in the future.
JB: Would it fall under a definable genre or style?
ZZ&GS: If we had to define it under your Earthling terms, we’d call it a theatrical rock experience. Our main goal is to communicate our unfamiliar concepts through sounds and influences that may be familiar to you Earthlings. We’ve been compared to The Talking Heads, David Bowie and Zappa. The material stems from our attempt to assimilate to Earth culture through our music.
JB: A song you have on YouTube is “Time (Days Are Minutes).” Is time on a totally different scale where you guys are from?
ZZ&GS: It’s not something that’s easy for us to understand; humans are the only organisms we’ve come across who even have the concept of time. We think we’re getting a better grip on it. The breakdown starts with days then goes to minutes, which then boils down to hours then back to minutes again …. and liters are somehow involved. Like we said, it’s a work in progress.
JB: What can audiences expect at the Fall River show?
ZZ&GS: First and foremost, they can expect to dance and have a good time. With everything that’s going on here on this planet, Earthlings seem particularly stressed, and we’d like to give them a way to forget about all that — at least for a short time. You may even see what you would refer to as “conservatives” mingling with “liberals.” We’re also excited to have our good friends Bocheck playing with us. We abducted them a long time ago, and we’ve found that they complement us and add to the energy of our shows.
JB: What is next for the Galactic Shag?
ZZ&GS: We always have a range of gigs here on Earth, the next of which if Feb 20 at The Parlour. We’re working on more music to get out there, as well as working on an intergalactic podcast titled “Podcast in a Pod.” We’re trying to create a universe of content for our fans, and a “Road to Roswell” tour is the ultimate hope.
Zoink Zulag and the Galactic Shag take the stage at The Narrows Center in Fall River, Mass, on Thu, Feb 7 at 8pm. Stay updated with ZZ&GS at their Facebook page: facebook.com/GalacticShag
And now, some concerts of note:
WHEM: The Horse-Eyed Men’s Living Radio Show, The Columbus Theatre, Feb 7
Live! Tonight! The best fake radio show in at least the surrounding three postal districts. This week, the Harley brothers are joined by two local artists: songwriter John Faraone, playing songs from his recent Light Upon, and rapper Jesse the Tree.
RISA Songwriters Showcase, Brooklyn Coffee Tea & Guest House, Feb 9
Worth checking out is the next edition of the Rhode Island Songwriter’s Association (RISA)’s Songwriters’ Showcase, this month featuring earnest folkster Bernard John, noted songwriter Jan Luby and indie rocker Michael Graham. This event takes place every third Saturday of the month at the Brooklyn Coffee Tea & Guest House, located at 209 Douglas Avenue in PVD.
The New Motif, FMH, Feb 16
The New Motif has nothing to do with this publication, but if you’re into hyper-charged, funky jamming, this bill just might be your bag. The show is rounded out by Slurp, Sex on Decks and PVD-based Northeast Traffic.
Jay Berndt & The Orphans, Askew, Feb 22
Check out Jay Berndt & The Orphans, playing tunes from their recent Life, Love and Loss LP, an ambitious album of unflinching classic rock mixed with Motown tunes.
Mutual Benefit, The Columbus Theatre, Feb 24
Upstairs at the Columbus Theatre, Mutual Benefit is the acclaimed project of songwriter Jordan Lee, who was based in Boston at the outset, now based in Brooklyn. An experimental folk sound cut from the Sufjan Stevens cloth.
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