Squeak E Clean and DJ Zegon of NASA clearly have Facebook friend-lists that read like a Who’s Who? of hip musos. Bowery Ballroom, New York, Thursday, August 20
Squeak E Clean and DJ Zegon of NASA clearly have Facebook friend-lists that read like a Who’s Who? of hip musos. By getting them all to chip in to their recent album ‘The Spirit Of Apollo,’ they created a high-watermark of collaborationism. But this array of star turns from the likes of Kanye, Karen O, David Byrne and even Tom Waits couldn’t disguise the fact that NASA barely had two decent tunes to rub together.
If the album was a dog’s breakfast, then their live show is what comes out the other side. Naturally, most of their star buddies are far too busy (or in the case of ODB, too dead) to appear with them on stage so what the half-empty Bowery Ballroom is treated to instead is a glorified DJ set complete with ‘intergalactic dancers’ including such kerrrazy creatures as a breakdancing praying mantis, something resembling a komodo dragon grafted onto the body of a pregnant woman and what looks like Jabba The Hutt’s stockbroker cousin.
These overgrown Muppet cast-offs piss about while Zegon and Clean clumsily segue staples of the student disco and other blindingly obvious crowd pleasers, right down to Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Pt II)’ which Clean accompanies by shaking his fist like a spoiled suburban kid on spring break.
A brighter spot comes courtesy of The Pharcyde’s Fatlip, who is on hand to provide some fluid rhymes, but even his
lyrical style is eventually drowned out by the horrendous collage of beats blaring out from behind him. To be fair, NASA do try to make more of
a spectacle of tonight’s show by encouraging the crowd to storm the stage for the final part of their set – fun for the 100 or so punters who cross the threshold, but for everyone else, it looks like a youth club on a Friday night. Remember kids, it’s not who you know, it’s what you know that really