Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kirby Krackle Rock Supanova! And We Were There! Sort of!

My biggest regret of Supanova 2012 is that I didn’t hear the live set by Seattle nerd-rock duo Kirby Krackle that opened the Expo on Friday night. I had certainly heard about their work, but hadn’t heard any of their actual music and in my haste to organise everything else for Saturday I missed my chance. Big, big mistake.

It wasn’t until early Sunday morning that I fired up youtube while getting ready to leave the house and started to familiarise myself with a couple of their songs. I was instantly intrigued and made a point on Sunday to say hello to Kirby Krackle’s Kyle and Jim and grab signed copies of all three of their CDS.

Since then, I’ve listened to these non-stop while writing up my Supanova coverage and have become a real fan. (And we did manage to catch part of their acoustic set and take a few pictures on Sunday afternoon). To find out why my ears now want to have their babies, and to hear my favourite song, AND see aforementioned pictures... join me after the jump!

I’ve got to say that just the design of these albums alone was enough to catch my attention. I approached them with the plan of choosing one but quickly decided to buy all three, and I’m pleased I did. They are Kirby Krackle, E is For Everything and Super Powered Love. Look! Signatures! 

"Rock on" indeed! And here's some infamous "Kirby krackle" right there on the disc!

The songs are laden with pop culture references, some of which, depending on your level of fandom, may sail right over your head, but the songs themselves are so funny and cleverly written that just recognising that there are references is satisfying enough. Plus Kirby Krackle cover a wide range of topics - although comics and comics characters feature prominently in their work, they also delve into the world of video games and general pop cultural tropes (e.g. a wistful song about what it’s like to be a henchman) so there should be a little something for everyone. And did I mention that the music is incredibly catchy.

Case in point, my instant favourite is a song called Great Lake Avengers, a team I knew nothing about, but didn’t need to in order to enjoy the premise. It’s a song about being rejected by all the great superhero teams while doing your best to hold out from accepting an offer from the worst team of all time. 

It was enough to get me to research the Great Lake Avengers afterwards and I was delighted to discover that they’re even worse than I could have hoped for. The original team included: Flatman, Big Bertha, Doorman, and Dinah Soar. And it’s a sad state of affairs when your most effective team member is Squirrel Girl. Apparently they pissed off Hawkeye and got a cease and desist notice for using the "Avengers" name.

But you can hear it for yourself! Listen all the way through, it has a killer bridge.

There are plenty of other stand outs. I’ve always wanted to hear a creepy song about Uatu the Watcher watching me.

So Kirby Krackle travelled all the way from Seattle to Perth, Western Australia and, like an idiot, I missed their big show and missed my chance to chat with them properly. But as I said, we did manage to sneak a little bit of time off to check out their smaller acoustic set late Sunday afternoon. While we were there Kyle took to the stage with an acoustic guitar while Jim took a break in the audience.

Image: Jacinta Mathews
The acoustic versions sounded great although I wasn’t as familiar with the material as I am now. The songs drew plenty of chuckles from the small but appreciative crowd.

Image: Jacinta Mathews
Sadly, late Sunday the crowd in general had really dwindled, and sadder still a lot of the kids drifting around in Anime wigs probably couldn’t have told you who Kirby was (“Pink fat guy, right? Eats lots of things?”) but it was still pretty electric (are you allowed to describe an acoustic set as "electric"?) and it was a welcome send off to a great weekend. Thanks to Kyle and Jim for playing for us, and I will be definitely be there if you come to Perth again!

Find out a lot more about them at their official site.

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