Like so many children between roughly 1970 and 2000, I found myself confronted in youth by those wonderful avatars of commercialism, the McDonaldland characters.
I speak, of course, of the often-inexplicable H.R. Pufnstuf clones: Ronald McDonald, Mayor McCheese, Grimace and all the rest I've blocked from my mind. (Just what is Grimace, anyway? Is he a big purple milkshake man? Or merely the monstrous essence of gluttony?)
I can't imagine a single child actually enjoying these grotesqueries, yet they still robble-robbled their way into the collective unconscious of American society, and clearly I'm not the only one who has given them some thought.
This Friday, Oct. 2, brings Mac Sabbath, the "best fast food-themed Black Sabbath tribute band ever," to the Black Sheep.
Unlike other food-themed bands, such as The Pizza Underground (a Velvet Underground tribute that reframes Lou Reed's classic songs as odes to pizza), Mac Sabbath has earned considerable notice for their bizarre, energetic performances, GWAR-esque multimedia presentation and props, and the inherent absurdity of the entire affair.
Did you ever think you could see a coked-out "Ronald Osbourne" sing songs such as "Frying Pan" ("Iron Man") and "Sweet Beef" ("Sweet Leaf") while a tusked "Slayer McCheese" slashes out Tony Iommi riffs? Probably not. But I'm guessing you're now at least curious.
Perhaps the other edge Mac Sabbath holds among parody bands is its pointed criticism of such a crassly commercial venture as McDonaldland.
These characters only existed to make children want to eat the menu items they were tenuously based upon, but how does an anthropomorphic bird-girl possibly make chicken nuggets more appealing?
The utter strangeness of the whole McDonaldland ad campaign, and perhaps gimmicky mass marketing in general, seems to come into sharp focus when Ronald Osbourne wails about "chicken for the slaves" to the tune of "Children of the Grave."
At any rate, you can witness the spectacle live and decide for yourself. The band will be joined by local favorites Brass Monkey (a Beastie Boys tribute act), GOYA performing the works of Pantera, and Denver-based Iron Maiden tribute band Maiden Denver.
Other coming local attractions:
• In case you missed this column a few weeks back, the joint tour of emcees A$AP Rocky and Tyler the Creator hits Red Rocks Amphitheatre tonight, Sept. 30.
• It's perhaps a little early for Halloween, but Thursday, Oct. 1, brings Doyle, the eponymous horror-punk solo project of former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, to Sunshine Studios.
• Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, bring the second annual Colorado Springs Rockabilly Expo, a weekend-long event at Mortgage Solutions Financial Expo Center.
The expo features a car and bike show, tattoos, pinups and, of course, plenty of music, including Albuquerque's The Shadow Men, Austin's Johnny Hootrock, and Fort Collins duo Last Call Romance, among others.
• If you're in Manitou Springs over the weekend, be sure to check in at the Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Aside from unlimited tastings from 25 featured brewers, you can sample music from local favorites such as Grant Sabin, Blue Frog, Xanthe Alexis & the Electric Universe, and Joe Johnson.
• Sunday, Oct. 4, brings the decidedly non-food themed "voodoo mayhem stomp rock" duo The Peculiar Pretzelmen to the Black Sheep.
• And finally, if you're into doom metal, you'll want to be at the Flux Capacitor on Sunday, Oct. 4, to catch the crushingly loud lineup of Texas' Dead to a Dying World, Washington's Serial Hawk, Basura, and Blighter.
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I miss you, Lenny! My family and I thank you for all the special times…
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