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BLAME IT ON premillenium tension. But this new year finds me in the midst of a full-fledged fixation on aliens, with an intensity I haven't felt since I used to devour books about UFOs in elementary school. So I'm both alarmed and excited by Michigan's MOG Stunt Team, a megavoltage garage-noise trio--and the latest discovery of local punk rock label Amphetamine Reptile--that's devoutly committed to myriad alien issues. Mind you, MOG aren't one of those rock bands who merely profess to be from space, like Man or Astroman or Supernova. This crew have done their research, and they temper their schtick with genuine knowledge and concern. Their music and message form an integrated effort in a multimedia alien-information campaign, which hits 7th Street Entry on Saturday.
"There are as many agendas as there are species of aliens," says MOG guitarist Matt 5, when I confide in him about my concerns. "I heard there's thousands of races that have been in contact with us. The governments want it suppressed, because institutions would fall--it would mean a metamorphosing of the planet." On the phone from Michigan, this expert in alien-related antigravity technology (pioneered by the band's hero, inventor Nicholai Tesla) expounds on his otherworldly views, rattling off a laundry list of studies, reports and theories on alien-government contact, and directs me to several relevant Internet locations.
As it happens, MOG's extraterrestrially oriented platform aligns them with the grassroots National Anti Tesh Action Society, which has chapters in four cities and contends that new age superstar John Tesh is in fact an alien working for the forces of Echelon, bent on pacifying the populace with his music. It's a dubious yet somehow plausible claim (just check the initials of Entertainment Tonight), and NATAS has backed it up by picketing Tesh concerts, confronting him directly and causing a minor media stir. A film (the band members are also video artists) is in the works.
If you're not down with this alien jazz, MOG's wrecking-ball speed rock may convert you, if their self-released EP 555 is any indication. "UFO's Calling" evokes the claustrophobia of alien paranoia, while the mood-setting "Boredoms vs. Sabbath" pits the forces of proto-metal and Japanese noise against each other (though Sabbath generally emerges as victor), with Johnny Cash and Depeche Mode referenced as well. 555 also contains a hidden track, which bizarrely outlines the NATAS manifesto, and on their current U.S. tour, MOG is bringing informative publications, alien videos, and gear for testing folks for alien exposure. Their Minneapolis visit will feature Matt 5's famed anti-gravity demonstration, plus guest speakers from the Earth Liberation Front. All of which will add up to the shocking question: Are we not alone? Draw your own conclusions.
Mog Stunt Team performs Saturday at 7th Street Entry with Calvin Krime; call 338-8388.
CONGRATULATIONS TO REV 105's Kevin Cole, who recently won the title of Most Innovative Programmer of the Year from the influential broadcast industry rag Album Network. The kudos are especially notable as Cole beat out Kevin Weatherly of KROQ in Los Angeles, long considered the most influential modern-rock station in the country...