Monday, July 1, 2013

Kirby Krackle: Rock & Roll with a Twist

I know what you’re thinking.  “Wait, what?  A post about a band called Kirby Krackle?”  Bear with me folks, and allow me to explain.  Kirby Krackle is a nerd rock band that hails from Seattle, Washington (home of such amazing musical acts as Heart, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden), and is a duo, Kyle Stevens and Jim Demonakis, the latter of whom runs Emerald City Comic Con.
Also, you would think the band itself was named after the videogame character Kirby (the pink puffball), but there’s actually a comic book reference in the name. There was a guy who worked with Stan Lee at Marvel Comics back when Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Fantastic Four and the major Marvel properties we all know and love were just beginning to be created by the name of Jack Kirby, and that is where the Kirby in Kirby Krackle came from.

But that’s enough background.  Why would you want to listen to Kirby Krackle (or KK for short)?  Well, first of all they’ve referenced a bunch of videogames in their songs!  That’s why you’re here, right?  So, I am detailing (in one post) all the video game references, both general and specific, in all the Kirby Krackle songs released to date, along with a couple of other songs you might want to check out, though they are not technically a video game band per se.

For instance, on their self-titled debut album, KK have two songs that reference videogames specifically: Back to the Beginning references Mario Kart, and Teabagged references Halo (which might be a tad obvious to some of you).  Also, there are two songs that reference videogames generally. “Up, Up, Down, Down” references the Konami Code... except that they slip up and instead of the Konami Code ending in “B, A”, they end the Konami Code in “Select, Start”... but that is the only video game reference in that entire song, because it’s... not what you’d consider a happy song, let me just say that.  The other one is “Naked Wii”... which is exactly what you think it’s about, you dirty-minded freak.

Then, on their second album, “E For Everyone” (which is itself a video game reference to the ESRB rating system), they have songs based on Fallout 3 (Vault 101) and Mega Man (Take it From Me).
Then they came out with their most recent full-length studio album, “Super Powered Love”, last year.  The only video game-referring song on there is “In Another Castle”, which has the rather impressive contrast of Mario fretting over (who else?) Princess Peach in the original Super Mario Bros. and a really cutesy, upbeat-sounding ukulele backing track.

However, if you just got all those songs, you wouldn’t get the flavor of the sheer variety that Kirby Krackle offers in the stuff it references in their various songs.  So, here are a few you should check out:
  • “Ring Capacity” is a Green Lantern ditty that is amazingly catchy with the Green Lantern Oath as the bridge... AWESOME! (from the album “E for Everyone”)
  • “Take On Me” is actually one of the better covers I’ve heard of this 80s classic from one-hit wonder a-ha. (from the album “Live in Seattle”)
  • “One More Episode” is a song that talks about all those TV-on-DVD box sets and watching all the episodes contained within till the break of dawn (released as its own single, “One More Episode”)
  • “Web-Slinger/Hope-Bringer” is a single that came out this past summer when the movie “Amazing Spider-Man” came out in movie theatres everywhere, and it’s about Spider-Man and the dichotomy he often seems to face about how he can be Spider-Man and still have the time to work, go to school, and/or have a girlfriend. (released as its own single)
  • “Roll Over” is a song about general debauchery at the Bar at the End of the World, (which is a reference to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman), and the chorus is to the tune of the nursery song of the same name. (from “E for Everyone”)
  • “Dusty Cartridges & Long Boxes” is the closest KK have ever come to writing a full-blown geek love song. (from “E for Everyone”)
  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside (Hoth Version)” is a song that KK released for free this last holiday season that takes a Christmas song that has been done to death and give it a nicely fun Star Wars spin, some role reversal, and some much-needed freshness that many versions have lacked.  They did that song with The Doubleclicks, a female-fronted nerd rock group.
So, if you like what you’ve seen in this post, you can check out their website, kirbykracklemusic.com, and it’ll take you to their iTunes and Amazon MP3 pages, as well as their Bandcamp page!  So, check them out for me, would you please?