Two retro-fueled YouTube phenomena take the stage in a series of live shows in Las Vegas on February 27th. A couple years back, Cee Lo Green's Motown inspired grooves hit the net with a song who's name we're reluctant to say on a family website. You can hear a bowdlerized version on the radio called "Forget You", but it lacks the juice of the fiery original. It's a hysterical tune that namechecks Atari among other things, and the accompanying music video is a retro delight (you can spot a Casio SK-1 on the counter top in the diner). Love that song, and it went huge on the internet.
Another massive phenom on the net also goes back a few years with the Rock-afire explosion. This all mechanical group was the house band at kiddie pizzerias in the 80s. The robots don't really play the instruments, but their animated automaton antics won the hearts of many a joyous face covered in birthday cake. When Showbiz Pizza transformed into Chuck E. Cheese, some determined fans bought the old Rock-A-Fire robot "show" and reprogrammed them to sing new songs. It's both amazing and unsettling to see these cherished children's characters grinding ouut some sexy R&B beats. The internet went crazy, and there was even a fine documentary (watch it HERE for free) produced about the phenomenon.
Aaron Fechter, inventor of the Rock-afire Explosion, has been at the helm of this reprogramming scene. We've seen the RF band appear in music videos and feature films, and today the band takes up residency as part of Cee Lo Green's live Vegas show at Planet Hollywood opening the show with a rousing Rock-afire rendition of "F*** You".
"Cee Lo grew up having his childhood birthday parties at Showbiz Pizza Place in Atlanta," says Fechter, "and now, he's bringing his childhood's first live band, musical influence with him!" This is a seven week engagement, with a hint of possible further performances after that.
If I were in Vegas, I'd grab a couple slices of cheap pizza and join the party. Any of our readers local and able to go?