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Captured! By Robots



There are bands where a human being is forced to sing with guitar- and drum-playing robots who have pulled out his eyeballs and intestines, and then there is everything else. I would describe Captured! By Robots as a parody of that first kind of band.

Singer JBOT—legally, if not better known, as Jay Vance, a San Francisco musician who once played in the Blue Meanies and Skankin' Pickle—claims that he built the robots because no humans wanted to be in a band with him, and then they eviscerated him and forced him to go on tour and obey. I suspect that's a gimmick. It would appear that Vance is actually operating the robots himself for our entertainment, although you will not see him admit it on stage.

The unofficial motto of C!BR, shrieked periodically in a sort of Crypt Keeper voice by DRMBOT 0110 is "You will suffer." That's true, partly because of Vance's flair for the grotesque and partly because a bunch of animatronic robots have difficulty playing exactly in time. It's as if punk rock developed entirely at Chuck E. Cheese, which is to say that it's A) shrill and lurching and B) wonderful. Captured! By Robots is a 17-year document of one man's insanity. You will not see its like again.

Captured! By Robots and Needlecraft play the Palace Fri., April 19, at 9 PM. $8.

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