MP3 Scotty and the Help - Creature or Companion
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13 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Pop Crossover, ROCK: Punk
In Scotty and the Helpâs world, inspiration comes from all directions â musical and otherwise. Devo, for instance, is an inspiration. As is Glenn Danzigâs punk outfit The Misfits. And then thereâs random stuff like âmad scientists, ghosts, ghouls, brain surgery gone horribly wrong, anything gone horribly wrong, outer space, aliens, Martians, invisibility, robots, cloning and monsters,â says Scott Boehner, the Goshen-based musician who makes up half of the band â the human half, anyway.
Taking his cue from the Elton John song âBennie and the Jets,â Boehner calls his one-man band Scotty and the Help â Scotty being Boehner, the guy cranking out the fusion of sci-fi nightmare, pop, hip-hop and punk. The Help is his keyboard, an Alesis synthesizer.
âElton John was all the inspiration I needed,â Boehner says. âIâve always liked band names that are like âSomething and the Somethings.â And I thought itâd be funny, too, if people came to my shows expecting to see some big, six-piece heavy metal band. And here I am. One guy with a keyboard.â
Not that Boehnerâs audiences are ever disappointed. The beauty of attending a Scotty and the Help show is the spastic collective freak-out of his fans, a crowd of people who have agreed to forgo the trappings of hipsterdom â the icy stare, the Parliament hanging from the lip, the Mick Jagger (circa 1968) haircut â and relive the awkward âschool danceâ moments of their pre-adolescence (those precious few moments before it begins to dawn on us: I canât dance. And I look like a total dork when I try.)
It helps that Boehnerâs manic, bizarre and danceable tunes are filled with the same sort of jerky robotic rhythms and electronic accents that made new wave acts such as Devo popular. But Boehnerâs ability to claim the punk ethos as a cozy place for piano-loving, robot-obsessed geeks isnât just a wink to the new wave artists who came before him. Itâs a worldview, capable of producing complex, angular melodies filled with absurdist lyrics.
âItâs about taking punk music and reinterpreting it using instruments and imagery not usually associated with punk,â he says. âAnd itâs been pretty effective. Itâs what has helped me have a unique style.â
Boehnerâs fourth album, âCreature or Companion,â is a 13-song opus filled with wacky synthpop rave-ups with titles such as âThe Brain That Wouldnât Die,â âPerfect Robotâ and âTeenage Nightmare.â Framed by hip-hop-tinged backing tracks produced by local electronic musician AHAU and Boehnerâs own deadpan rapping, the album contains a multi-layered fusion of styles too diverse to pigeonhole.
âItâs definitely electronic,â he says. âI canât deny that. I think itâs punk, too. But then thereâs some rap soââ¦ I guess itâs electronic-new wave-punk, with a dash of hip-hop. Wait â does that make sense?â
Who cares? Just grab the hand of the first Asimovian robot you see and repeat after us: Must... Dance... Now...
-Emma Downs, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
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