M.O.T.O. at the Dreamland Theater June 9

This guy that I know is putting together a show at the Dreamland Theater next Thursday night, and, as it involves a band that I feel as though I should probably know, I thought that I’d pass it along. The band is M.O.T.O. (Masters Of The Obvious), and, according to what I’m told, they’ve been around in one form or another, playing punk rock, for the past 30 years. It occurred to me to pretend as though I knew who in the hell they were, but then I realized that would likely call for more effort on my part than I was willing to give. So, I asked this guy that I know to give me a brief writeup that I could share… Here’s what he responded with:

Have you ever not known that you had always wanted to hear something for your entire life until you heard it? I submit for your consideration the first track on M.O.T.O. (AKA Masters of the Obvious)’s CD compilation of their 7″ singles, “Single File”.

“Nice ‘n’ pasty. Fast ‘n’ bulbous. Nobody can eat just one…I love you even though you crystallized my penis.”

A tossed off Beefheart reference? Crystallized penises? I was hooked!

I went on to buy all 16 of Paul Caporino’s home recorded 4-track tapes (dating from 1985 on), a bunch of the singles (even though I already had them on CD) and M.O.T.O.’s 3 full-length CD releases of the 2000s: Kill M.O.T.O.!, Raw Power (yes, pretty ballsy to name your record that), and No Way Street (the latest).

So I’m pretty in the bag for this band and its leader/songwriter. But you don’t have to be totally in the bag to come out to Dreamland next week and have a super excellent good time with his rock & roll.

It’s fun. It’s funny. You can dance to it. And singing about penises is truly a universal language.

And here, for those of you who are still unconvinced, is a blurb from the Tokyo No Records website:

“Frontman Paul Caporino formed M.O.T.O in New Orleans back in 1981. Over the course of the 30 years that followed, the band has featured an ongoing rotation of backing members, ranged from two to four piece outfits, and relocated from New Orleans to Chicago to Rhode Island and back to New Orleans. Throughout it all, Paul’s adolescent sensibilities have remained intact as have his simplistic yet suspiciously moving lyrics.

M.O.T.O. have toured the world over and have played alongside bands like Buzzcocks, Flaming Lips, Superchunk, Smashing Pumpkins, Galaxie 500, The Jesus Lizard, Zero Boys, The Germs, Naked Raygun… Their records have been distributed on various labels worldwide and the band was recognized by the legendary John Peel.”

And, as we all know, the great John Peel only recognizes the very, very best

This is slightly off topic, but I wonder if there’s some protocol for when two musical geniuses that have been acknowledged by Peel meet. I should look into that.

Here, speaking of Peel, is a little audio. Listen, and be amazed.

As for M.O.T.O., the show will be at the Dreamland Theater in downtown Ypsilanti on June 9th. Doors open at 9:00, and tickets are $7. The show is open to all ages.

And here’s another blurb. This one comes from Bill Wyman at the Chicago Reader:

“Caporino wanders among the fields of sexual juvenilia and schoolyard scatology with an expert’s eye; human genitalia and bodily functions are to him what haystacks were to Monet.”

Thanks to Mike Shecket for assisting with this post, and arranging for M.O.T.O. to visit out little midwestern paradise.

Here’s the band in action:

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  1. Edward
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Will they be playing alone, or is there anyone else on the bill?

    Given the venue, will puppetry be involved?

  2. someone
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    They sound absolutely positive that they’re fascinating.

  3. игра армада
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Can someone promise me that I won’t be tricked into drinking urine? I don’t want to come all the way from the Kazakhstan just to get a mouth full of urine. I can do that here.


  4. Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I saw MOTO for the first time in 1987 in a coffee shop in NOLA. They toured in a Volkswagen bug. They had one member whose sole job it was to sit on an amplifier that kept the bass drum from creeping away. They were Tulane students at the time. We thought they were great. I saw them later but the magic had passed.

  5. Mr. X
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Unless I’m reading the Wikipedia entry incorrectly, I sounds as though this tour will have most of the band’s original lineup, for the first time since 1987.

    In September, 2009, Caporino briefly moved to Providence, Rhode Island. He planned to continue the band with a new lineup in Providence, but subsequently decided to return to his native New Orleans, where he reunited with original members Jeff and Mike Tomeny. Caporino has also begun to perform acoustic solo sets consisting primarily of M.O.T.O. material.

    The band recently completed a new studio album, “No Way Street”, which is scheduled to be released on LP by the Criminal IQ label and which is available as a Japanese import CD on Tokyo No Records. M.O.T.O. is embarking on a new US tour in June 2011.


  6. Mike Shecket
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    1. Thanks Mark!

    2. M.O.T.O. is more fun than important, but I’ve never promoted a show before, so I think I felt like I had to make it sound extra special–or as special to other people as it is to me. It’s a rock show, it’ll be fun.

    3. He did tour with the Tomenys (original NOLA M.O.T.O.s), last year I think, but this is going to be power duo format. In fact, full disclosure, I’m going to be filling in on drums.

    4. Seeing M.O.T.O. in 1987 would have been awesome.

    5. I’m working on lining up another band or two. I’m close to confirming at least one.

    6. I was thinking about having some kind of puppetry thing too. Hasn’t been decided yet.

  7. Posted June 2, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Do you know how to play the drums, Mike, or are you just learning for this occasion?

  8. Mike Shecket
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Only you can be the judge. I’ve played around on other people’s drums whenever I’ve had the chance for years, but only acquired my own set like two weeks ago. I’m certainly practicing hard to get to a level adequate to the task.

  9. Posted June 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Not to add to the pressure or anything, but isn’t that a lot to take on? I find it difficult enough just to talk with people that I admire, let alone perform with them. I’m impressed by your willingness to give it a shot.

  10. dragon
    Posted June 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Q: What does a stripper do with her asshole before work?

    A: Drops him off at band practice.

  11. Mike Shecket
    Posted June 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Sure it’s pressure. But it makes it easier that I pretty much know 90% of all the songs he’s ever recorded by heart (if not every word of the lyrics). Also, I have it on good authority that filling in on drums for at least one show will qualify me for burial in the M.O.T.O. National Cemetery.

  12. Mike Shecket
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Literally no one showed up. Enjoy, haters.

  13. Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to show up, Mike, but life got in the way. Linette had other plans, and I had to stay home with Clementine.

One Trackback

  1. By Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview: Mike Shecket on November 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    […] of other people’s projects and hoped they’d be supportive of mine… I do appreciate you posting something about the show, […]

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