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Lost & Found: Be You Man or Be You Astroman?

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Man or Astroman? could be the best band you’ve probably never heard of. They combine the best parts of campy ’50s sci-fi with sizzling surf rock into some of the most high-energy entertainment on this or any other planet. After traveling light years from some distant star, they arrived on Earth to play ‘Engine of Difference’ for French television.

This band has employed tons of gimmicks to make their live shows thrilling. When people use the word “gimmick” to describe something, they usually mean it in a negative way. But MOAM use only the highest-quality tricks to wow and amaze their audiences. Their shows often include giant, homemade Van De Graaf generators that shoot huge, electric-blue sparks out into the club. And at some point, they bust out the theremin, douse it in lighter fluid and light it up. It’s quite a sight, seeing someone wave his hands through a raging flame to create spooky, spaced out sounds.

The band has been making music on this planet for over 20 years and has generated a massive collection of music. They eventually formed a bond with Joel Hodgson of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000′ fame,’ who joined them onstage at a show to sing the ‘MST3K’ theme song. When Hodgson returned to the show for a cameo in 1996, he said he’d been touring with Man or Astroman? as their pyrotechnics engineer.

Their coolest stunt may have been the Astroman Genome Project. In 1998, they sent the Alpha Clones out on tour, and they performed MOAM songs under similar names. The Alpha Clones were so successful that MOAM sent the Gamma Clones, an all-female version of the band, on tour the next year. If the above video is a little too lo-fi for your tastes, check out the official music video for ‘Sferic Waves’ below.

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