DEVOtional 2010
Photos by Rev. Stang & Princess Wei
Aug. 27-28, 2010

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Cream Based Soups

Mutant Mountain Boys


Great Balancing Act-

Cool Beachland
MAU MAU poster

Mutant Mountain Boys

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To Think, I Missed Jeff Beck's Million Mormon Moron March for the DEVOtional

by Rev. Ivan Stang

((AUDIO FILES, YouTube links have been added 8/30/2010 -- scroll down))

I could have flown to DC to help my fellow religionists bring God and Honor back to America, but instead I chose to drive to the Beachland Ballroom again to attend the DEVOtional with a passel of freethinkers, artists and musicians.

Beck's Moron March was as big as Woodstock, and the DEVOtional was about as big as the 13X-Day Drill, but I think I made the right choice. I mean, I think Jeff Beck is a great guitar player and all, but why should I see ONE guitar-player when I could see a dozen? And at the DEVOtional I could stand right in front of the stage. At Beck's concert I would have had to watch through binoculars over the shoulders of thousands of rednecks, who were probably mostly wearing cowboy hats and Uncle Sam hats. The DEVO energy domes are much easier to see over.

The DEVOtional featured some really amazing bands. INTERNATIONAL ESPIONAGE closed Friday night and they were exceedingly high-energy. Wei and I danced ourselves ragged. POOPY NECROPONDE from here in Cleveland had assembled a new band combining punk musicians with a horn section of session musicians, and their revised versions of original and DEVO songs had a sound distinctly reminiscent of Capt. Beefheart's Magic Band in its later incarnations. FARTBARF from L.A. performed such a cool-sounding, energetic set of original songs that I wore myself out dancing to them on Saturday night, so that when THE SPUDBOYS closed the event with their horrifically accurate DEVO tribute show, I was in a trance. Gerald Casale joined them for a new-and-improved "Beautiful World" complete with excellent rants.

I saw a one-man band called NERVOUS ENERGY that impressed the living hell out of me. The one man is Chad Opitz and he had such precise command over his keyboard, and his intricate, very fast lyrics, that it was hard to believe one person was doing it all. I assume a beatbox or other playback loops were helping.

Another one-man band that impressed me was MALCOLM TENT. His very confident yet happy-go-lucky singing was so clearly enunciated that even through the tinnitus I could understand every lyric!

I missed the intriguingly-named MINIATURE COLOSSAL MEN, but they gave me a CD to hear. In fact I bought or traded for Cds by every band there, I think. It will probably be a miracle if I hear them all before the next DEVOtional; I still haven't listened to the Cds from various bands at Starwood and X-Day in July.

I also missed a band called GREAT BALANCING ACT, but I met the perpetrators and in theory will get to hear their stuff eventually.

Every DEVOtional features the release of the annual DEVO tribute albums, "NOT NECESSARILY BEAUTIFUL BUT MUTATED," assembled by Rev. Toth Wilder and containing over a dozen bands covering DEVO songs. The 2010 one has songs by many of our old SubGenius friends: KRK Ryden (who was at the DEVOtional with his incredible art show), The Spudboys, Mutate Now!, The Punk Group, Rev. Bleepo Abernathy, Occupant, Gadgetto, Rural War Room and even the band that mysteriously was a no-show at X-Day, Psycho Charger.

And, of course, THE MUTANT MOUNTAIN BOYS.  I am the world's biggest MMB fan. They perform DEVO covers (and original SubGenius songs!) in the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" style of Appalachian bluegrass. They sound like the REAL THING. They don't LOOK like they sound, though. Instead of 4 70-year-old poebuckers, it's two young guys and two young ladies, the ladies specifically being Rev. Samantha  from Tucson and Rev. Robin Renee from NYC.

Hmmm. I wonder if Robin would want to do anything at the NYC Devival in October. I should have asked her about that. She's a beautiful singer and very original.

Every year we have been a bit frustrated in the effort to get a really good stage recording of the MMB SubG songs. This year, we used the parking lot behind the Beachland as an open-air studio to attempt to get a good acoustic recording of them.

(Click on the title to hear the MP3)

"May Your Records Be Unbroken"

"Look Away from the Pinks to the Billowing Pipe"

""Bob" Dobbs Is Watching Us"

"Speed Racer" (down and dirty blues version)

"Jocko Homo"

We used the excellent Zafod-donated location recorder and, by Gobbs, it sounds just like a National Geographic location recording of a real Appalachian bluegrass band. Completely old-timey. Actually… the fact that Robin sings more of a black Gospel style takes it a step beyond the pure Appalachian, I guess. But it's a wonderful recording. Once, you can even hear a dog barking off in the background.

Rev. Samantha also treated us to a preview of her new old-timey song, "He Likes Ganja Better Than Me."

Princess Wei videotaped the recording session (using our little still camera) and I have put two sequences on YouTube. The audio isn't nearly as good on the videos, but the ladies look great.

Note that singer Robin Renee has incorporated into the lyrics of this song the titles of all past DEVO albums and several of their song titles.


Mark Mothersbaugh did a Q&A with the DEVOtional crowd via Internet tele-chat, but I missed it because I was being interviewed for a video about DEVO fans by James Moriarty and his wife, from Indianapolis. They shot the whole fest and interviewed many folks, and they did it very professionally from what I observed. I have high hopes for this film.

I wonder what happened with the DEVO film somebody was shooting two years ago. That crew interviewed me at the WCSB studio.

We came home with a king's ransom in swag. Sales were very good at our SubG Swag Table -- we sold all the books and Ordainments I brought, and lots of shirts and pins -- but generous SubGenii and DEVOtees gave us many gifts. Rev. and Mrs. Provo made gorgeous silver commemorative DEVOtional flasks (in the shape of a cel phone) which they gave to the main participants. Rev. HV Monkey gave us his latest set of artistic button designs as well as a great color poster for the DEVOtional. KRK Ryden gave me one of his killer small drawings in a trippy frame, and his poster for the NNBBM annual Devo-cover-tribute CD. And from the sexy FoxyMom and her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriends, we learned of the new fad that all the cool kids are into now (as of late last night in the Beachland parking lot): tiny plastic miniature "fake rubber dead chickens" -- hung from the nose like jewelry.

If you want to be cool this year, you better get you one of those miniature fake rubber dead chickens.

The climax of the DEVOtional is always what one might call the "karaoke" session. The Spudboys, who can reproduce any DEVO song (or costume!) perfectly, give the other DEVOtees the chance to be vocalists on their favorite songs. Thus, we get to hear numerous DEVO faves being covered with precision musical back-up, but with feverishly excited amateur vocalists. Sometimes these can be IMPROVEMENTS on the DEVO originals. And, as Jerry Casale told Spudboys keyboardist and vocalist Rev. Scott Orsi, "Mark misses the right notes lots of times -- you ALWAYS hit the right notes!"

Other interesting activities included a slide show of ancient DEVO history from the late 1970s, narrated by Jerry Casale, and we got to hear about a dozen new DEVO songs that were NOT used on their new album. I missed those, so I hope there's a bootleg floating around.


We love DEVO, but we don't attend the DEVOtionals because we are DEVO fans who want to know every last thing about DEVO. In our case, anyway, we attend the DEVOtionals because we are DEVO fans who enjoy the other DEVO fans. It's kind of like X-Day. You don't go to "get into "Bob."" You go to have fun with the other SubGeniuses. In the case of the DEVOtionals, about half the fellow DEVO fans are ALSO fellow SubGeniuses.

NOW IT HAS BEEN TOLD! Duty Then for the Past.

I'm sure better recordings will soon be circulating, but meanwhile here are MP3s of some choice bits from our location recorder:

Gerald Casle joins The Spudboys for "Beautful World" and a bagger-bashing rant

FARTBARF's closing song

Malcolm Tent's closing song

Rev. Ivan Stang's rant on geekdom and Short Duration Personal Saviors

Poopy Necroponde's Cream Based Soups covers "Baby Doll"

Poopy Necroponde's Cream Based Soups covers "Planet Earth"

The Mutant Mountain Boys cover "Automowdown"

The Mutant Mountain Boys perform ""Bob" Dobbs is Watching Us" (on stage)

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