NASA Space Universe is playing a surprise FREE show tonight in Hollywood. It’s with two of the best bands around—Vulture and Gay Beast. Tomorrow, NASA and Gay Beast are at the big summer party at Pehr.
The music fanatic in me could not be any happier.
That’s because when I was young, growing up along the desolate shores of Lake Erie, I thought all Southern California bands would/should be mind-melting amalgams of space rock, Black Flag-type punk, and noise. I also thought I would race Volkswagen buses while listening to said music…but that’s another story.
Later when I moved here, I made a cruel, cruel discovery: not only are there no bus-racing tracks in Cali, not all Socal bands are as great as the Germs, or Black Flag, or Kyuss.
But…some are! And NASA Space Universe is one of those special bands.
I can’t remember when I first heard NASA Space Universe but I was instantly hooked. They are simultaneously classic enough that they satisfy the SST nerd in me, and yet they are so of the moment—or ahead of the moment?—with their off-the-cuff noise attack that they repel any retro tags.
With NASA Space Universe, flipped-out spoken diatribes collide with powerful thrash while the whole mass gets sucked into a black hole of savage guitar. I can’t think of many bands in L.A. that have such a devastating and visceral effect—and that should be reason enough to seek them out today and tomorrow.
NASA Space Universe’s John Cardwell took time out to say what’s up…
Who is in your band and what are your names/ages/instruments played?
Kevin Rhea, 22, vocals
John Cardwell, 20, guitar
Paul Kubasek, 23, bass
Kevin Hermes, 22, drums
How long have you been together and how did you meet?
We half-ass started in 2006 but didn’t actually start playing until 2007 after Paul joined in on bass.
I met Hermes at school in 2003. I thought he had a Mohawk but it turned out he just had half of his head completely shaved so I started talking to him about music. A week later I ended up in his band SCHS and met all of his friends from his old high school that he had gotten kicked out of. That’s when I met K. Rhea.
I met Paul at a Zoophilia show at the Smell in the summer of 2006. Two months later we asked him to play bass for NASA.
How would you describe your musical aesthetic to a stranger?
I either say we’re a spazzy/noisy mutation of punk or I just tell them we’re loud and leave it at that.
What songs in your set most represent you as a band and why?
“B’wap” (a mid-tempo homage to Black Flag that aims to make people anxiously head-bang but feel really good at the same time)
“AMBM” (very short and spazzed out, strangely-structured, funk-driven hardcore)
“Bozo Bone Zone” (upbeat, driving, and cow-punk as hell)
“F’wap” (minimal and abrasive, over-stimulating hardcore featuring a catchy, dirty bass-line)
“Inspense Expherience” (wacky start-and-stop hardcore that sort of defined what we wanted to do when we first started out)
What are you working on now?
We recorded a 13-track LP which is almost done being mastered. Besides that, we’ve just been working on a whole new batch of songs.
Future plans: tour, release the LP, put out a split 7” with Nu Sensae, release a cassette, record another 7”, and tour some more.
What are your favorite new songs right now and why?
“F’wap”—it’s fun to play and impossible to screw up live and “Bozo Bone Zone” because it reminds me of a meth-addict cowboy serial killer eating breakfast at IKEA.
Complete this sentence: See us in L.A. and…
…Bring us foil and money.
Starts at 6pm…
-A showing of Dan’s incredible screen art
-Tours of the world-famous (but rarely seen) Tom of Finland Foundation
-Dancing with DJ Kyle Mabson
-Cocktails & vegan food from Chef Joshua Ploeg
-A limited edition Danimal/Tom of Finland print
-Limited shuttle service from Tom’s dungeon to 9pm Pehrspace concert (see details below)
-A tax-deductible donation to the Tom of Finland Foundation, the world’s repository for erotic art
$15 / 18+ only / 1421 Laveta Terrace in Echo Park
Then at 9pm…
Sister Fucker (members of Child Pornography, High Castle & Coughs)
NASA Space Universe
All-ages / $5 (free for art reception attendees)
Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd.