Smile Politely

You can count on Electric Six

Electric Six. When you hear the name of the band, you may think of the interminable list of bands that contain digits: OneRepublic, U2, 3 Doors Down, +44, Maroon Five, the list goes on. Use your imaginations. Take what you know about these bands, and now, disregard it. As you all probably know, the numerical system of band names holds less weight than math. After all, we are talking about music. So subtract a Devil Makes Three from a Nine Inch Nails and you get an Electric Six … I’m having way too much fun here. Brace yourself for the incoming barrage of numbers.

In a somewhat more serious note, despite the band’s numbered moniker, they are anything but quantifiable. They are coming to the Highdive in Champaign, show starting tonight at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m., with tickets being $12 in advance and at the door (isn’t that nice?). There is also a band with the hot topic name of Little Hurricane opening for Electric Six.

Electric Six arrives in Champaign after being fired up touring in their home state of Michigan, the band being rooted in Detroit. Their presence is also known internationally, having just recently made their rounds in Europe. I know that I pretty much said I’d stop talking about numbers, but judging from their website’s description of their album Zodiac, I think they may have a bit of an obsession:

The Zodiac is comprised of the 12 constellations that are visible from the moon. They exist along a circular axis known as the ecliptic divided by 30 degrees each. Their energy is transmitted through invisible particles discovered by the pharaohs known as the zero particle… which was determined by Louis Pasteur to have a particular value of 0. There are 88 constellations in the sky. There are 88 counties in the state of Ohio. There are 88 keys on Tait Nucleus’ piano. “Zodiac” is Electric Six’s 7th studio album. 7 multiplied by 88, multiplied by 88, multiplied by 88, divided by 12, to the power of 30, divided by zero…is zero. And now you see where this is going.

Our bank accounts are sitting at zero. We need to sell another record.

Sounds a little like that movie 21 … Dammit, now all I can think about is numbers! You gotta appreciate their wacky sense of humor.

So before all you math nerds start whining that any number over zero is undefined and not zero, check out this hilarious music video from their hit song “Gay Bar” (note this video is not for the homophobic or offended by sexualized representations of former presidents). I think we all need a little fun-pokin’ at the presidency after the slew of politically charged Facebook statuses:

By the way, at 0:38, he’s saying “Let’s start a war. Let’s start a nuclear war.” Why war is censored and yet there are half-naked Lincolns dancing about on poles is beyond me.

If you did find this video to be absolutely hilarious, this band is not for you. So now comes the point where I attempt to define the style of the band. Having seen them at the Illini Union (yes, they do have concerts there) a couple years back, I’d personally define them as metal disco. Yes, metal disco; I really have no idea how to pin them down to genre. And I appreciate that, actually. There was some even some moshing at one point, for those of you that are into that kind of thing. In regards to the labeling issue, the band members themselves openly refuse being pinned to any sort of definition. If any of the band members are reading this, sorry I kind of pissed you off. I dig you.

The most current work from the band comes from lead singer Dick Valentine, with a solo album entitled Destroy the Children. Finally, someone with a dissenting opinion to saving the children! Before things get too morbid, check out their video for “Danger! High Voltage.”

I hope this music video didn’t turn you on too much, folks. The glowing breasts can be a little preoccupying.

Back in 2003, this song dominated the charts in the UK, reaching the prominent position of number two (ah, the numbers!). It is refreshing to know that there are folks out there with such strange taste in music and music videos. Artists like Electric Six remind the world that it’s OK to dress up as stripper Lincoln, patronize the local gay bar, and wear phosphorescent brassieres. So get out to the Highdive tonight (in costume, if you’re brave), before I start lecturing about numbers again.

Electric Six play The Highdive tonight with Little Hurricane, starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12.

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