Pleaseeasaur is something that’s… a little hard to describe. Not because I can’t describe what they (well, “he” if you count the musically performing part of the duo) sound like, but because it’s hard to convey just why they’re basically awesome. Still, we’re here for the challenge, so let’s talk about their album:
Ok, let me try and break this down. Pleaseeasaur, named for the dinosaur (obviously), is two guys, but only one of them plays music. That guy is JP Hasson (known nowadays as JP Incorporated), and he plays all of the instruments and sings and is the guy that you see in their many videos. The other guy is Thomas Hurley III, who provided props, costumes, and a kickin’ projector show to go along with these mad songs.
Still, to see Pleaseeasaur in person is one thing, you just have to look all over Youtube for that. We’re here to talk about the music in this deranged album, which, having come from Comedy Central Records, is pretty much the most “official” release from the band, though recordings abound in many hard-to-find albums called things like Beef Flavored Island.
Pleaseeasaur’s humor is certainly intentionally “campy”, I guess. It’s one of those things where it’s “so bad it’s good”, but since that’s kind of the intention, one may either go along with it or deem it stupid and go back to whatever it is you people think is funny. Personally, I think the abstract subject matter is good enough to make these songs stand out, though since finding a home somewhere near that abominable “Adult Swim” part of the Cartoon Network that seems to have taken over (like anime), it runs the risk of joining the rest of the humorless non-sequitors on that station. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this particular release.
A lot of the songs kind of sound like informercials or advertisements for products or companies that don’t exist, usually based off some kind of pun or strange ideas. This is evidenced most strongly by the song “No Prob Limo”, which is an advertisement for, what else, a limo company, and of course the name is a play off the popularly-said-in-Spanish “No problemo!” Of course, that isn’t the actual joke of the song. Upon listening to the cheesy fake… everything (xylophone, drums, bass, all seemingly synthesized), and hearing the vocals, something is just off about the whole thing. The instruments barely ever agree on what tune they’re supposed to be playing, and the vocals, which often sound like a serial killer singing karaoke, don’t really help with melody location either. It’s pretty much impossible to tell whether this is intentional or not, as it’s very consistent throughout every song. Some tunes really hold together, but the vocals always have that quality of the singer having recently gone through a tracheotomy. I’ve seen the band live, and it’s not sung that way live, so it just kind of stands out as an oddity.
Either way, “No Prob Limo”, like many of the other songs, has this kind of A.D.D. quality to the lyrics as they kind of jump around to various things. It jumps around from a phone conversation between JP, a customer, and Colleen, the person who works at No Prob Limo, and the whole thing plays out in that sort of “everybody always agrees” way that infomercials read:
Thanks for calling No Prob Limo, my name is Colleen, can I help you sir?
Colleen, give me the scoop on your limo, if it’s not a problem
No prob limo, sir!
That’s great, I’m looking for something that’s comfy, maybe something in turquoise
Uh huh, our Southwest Stretch is our most popular limo, you have great taste, and insurance?
Colleen, that would really help me sleep at night
No Prob Limo, No Prob Limo, No Prob Limo
…etc., and then it goes into a testimonial from “Brandon in Townsburg” (I love that town name). There’s a similar song, for some reason in a very dire minor key with lots of diminished intervals, called “Pizza Brothers & Sons Incorporated” that also sounds like a sales ad for a pizza place (with an additional bit of evangelism at the end calling for “Pizza On Earth”) that starts off talking about the pizza brothers (played by dummies attached to JP’s shoulders on sticks in concert) and one of them being from “the wrong side of the tracks” and the other being “spoiled to the max”, and it’s as if the line was written just to have a line. Totally weird.
There is a stand-out song that is more of a parody of those horrible American-with-a-capital-A kind of motivational songs. This one is called “You’ve Got The Tough” and it’s one of those songs:
You’ve got the tough
You’ve got that pro attitude
But you don’t think you have what it takes
Well you’re wrong, cause you’re rad, yes you’re cool
Keep it cool when you’re striving for the highest peak
The mountain, the eagle’s wings
You have the courage to fly, ’cause you have the eagle eye
You’ve had a really rough life
And you don’t need to flaunt the fact that you suck
You’ll make it through
Just keep aiming for the sky, for the eagle’s wings
If that doesn’t make you jump up and run 5 miles, I don’t know what will. Of course, in concert, he does this song in a bald eagle shirt with the sleeves cut off and a big fake mullet. Rad!
Speaking of big fake mullets, we get a really 80′s-tastic rad number called “Fantasy Fortress Five Thousand Million” which I swear could have been the main theme from a funky low budget sci-fi flick from that era.
Other things are advertised on the album as well, including “Randy Normal Jeans”, a lovely folky acoustic tune built around a very hippy-like guy who apparently hand crafts all his own jeans. We also get the schmaltziest ad I’ve ever heard in the song “Action City News”, which features a cast of anchors in the video like “Dan Rexroth”, “Cindy Debbie”, and “Raz Radley” and weather by “Roger Featherdoppler” (who is seen wearing a large Indian feather headdress). I also love that the song advertises “we only report the news that you’ll believe”.
Anyway, the Pleaseeasaur thing went for quite a while, but with Hurley going off to pursue other things (apparently), the group has now become “JP Incorporated” and the songs have gotten even weirder. He came out with an album (An Album Of Distinction) that, if I ever get my Zune Marketplace to work again, I’ll be listening to finally. Until then, check out Pleaseeasaur if you want to see something interesting and unique. If not, that’s ok too!