INTERVIEWER: Cooter MacKnair, your fans everywhere are dying to know: why did you call your band Anus Kidney and the Macaroni Rocket?

MACKNAIR: Well, it’s a funny story, love. My mate Annie Dusky and I were talking one evening, yeah? Just jamming. And she was slamming the Guiness, really kicking it back, yeah? Coz it’s her muse. And I says to her, I says, “Annie, you’re going to pop a kidney soon and have a transplant.”

INTERVIEWER: Ann Dusky, your bass player and vocalist?

MACKNAIR: Natch. So Annie says to me, she says, “Cooter, I’d rather die than to have a big old nasty scar on me side like that.” Annie’s a lil bit needle-phobid, you see, otherwise I’ve have just said she could tat over the thing.

INTERVIEWER: Unlike you.

MACKNAIR: Cor, that’s right, you know I’ve got more ink than a squid with the trots. But anyway, I says to Annie, I says, “Well, they could go in through your bum, you know, with a long pair of tweezers and a lil camera and do it that way. Slip you a new kidney right up the back nine.”


MACKNAIR: Then Annie says to me, she says, “Cooter, don’t be mental. They couldn’t do that, they haven’t got the tools.” And then I says to her, I says, “Yes they do, they go in through a little hole all the time with a camera and whatnot.”

INTERVIEWER: Endoscopic surgery, I believe it’s called.

MACKNAIR: Yeah! So I told her that and Annie says, she says, “Well, even allowing for the possibility that they could, I’d die of sepsis from a ruptured colon if they tried to stuff a kidney up me bum!”

INTERVIEWER: And what did you say?

MACKNAIR: Well, I allowed that she was right, it’d be a real danger to life and bum. But I says to Annie, I says, “Even so, you have to allow it’s possible, love.” Maybe not easy, maybe really hard, maybe really dangerous. But she wouldn’t allow for it!

INTERVIEWER: Is this where the macaroni rocket comes in to play?

MACKNAIR: Cor, exactly. I says to Annie, I says, “It’s like a rocket made of macaroni. You could get it to the moon if you wanted. It’d be mental to do it, real hard and real expensive, but you could do it! Just like you could transplant a kidney through the bumhole.

INTERVIEWER: How, exactly, would a macaroni rocket work?

MACKNAIR: Well, you’d need to build it in orbit. Use a lot of the stuff. But if you gave it a rocket and some momentum in a vacuum, and it didn’t whang into a meteorite, it’d get there with time.

INTERVIEWER: And what did Annie say?

MACKNAIR: She said it’d be a good name for a rock band, love!

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We are the dead salesmen of this world
But that does not mean that we are without
Our various and sundry pleasuures
Every evening a vacation destination
Every vacation a far better one
Than any family truckster could bear
When you go to your Acapulcos and Cancuns
Does everyone know your name, your drink
Our vacations, nightly, are all music
Our vacations, nightly, are all merriment
A live band in our ears, vivid and raw
Cigarette smoke in our nostrils, burning
Our favorite drink in our throat, burning
You go ahead and scrimp and save
Fret and worry about Europe or Asia
Cruises and getaways with wife and kids
Our vacations are every night
And we never remember them
Because they’re always the same

Inspired by the song ‘Willie Lomans’ by Hiroki Kikuta, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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“Tee Hicks was the master of jazz fusion,” said Arringer. “Not just the usual sax and percussion, he had a goddamn synthesizer on stage that he would modulate with a foot pedal to do everything from a Moog pipe organ to just wild static.”

“That sounds…deeply unpleasant,” said the stranger, swirling his liquor. “Don’t people usually try to avoid static?”

“If you do it right, though…perfectly timed and perfectly executed…it’s just another part of the improvisation.” Arringer took a pull from his cup and wiped his lips. “This stuff, your losers on stage playing at being jazz stars? They’re not fit to serve Tee Hicks’ drinks.”

“Sounds like you’ve got a powerful grudge against my boys,” said the stranger. “You think your static-y jazzman was any better?”

Arringer set his jaw. “At the show in ’77, Tee Hicks used static as a duet with his alto sax improv. Blew my goddamn mind.”

“Counterpoint,” the old stranger said.


“It was counterpoint, not a duet, when I played the Orpheum in ’77.” A raised eyebrow. “I should know. I dropped out of Juliard.”

Inspired by the song ‘T’ by Hiroki Kikuta, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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“Totalitarian Robot Televisions have been in the Top 100 for month, the Top 10 for weeks, and #1 for five days. And you’re telling me that they’re being sued?”

“That’s right, sir. The drum loop and samples that they used for the bass line came from Concussion Statuette’s 1977 album Without Makeup. Used without permission.”

“What do they want?”

“They want a million dollars, sir.”


“Per minute, sir.”

“…how long is the song?”

“8 minutes and 13 seconds, sir.”

“Put on something soothing and morose from the back catalog. This is going to hurt.”

The Penitent Barrister Original Motion Picture Soundtrack it is, sir.”

Inspired by the song ‘813’ by Hiroki Kikuta, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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The stadium was full and loud as the latest indie pop rock crossover sensation, Granny and the Robots, finished playing their set.

“Thank you!” the lead singer cried. “Thank you very much!” The crowd, overwhelmingly young women, screamed and pressed forward so much that the security line buckled and a few were able to get their hands on the stage, where their idol slapped them with stinging enthusiasm.

It took three encores, but the band eventually got off the stage and into their trailer. Once the last member, the drummer, was inside, the door closed and triple-locked.

“Well, that was a hell of a performance,” said Bertha Neumeier, unhooking herself from the virtual reality control panel interface. “Think they’re any closer in figuring out the band name?”

“Negative,” said UXP-491, pulling the android control cable from its data port.

“0100111001001111,” croaked Binar-Tron, doing the same.


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A small but still capacity crowd had gathered in the Cyril Theatre in Hopewell that evening to hear The Garbage Fries. It was perhaps a recognition of how far the group’s star had fallen since its late-1990s heyday that it has been booked into such a small venue. Then again, it could just as easily have been a savvy agent who could claim that The Garbage Fries were still playing to packed houses, even if said houses could barely hold 2000 people on a good day.

Most of the audience were students who appreciated The Garbage Fries for its retro and ironic appeal thanks to their prominent inclusion in once-contemporary movies that were now seen as adorably dated. The lead singer and lyricist of the Fries, Julida Patil Veblen, had decorated countless adolescent boys’ sanctums and fantasies and been a fashion icon for their female compatriots as well. There were not-insubstantial members of those original, older fanbases in attendance.

The Hopewell show would have been like any other, a mix of old hits carefully calibrated to appeal to both the ironic and the sincere devotees–Julida was a smart cookie, even if her star had long since faded. But as the evening wore on, a problem quickly emerged.

The Garbage Fries never arrived, and their tour bus hadn’t been seen since departing from a show nearly two days before.

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There was pandemonium in the waiting area between the stages; band members, roadies, burly security personnel, and every species of stoner known to man mingled in a gigantic mob.

“I’m here to see Dinky Gazebo. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs since they got their start in a Cascadia college bar!”

“Woo! Garbage Mashers on the Detention level for life! I have all their albums and bootlegs and bootleg albums and albumen bootlegs!”

“Does anyone know when Bad Pastel Paintings plays its first set?”

“Where’s Stage D? 10-Hour Flight Delay was moved there and they start in 10 minutes!”

“Yeah! Best Don’t Eat the Lobster concert ever! Even better than the 2010 tour!”

The Bands With Stupid Names fest 2013 was off to a strong start.

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