Spanking New

The Spree set off fireworks, Corn Mo might be a giant and more

Robes, say, can you see: Do you think the two-dozen-plus members of The Polyphonic Spree aren't vibrant enough? Do you think rainbow-colored robes look downright drab? Then see the happiest band on Earth play at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra's Concert in the Garden series on Friday, where they'll perform beneath a humdinger of a fireworks display. If that's not enough color for you, then get your eyes checked. Fans, take note: This is the group's last show in town before departing in August for an exhaustive European tour. Lawn tickets are available at fwsymphony.org.


Video killed the local star: Dallas' best almost-jazz band, Shibboleth, will be heard on the Friday, July 1, episode of Discovery Channel's Urban Explorers program. "We don't really know much about this show," guitarist Don Cento says via e-mail, "but we think there is climbing involved and we are waaaay into climbing." The group is currently recording its sophomore instrumental record with local producing savior Stuart Sikes, and dagnabbit, I'm excited. So excited, in fact, that I've been visiting their recording diary at www.goshibbolethgo.com/blog the past few weeks. You should, too.

But that's not all, as Black Tie Dynasty blasted MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge season finale last week. After hearing the song, I checked with Idol Records chief Erv Karwelis, who confirms that Idol acts [DARYL], Watershed and Skeemin' NoGoods have also been recently added to MTV's background-song catalog. Until an Idol band cracks MTV's "Spanking New" rotation, I suppose this will have to do.

Five Questions With...In 2002, Corn Mo may have surprised MTV's TRL with his accordion-only covers of Limp Bizkit, but metroplex fans who saw the show couldn't have been shocked. The Dentonite, born John Cunningham, spent nearly a decade around town fusing the might of the accordion with a love for Gary Busey, Def Leppard's Pyromania and feminine shaving products. These days, he's finally securing the national fan base his insanity deserves, and he will soon open for They Might Be Giants for the second year in a row. In honor of his homecoming gig at Fishboy's Little D release show in Denton on Friday, I contacted Corn Mo through e-mail to see how the weirdest Mo we know has been holding up.

How did you meet They Might Be Giants in the first place?

My agent sent them a CD, The Magic Is You, and they decided to try me out for the release show for Gigantic, the TMBG documentary.

If not TMBG, who would you consider the most important accordion-sporting act of our times?

Brave Combo--they're the ones who inspired the Johns [John Flansburgh and John Linnell] to create the Giants' unique sound. Also, World Inferno Friendship Society asked me to play accordion for them but requested that I cut my hair to go with their Berlin cabaret sound. I responded with a list of great Germans who share my golden locks, including the great Siegfried [Fischbacher] and the Gunther Gebel-Williams man.

Since playingTRL, has Carson Daly ever invited you to his place to jam?

No, but the staff of TRL invited me to play a wonderful barbecue in Teaneck, New Jersey, that included MTV2 host Jim Shearer. Jersey and Texas are like Kate Bosworth and Kristy Swanson: They're very similar and hot and I don't know how to finish this analogy.

What do you have planned for this week's Denton show?

I've been playing piano lately, so if I can get my piano to the show, I will debut my new song about robotic horses.

After the TMBG tour, what's next for Corn Mo?

I'm putting out a CD that's tentatively titled Your Favorite Hamburger Is a Cheeseburger, and I'm doing a rock musical in New York [called Alice Wakeman] that is slowly becoming a rock opera. And I'm working on a project with James Rado, who is still working on the sequel to Hair and still calls me Meat Loaf. And some other stuff.

 
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