Recently, I stopped drinking alcohol for a few weeks due to a severe case of “turning into a tremendously fat man.” As a result, I’ve been compensating by drinking cold press coffee–a dark, sludgy substance that resembles the loneliness of space. It makes me feel like my brain is made out of tiny shimmering stars. Anyway, in order to keep with the theme of how distant and out of it I’m feeling, I’m doling out a six-sized list of artists from OUTER SPACE.
6. The Jonzun Crew
Michael Jonzun and Maurice Starr became well known for their work as executive producers in the ’80s. But before they were ruining the precious bare walls of teenyboppers with posters of New Edition (Jonzun and Starr actually wrote “Candy Girl”) and New Kids on the Block, they were the Jonzun Crew. Blasting through space and bad taste through the use of catchy electro sounds, futuristic blue-screen effects and spandex laser-tag outfits, the group completely KILLED IT on tracks like “Space Cowboy” and “We Are The Jonzun Crew.” If those songs somehow don’t win you over, perhaps knowing that there was a member of the group named “Captain Fingers” will seal the cosmic deal for you.
Formed in the mid-nineties, Sweden’s national treasure Vondur initially played black metal. Then the band played intergalactic space rock, covering Elvis and Motley Crue. Vondur has some Star Wars themed art on the cover of its album, Stridsyfirlysing, which oddly enough was designed by Stephen O’Malley from drone-outfit Sunn 0))). Vondur’s elusive members, IT and ALL, also recorded a record under the name Abruptum–infamous in the underground metal world for supposedly being a recording consisting of them physically torturing one another. On Vondur’s Myspace page, they claim the only live shows they ever played were the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Um, alright then.
4. The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
As the reason David Bowie took “Stardust” in the name Ziggy Stardust, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy is one of my favorite topics of conversation. I mention him to nearly anyone I can–from the guy in the grocery store last week to Marilyn Manson. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Norman Odam had always been fascinated with the moon and outer space. While the Texan singer has yet to achieve his goal of making space-suits for horses and creating the first ranch on Mars, his song “Paralyzed” was such a hit in the late 1960s that it ended up being used by NASA to wake the astronauts on space missions.
I just spent an hour reading a site called Spacesynth.net before realizing that I still have absolutely no goddamn idea what this stuff is. The best I can tell you is that Laserdance is, indeed, somehow related to space and it doesn’t really matter if they even put out music as long as they created this kind of kickass album art.
2. Dr. Octagon
Though the brilliant Kool Keith explored a few space concepts, it was Dr. Octagon who channeled the spirit of a time-traveling interstellar gynecologist. He has green and silver skin. And a doo-doo pistol. Related: Here is a link to an Ok Cupid search for “Space doo doo pistols.”
1. Sun Ra
“I never wanted to be a part of planet Earth, but I am compelled to be here, so anything I do for this planet is because the Master-Creator of the Universe is making me do it. I am of another dimension. I am on this planet because people need me.” – Sun Ra, 1989
Sun Ra is perhaps the coolest, most important space-related artist on this list. Although born in Birmingham, Alabama, Sun Ra claimed to be an Angel from Saturn after experiencing alien contact in the 1930s. A pioneer in multiple genres (also the first jazz musician to perform on electronic keyboards), his incredible body of work has been sampled by artists like Death Grips, Azealia Banks and Madvillain.