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Rock-afire Explosion: Now Taking Requests

Holy freaking crap, I think this just may be the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life:

Yes, that's "1,000,000" -- Nine Inch Nails' raging, nihilistic anthem of modern alienation -- being performed by The Rock-afire Explosion, the original house band from early-80s kid mecca Showbiz Pizza Place.

Wait, it gets even better.

This is not simply some nostalgic fan's iMovie handiwork using old footage, it is actually a newly-choreographed performance created by the original animatronic show's inventor, Aaron Fechter (who, by the way, also designed the Whac-A-Mole game in 1971.)

And the best part? The band takes requests.

Over at StarsOf.com, you can enter bids to have your favorite song performed by Billy Bob Brockali, Looney Bird, Dook LaRue (dig that silver space suit!), Fatz Geronimo, and the rest of the gang. Minimum bid is $200, but Fechter hopes the bids will eventually go much higher, as it takes about a week of work to choreograph and record one of these songs. I think that hard work really shows, too -- the animatronic characters at Showbiz always seemed to be more lifelike and detailed than their main competitor, Chuck E. Cheese. The early iterations were done with reel-to-reel tapes that stored both audio and data for the character movement, and it really was pretty amazing how in-sync it all was.

Here's hoping Fechter gets his wish and can eventually parlay this whole thing into a TV show -- I think the Rock-afire Explosion show would fit right in with Tim and Eric and the rest of the Sunday night Adult Swim lineup on Cartoon Network, for example.

In the mean time, enjoy these gems, and get your bids in while the gettin's still cheap!

"Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" by Arcade Fire

"Conquest" by The White Stripes

"Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira

"Lollipop" by Li'l Wayne

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5 Comments

That was bizarre. But somehow entertaining, even for a devoted fan of Trent Reznor.

Still not as funny as Sad Kermit doing Hurt though.

http://sadkermit.com/

said Annadeus on February 16, 2009 8:40 PM.

Oh, God. I hope someone's got the scratch to get a Scissor Sisters song up.

said Your Mom's New Boyfriend on February 17, 2009 1:09 AM.

Is this a Chuck E Cheese type of place? That video is funny!

said CindylovesScara on February 17, 2009 8:00 AM.

Annadeus, don't get me wrong -- I am a HUGE fan of Sad Kermit (it was actually the first thing I thought of when I saw they'd done a NIN song.) But there's just something about the fact that these animatronic characters were actually painstakingly PROGRAMMED -- by the original show's creator, no less -- to perform the song that makes it extra-awesome, IMO. (It'd almost be like if Jim Henson himself had actually done Sad Kermit.) I dunno, maybe having grown up going to birthday parties at Showbiz Pizza helps, too.

Cindy, yeah, Showbiz Pizza was around about the same time as Chuck E. Cheese back in the day, although there may not have been as many of them. They actually ended up buying Chuck E. Cheese at one point and sorta melding into the same company:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showbiz_Pizza_Place

said Jeem on February 18, 2009 11:47 AM.

I went to Showtime Pizza Place several times as a kid. Even as a 10 yr old -- HATED IT.

said Justin on February 20, 2009 9:57 AM.
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