Interview With A Scientist
Consortium of Genius DVD provokes more questions than answers
by Melissa Crory
Discouraged by a lack of originality in many of the recent rock offerings in the local music scene, I was intrigued by reports of a band which not only delivered a completely avante-garde show, but also used a host of props, characters and, er, technological gadgets of mass-mayhem. I had no idea that a simple visit to a Consortium of Genius concert and request for an interview would propel me into a world of secret labrotories, evil scientists and a plan to take over the entire world. With no knowledge of the imminent danger to my person, I attended the recent DVD release party at the Howlin' Wolf.
The Consortium of Genius, better known as THE C.O.G., were a complete assault on the senses. The stage was filled with strange instruments, like a scientific music laboratory gone wrong...way wrong. The members of the band, dressed in white labcoats, seemed to have recently escaped from a mental institution for the medically insane, and from what I could gather, the drummer was a three-eyed robot hologram in a cylinder. How his little pixelated arms could hit drums, I had no idea, but he seemed to be doing a pretty good job. Projected above the band were interactive videos, backdrops and footage of the band's sinister plans for world domination. Dazzled by the show, I decided to hesitantly approach the band and ask for an interview - but I had to choose who to approach first. Should it be the long-haired sneering guitarist chugging the bottle of Grey Goose? Or maybe the turban-wearing bass player who seemed busy analyzing a large black orb with a smoking wick? I decided on the lead singer, who was kneading his hands together and mumbling about extermination. Did he perhaps have roach problems?
"Er, Dr. Pinkerton, I presume? Could I possibly have a few words with you for Lucid Magazine?"
Pinkerton whipped around with a large can of what I figured could only be hairspray to hold up that huge dark mullet of his, but I was certainly mistaken. As he sprayed a mysterious mist straight into my face, I remembered nothing but his cackling laughter and what I could only make out as a sinister, "Perfect. Mooo ha ha haaa..."
I awakened in what I was told was an underground lair (however impossible this may sound being that New Orleans is under sea level.) The three evil scientists were standing before me as I came out of my spray-induced fog, and the one known as Pinkerton immediately ordered that I begin the interview.
Before I could ask the first question, however, he launched into his own cross-examination. "Wait, are you here about my upcoming threat to destroy the Superdome with a giant mechanical football? But we haven't even built a helmet for the giant robot quarterback yet! Hmmm. Perhaps I'd better let YOU ask US the questions."
My senses reeled as I slowly came to. The words stumbled across my tongue, "Why?" I stammered, "Why am I here?" "Ahhhh!" intoned Pinkerton, "That's easy. YOU'RE here to disseminate for us our malicious musical message. WE of the C.O.G. have decided that the best way to take over the world is through my new invention, multi-level mass-marketing!" "But mass-marketing isn't exactly new," I stammered "SILENCE! How DARE you attempt to once again steal what rightfully belongs to the C.O.G.(tm)!"
I felt as if I were trapped in a really bad Vincent Price movie. Struggling to maintain my professionalism, I vainly attempted to regain control of the interview.
Melissa: Who are you nutcases anyway?
Dr. Pinkerton: Possibly the single greatest musicians in the history of science, or, wait a minute now, is that the greatest scientists in the history of music? Or wait...
Dr. Z: You are here to join my harem aren't you?
Dr. A. Pentatonic: Hey, baby, lighten up! How 'bout a drink? I've got anything as long as its vodka!
Dr. Pinkerton: Quiet, Dr. A!
Drumbot: Hey guys! What about me?
Dr. Pinkerton: Silence you cretins! The reason you are here is to witness the brilliance of our new invention, the DVD, which I invented nearly a month ago!
Melissa: Wait a minute! Stop right there! You don't expect me to believe that you people invented the DVD, do you?
Dr. Pinkerton: I expect you believe whatever I say!
At this point, Pinkerton attempted to spray me once again. I held my breath this time.
Dr. Z: The DVD is chock full of nutty goodness. Everything from concert footage, to music videos...
Dr. A: Rocking! Rolling! Drinking!
Dr. Z: ...to our television program, to commercials including my award-winning book club -- join today! Operators are standing by. If you call in the next five minutes...
Dr. Pinkerton: Enough of this prattle! Let me put it this way...BUY OR DIE!
I was getting worried at this point. The insanity was reaching level of complete madness. I had to get out of here. I thought fast--
Melissa: Say...er, brilliant scientists, if you let me go right now, I will bring your, er, DVD invention to the world!
Dr. Pinkerton: Oh you don't need to escape, we have other ways of getting news of our DVD out. Our second newest invention -- the internet website!
Gripped with a newfound sense of fear, I held myself back from correcting them yet again about their supposed invention. Everyone knew that Al Gore invented that. Instead, I figured that shameless flattery might be my only way out of this madhouse.
Melissa: What is this great website that you have invented? Please tell me! How do you access this new technology?
Dr. Pinkerton: What?!??! Do you mean that you don't know? Isn't it glaringly obvious?
I wasn't quick enough to dodge the next blast of spray unleashed by Dr. Pinkerton. The next thing I knew, I was on the street outside of the Howlin' Wolf. No time had elapsed. Customers were still drinking at the bar, but the C.O.G. were nowhere to be found. Except for the C.O.G. DVD that I now held in my hand, everything was how I remembered. The grass was still purple, the sky was still green. My pet platypus was still waiting for me in the back of my VW Scarab. I thanked my lucky planets that there was no apparent psychological damage. Now I watch the C.O.G. DVD every day, again and again. It is my best friend...well except for my pet platypus, Filbert.