Captured! By Robots

Jason Vance and the Captured! By Robots gang

Of all the novelty acts, wackjobs and weirdos that play the Jinx semi-regularly, none is nearly as bizarre as Captured! By Robots, which has been on the road for more than a decade. The "band" first played 127 W. Congress when it was known as the Velvet Elvis.

There's only one musician, really, and he's performing live with pre-recorded tracks. Everyone else is the "band" is either a pneumatic, duct-taped robot, a severed doll's head ... or a stuffed ape.

It's metal and/or serious slamming rock, and all sorts of other hybrid stuff, with sets that range from bizarre covers (Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire") to twisted originals ("I Just Peed Your Waterbed," "Don't Break My Balls").

The ringmaster for this traveling rock ‘n' roll sideshow is guitarist Jason Vance, veteran of the ska bands Blue Meanies and Skankin' Pickles. He just got tired of losing bandmates to marriage, addictions and mall-cop jobs, so built a bunch of new ones, confident they'd do his bidding without talking back.

But that's not the way things worked out.

The shtick is this: Vance, wearing a full black-leather bondage mask and chains, is derisively referred to as JBOT - the "robots" delight in torturing and teasing him, both verbally and otherwise. They are foul-mouthed and generally nasty (the apes, however, are smiley-faced and quite sympathetic to the plight of JBOT).

"When the robots swear at the crowd and the crowd swears back," Vance says. "that's when you know they're real to the audience."

Every CBR tour, up until now, has been "themed" to certain kinds of music. This one, Vance told me a few days ago, is called the "I Don't Give a Fuck Tour," because his non-living associates are "allowing" him to play pretty much anything he wants, with the only goal to let him "be happy. And it's working, and I really am. So we're doing metal, punk, some covers, a lot of songs from years gone by."

Yeah, buddy. There's no business like ‘bot business. Listen & learn:

At 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8 at the Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.


"I approach the guitar the same way I approach any other instrument," says Daryl Hance. "I just play shit that I think sounds cool and that doesn't feel awkward. And if I am playing something that feels awkward, I just keep scaling back until it feels right. In fact, I'll just keep on scaling all the way back until I stop playing altogether if that's what it takes to make something sound good." Based in Jacksonville, Fla., Hance is the longtime slide guitar legend with JJ Grey & Mofro, and this is his first outing as a singing and songwriting (and guitar-slinging) bandleader. With Anthony Cole on drums, and Shane Platten on bass, the sound is "bluesy funky rock music focused on songs and strong grooves," Hance explains. "Largely a sum of all my biggest influences rooted in older blues, funk, and rock music." Listen & learn:

At 10 p.m. Thursday, May 6 at the Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $5.


Savannah's most interesting acoustic singer/songwriter returns, after a bunch of out-of-town dates. "I have a ton of new material that I hope to record this summer," says Dukes, whose Prettiest Transmitter of All CD is nearly two years old now. "I keep juggling locales and personnel, but it looks like it's gonna happen in Athens." In a perfect world, he adds, recording will commence in July.

Dukes' quirky, melodic songwriting has evolved since he began playing with the Blackstock Collection. "I think a lot of the tunes I wrote for the first record were written before I knew I was going to be playing out with bands and stuff," he says. "So I was really writing with solo instrumentation in mind. Now, I have songs I wrote with complex arrangements in mind. To the point where I feel uncomfortable playing them solo. Like now I kind of know and love accordion, so I have songs that I write with that - and banjo - in mind. That was never the case before." The band's lineup has been in flux for a few weeks, but Chris Van Brickle, who recently relocated to Atlanta (he plays mandolin, banjo and drums) will be at this local show. Listen & learn:

At 8 p.m. Saturday, May 8 at the Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave. With Ben Beford and Adam Klein. $5.




About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.
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