The mysterious collective known as Man or Astro-Man? hail from the lowdown depths of Alabama, though their sound is hardly Southern, or American, or even terrestrial. Having released music throughout the ’90s and ’00s on garage punk stronghold Estrus Records as well as the legendary Touch and Go Records, they have wasted no time earning their places as mainstays in the American rock underground. Although they’ve released 10 full-lengths to date, chronicling quasar-hoppingquests and intergalactic misadventure in every direction, the centerpiece of their tenure will always be the band as they are on stage, frenetic, focused and swaddled in literal lightning from a homemade Tesla tower. Naturally, when the fine folks at Third Man Records began planning festivities for Record Store Day 2016, they could not help but indulge in the surf madness of Man or Astro Man? No doubt a signal of things to come—namely the first vinyl record played in space. The result is a retro-futurist surf riff bombast. The career-spanning set (which did include a Tesla tower and, ultimately, a charred drum set— yikes!) was a thermonuclear drag race and a welcome addition to a world-class live series.
Although there’s never a perfect substitute for being in the room when an artist owns the stage, Third Man Records continues to bottle the iridescent magic of the Blue Room with Man…Or Astro-Man? Live.