My first reaction to the Pizza Underground was mostly angry: why should all this media attention be given to a one-note gimmick of a band just because a former child star is their kazoo player? Aren’t there other, actual bands we should be writing about and listening to instead?
The intro to this film about the band’s first concert confirmed my misgivings: here were these dummies laughing at their own jokes re: glockenspiel vs. Glock pistol, hamming it up in group photos, banging on a fucking pizza box for percussion. Enough with the pizza! Or at least, leave it to the professionals.
But then, somewhere between “I’m Beginning to Eat the Slice,” and “(I Don’t Do Too Much Toppings) These Days,” I started to crack a little. These songs are funny. The interview Pizza Undergrounder Phoebe Kreutz gave to Vulture yesterday was pretty charming, too, and the group’s devotion to their conceit is weirdly admirable:
And you’re sticking with Velvet Underground and pizza in your future songs?
Yeah, I think so. We sort of toyed with the Rolling Scones, but with the Rolling Stones, it seemed so general. And baked goods, they could be anything. There’s something about the specificity of pizza, and also about the Velvet Underground, who wrote a lot about indulgence and preference and things that come together with pizza in a really fruitful way.
If this kind of thing is your kind of thing, see the Pizza Underground for free at Baby’s All Right tomorrow.