Pleaseeasaur :: Pleaseeasaur Knows It's Infomercial Genus
by Katherine Kovacich
He Wears an abominable snowman suit on stage, he sings about beef flavored
islands and Ricky Schroeder's mustache, and his instruments emit sounds like
the background music to a "Super Mario Brothers" video game. He is the one
man in the three-man act of Pleaseeasaur, and despite his irregularity to
fit in to the mainstream, he's not going anywhere soon. Well, except to the
Plaza View Room in Arcata. How and why would an ordinary man choose to
be so off-the-wall, that critics have called him mentally challenged? "When
I moved back to Seattle after living in Philadelphia with the Dead Milkmen,
I was in a rock band and it got to be a little too contrived and linear fro me,
so I decided to do this"
said the man beneath the fur, JP Hasson in a phone interview from Seattle.
"Everything that I do is fairly random." Hasson said he used to do "regular
music", having worked with the Boston Philharmonic and scoring the
soundtracks to various Hollywood films, including the vampire movie, "Cold
Hearts". Heavily influenced by pop culture, Hasson mused about his adoration
of the television and all it's infomercial glory. "I record a lot of TV and
sample it. I don't have cable right now, but when I did it was insane. I had
too many options. Most sitcoms I can handle, but not really any of the
current ones. Anything from Fellini films to Star Wars to infomercials. I
think they all have their own things going for them musically," Hasson said.
"Have you seen this guy who sells baseball cards on the QVC Network? He's
phenomenal. The guy's so passionate about it. If they had music during their
segment, I would do it, I've already asked." "Ron Popeil is the king of infomercials.
He makes all these different products that are absolutely phenomenal,
" Hasson said. "It blows my mind. The way the audience reacts
(although it's totally fake)...that's the kind
of thing that influences me the most. Pleaseeasaur is the very performance
of being influenced. Relying on drums, bass, guitar, piano, sequencers, midi samples,
Pleaseeasaur has been compared to acts like WEEN and BECK. There is a
stipulation Hasson has: "I don't sample music though. It's all self
composed, except for the TV dialogue, I'd love to challenge Beck to a big
duel." Beyond the pure sound are his outlandish lyrics. "There's a motivational
song, a workout song called You've Got The Tough," Hasson said. "Sexy Lip
Hair" is about Ricky Schroeder and how he should have a full beard. That
song predates his resurgence into 'NYPD Blue,' "Strangers Have The Best
Candy" is an educational song for kids not to get into vans."
And beyond the music is the pure spectacle of his performance that tickles
arm hairs. "There are two five-by five screens on stage which are
rear-projected by the two men backstage," Hasson said. "It's too random to
even try to decipher-a lot of it makes perfect sense to me and my friends,
but luckily there are parts that are also quite universal."
Regarding his abominable snowman suit, Hasson said "it gets very hot and
sometimes doesn't smell very good. It's insanely massive."
"The people who attend the shows regularly are usually there to see it,"
Hasson said. "I get the shock factor when we're touring with bigger bands
because the crowd is not used to seeing this type of thing supporting a big
rock band. They're a bit shaky at first but you can that they're interested.
It's usually the third song that is the clincher. It's interesting to see
people go from confused to gleeful in a matter of verses."
"The regular fans are really great though...they are quite dedicated. It
blows me away when people show up because it's such a crazy thing...and
sometimes the even crazier things happen without my intention; I was bit by
a big sheep dog on stage, I've had things thrown at me, I've been tackled. I
've played in every venue from arenas in Paris to the subway in Budapest,"
says Hasson. "hopefully what I am presenting to people is just a wide range
of emotions and feelings that I'm feeling. They have to see it to believe
it." Pleaseeasaur plays the Plaza View Room in Arcata on Sunday and this show's
advance tickets are already sold out...so get there early for your shot at
additional seats. You will not be disappointed!