Pleaseeasaur :: Pleaseeasaur = Action Spectacular! DVD
Have you ever been to a Pleaseeasaur concert? If so, you've likely been a mite confused and concerned about why a tall, thin young man would feel the urge to dance around in front of two screens while dressed in silly costumes and tunelessly belting out songs about limousine companies, pizzerias and law firms. The answer is quite complicated, and rests in the heart and mind of one man. Unfortunately, that man isn't here with me today so I can't ask him. Odds are he just finds it fun, I suppose. But what if there's SOMETHING MORE TO IT!??!
At any rate, it's a stone cold entertainment hoot watching JP Hasson doing his silly schtick while dressed as an outer-space astronaut, a Yeti, a baby on his grandmother's back, three Italian brothers and assorted other beasts as his partner Thomas Hurley III ceaselessly displays laugh-out-violently illustrations on the screens via hidden overhead projectors. I can only say to you this, "If you've never seen one of their concerts and you are afraid of crowds, you MUST buy this DVD." L.A. Weekly calls them "probably the craziest act in America today!" The Onion calls them "a crazed on-man show with amazing costumes and props!" Mark Prindle calls them, "What the hell are they trying to achieve up there? What is this act supposed to be?" There's the karaoke element of a guy singing along to pre-recorded cheesy music, but there's also the NATURE of the music - most of which sounds like background music in a cheap action film or corny infomercial. And those lyrics!? Why so many references to late '70s and early '80s culture? How does he manage to create humor out of mere repetition? (ex: "No Prob Limo, No Prob Limo, No Prob Limo - If you've got a problem, and you happen to need a limo - just dial our toll-free number, 1-800-No-Prob-Limo!" -- I mean, this song HAD ME ON THE FLOOR!) How does he so perfectly capture the mundane idiocies of '70s elementary school films and turn them humorous? And most importantly, why is "I Hate Dog Shit," the WORST SONG HE'S EVER WRITTEN IN HIS LIFE, still on the set list?!
Then there's JP himself, who looks FAR too young and normal to be performing the over-the-top faux-Vegas act he's doing. I've met the guy several times so I know he's a well-adjusted funny guy and not the least bit nerdy, so why on Earth would he start his concert with a song about DROIDS!? Just to ensure that no women in the audience will bother him for sex after the show?
Bottom line is this: Pleaseeasaur's live show is, in my wife's words, "amateurish and charming." And maybe it's this combination of amateurishness, incredibly clever wordplay, and hilarious visuals that make it impossible for an audience to NOT break out laughing in unison hundreds of times during their set. The last time I saw them perform, in a sold-out club in NYC, I was watching their antics with tears of guffawness streaming down my face (especially during the confidence-building self-improvement anthems "You've Got The Tough" and "It's Up To You," both of which are included on this DVD) but thinking, "My God! There is NO WAY that all these 'normal people' are possibly going to find this funny! It's just so STUPID!!!" But I was wrong. Between songs, I could see and hear that probably 75% of the audience was laughing as hard as I was. Granted, this was a Neil Hamburger audience but still -- for better or worse, there is NOBODY IN THE WORLD doing what Pleaseeasaur is doing. And how expensive could this DVD possibly be? Buy it! It's even got a music video for "Johnson & Johnsonstein," old video footage of what I assume was JP and Thomas's pre-Pleaseeasaur band "American Sheriff," and a slideshow of on- and offstage photos that are as ridiculous and funny as the concert itself. Which is what this is. Did I even mention that? This is a concert DVD. I should have mentioned that. FUCK!
If you're asking me my opinion, I'd dump "Droid County," "I Hate Dog Shit," "Beef Flavored Island" and "The Meat Reef" from the set list. They're just not very funny, and there are plenty of better-written numbers on The Yellow Pages that could take their place in the set. But the other nine songs are beyond reproach. Don't reproach them, I swear to God!